Going Green Can Save Some Green

When management at the Branson Convention Center decided to go green, it didn’t just benefit the environment.
The money savings has allowed the Convention Center to keep its room rates and food and beverage prices the same for two years, said Marc Mulherin, general manager.
Savings for the center means savings for conventions.


Big environmental changes have been afoot the past two years at the Branson Convention Center which was previously run by the Hilton. Now SMG handles the management for the city of Branson.
The previous model was to leave the lights on all the time.
“With the convention business, we have dark time, slow times. We shouldn’t leave the lights on,” Mulherin said.
Now the escalators are turned off when there are no conventions in the building. Light sensors were placed in the bathroom to reduce the amount of electricity being used.
In 2014, they cut their kilowatt usage by 35 percent.
It was down another 12 percent last year.
“Keeping our costs down helps us save and keep our prices the same and that helps the convention planner,” Mulherin said.
Bartenders recycle all the glass used during a convention- which was not in place before.
That translated into 16,360 pounds of recycled glass in 2015. 
“No one recycles glass unless you do it yourself. It’s worth the extra effort to say I am going to do that,” he said
To keep food costs intact, Mulherin established composting. There was 28,460 pounds of compost generated last year.
The dinnerware has changed, too: now it’s all compostable plates, napkins, cups.
Again, this is better for the environment but also saves on labor costs because staff doesn’t have to wash as many dishes.And he eliminated something that is pretty standard in the convention world- when you walk into a meeting there is always a pen, a notepad and a mint. 
“So much of that was wasted. People are so different from a technology standpoint. They don’t even use the pads anymore. They brings in their iPads, computers to take notes,” he said.
Eliminating the standard pen and paper has saved $20,000 a year.
But going “green” hasn’t just benefited the Convention Center; the City of Branson was recently recognized for its environmental efforts and won Ripple Glass’ inaugural “Glass Recycling Program of the Year Award.”
The City of Branson competed against other cities in four Midwestern states. From 2014 to 2015, the Branson grew it glass recycling program from 169.48 tons to 275 tons, which was just one of many accomplishments that landed Branson is first place.
Mona Menezes, environmental specialist with the city, said Branson received perfect scores from three judges in the four-state competition. 
“It is a big deal and an honor. We are winning a semi-truck load of fiberglass insulation made from the glass bottles recycled by our residents, visitors and businesses,” she said.

The Branson Convention Center is dedicated to eliminate waste and preserve the environment-- it saves on their budget, and on your convention's budget, too!

Lean more about the Branson Convention Center here.

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