by Elise Shoening | November 21, 2019

The push for sustainability is steadily growing in the meetings industry, with event planners now conducting waste audits, and venues such as the Atlantic City Convention Center becoming LEED certified. Hotels have been going green for years, to varying degrees. For events looking to be as sustainable as possible, these five properties have achieved the coveted zero-waste status, which is defined by the Zero Waste International Alliance as diverting 90 percent of all discarded materials from landfills and incinerators. 

1. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

• San Diego, California
• Guest rooms: 1,053
• Meeting space: 115,932 square feet

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina has achieved a Gold-level certification from the Green Seal Environmental Standard for Lodging Properties. The hotel began its zero-waste journey in 2011 and now diverts more than 250,000 pounds of waste annually. Each quarter, its sustainability council meets to review the property's environmental goals and achievements.

Water-conserving toilets, faucets and shower heads have been added to the Sheraton hotel, as well as occupancy sensors in the guest rooms to manage the heating-and-cooling system. Room keycards, trash-can liners and toilet paper are all made from recycled materials. In addition, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina offers an onsite FedEx Office Center with green printing services for events. Fryer oil is transformed into biodiesel fuel, and a partnership with a local food bank ensures any leftover food is donated or composted. 

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