By Communications Department
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was presented with the Corporate Leadership Award from the environmentally focused non-profit organization Keep Louisiana Beautiful. This accolade recognizes a business organization rooted in community engagement paired with a consistent dedication to Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s mission of influencing positive policy and infrastructure changes to prevent litter, reduce waste, increase recycling, and protect the natural resources of Louisiana communities.
The Corporate Leadership Award was given in consideration of the many environmentally focused initiatives that the facility has undertaken in the last year. These initiatives include a waste audit which helped the Center improve its recycling efforts, the installation of 87 new bottle filling stations which encourage the reduction of single-use plastic water bottles, restroom remodels that included low-flow fixtures for improved water usage, the construction of an environmentally-friendly pedestrian park which saw the installation of 200 trees, new green spaces and bioswales for rain water collection, and improvements to the facility’s energy usage via a change to LED lighting in the exhibit halls and more energy-efficient components in the facility’s heating and cooling systems.
These innovative, environmentally focused improvements are part of a $557 million modernization plan which will further solidify the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as one of the country’s premiere event destinations and show the world that New Orleans is Built to Host.
“By all accounts, this has been a banner year for our sustainability efforts,” said Convention Center President, Michael J. Sawaya. “We sincerely appreciate organizations like Keep Louisiana Beautiful for recognizing our substantial progress in this area. It is vitally important that we stay on the pulse of our industry, providing clients with world-class event experiences.”
“Sustainable event practices are becoming more and more important as the live event industry strives to reduce its carbon footprint. Our clients expect us to be leaders in sustainability efforts and it is the responsible thing to do,” Sawaya concluded.
The award, given to Convention Center leaders at an award luncheon in Baton Rouge on October 12, marks the Convention Center’s fourth environmentally focused award this year. In February, the facility was given the “Love Your City Award” in the Best Overall category, which highlights individuals and organizations that assess, improve, and address their impact in their communities through reductions in energy use, contributions to the local economy, commitments to providing equitable opportunities for all, and more.
The Center also earned two awards from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for major and impactful initiatives aimed at reducing the facility’s environmental footprint. The Environmental Leadership Program Awards, given to the Center in the Community Environmental Outreach category, as well as the Energy and Water Pollution Reduction category, recognize outstanding activities and projects that demonstrate environmental leadership and the pursuit of a cleaner, safer environment.
Pictured: Convention Center directors and executives accept the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Corporate Leadership Award from Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality at an Award Presentation on October 12. (Left to Right): Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality; Linda Baynham, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; John Bel Edwards, Governor of the State of Louisiana; Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President; Adam J. Straight, Convention Center Vice President of Operations.