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International Association of Conference Centers

Eight Benchmark Hospitality properties receive top level sustainability recognition

Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that eight of its properties have achieved Platinum, Gold or Silver-level recognition in the new Code of Environmental Sustainability introduced recently by the International Association of Conference Centers. The rigorous new Code of Sustainability provides for 59 best practices in environmental sustainability. IACC-member properties must adhere to at least 75% of the tenets of the Code, and join other member organizations that have signed the Code in a global, association-wide effort to strive for greater sustainability. Wingspread, a private conference center Benchmark operates for the Johnson Foundation located in Racine, Wisconsin, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, was the only IACC member to achieve Platinum Level status, demonstrating that historic buildings can be Green.

“We are extremely proud of each of these Benchmark properties for achieving such a high level of sustainability out-of-the-gate,” said Greg Parsons, vice president and companywide champion of Benchmark’s own Evergreen Program of environmental sustainability and eco-friendly hospitality. “Our goal is for 100 percent sustainability compliance moving forward as we continue to roll out new green initiatives systemwide that complement IACC’s Code of Environmental Sustainability.”

Announced at IACC’s annual meeting last March, the Code of Sustainability was designed to encourage member properties around the globe to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices in nine areas: Education and Awareness, Waste Management, Recycling, Reuse, Water Conservation, Purchasing, Energy Management, Air Quality, and Food & Beverage.

Benchmark Hospitality’s proprietary Evergreen Program was formally introduced throughout the company this spring as a Core Value of the leading hospital management company. The program provides for differing levels for green hospitality best practice compliance within Benchmark’s portfolio of properties, and specifically addresses green meetings and events. “Evergreen is designed to minimize our environmental impact on the planet and introduce and disseminate within our company environmental best practices.” Parsons concluded with, "Our Evergreen Program is dynamic… it will continually evolve as we integrate new information and ideas into the program."