Document Sample
               Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
    Dear Community:

    In May 2007, at the outset of our planning for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, we asked ourselves and the Denver
    community: “How do we host the greenest convention in the history of the planet?” We had no idea what a rallying cry this would
    become, nor could we ever have anticipated how enthusiastically our community would step up to answer our question.

    Greening the Convention was not an afterthought for Denver. It was a design principle embraced by the Host Committee, City
    staff and a broad public-private partnership. There was a magic to this moment that united us and attracted others from outside
    Denver to join in and help us expand our vision and exceed our goals. Our purpose was straightforward: We wanted to minimize
    the environmental burden of the Convention on Denver and we hoped to create a positive legacy that would endure well beyond
    the event.

    This report summarizes the remarkable collaboration that created the greenest convention in history. Tens of champions,
    hundreds of meetings, thousands of volunteer hours later, our journey to green this Convention concludes with legacy programs
    that live on: sustainable businesses, bike sharing, and a City known worldwide for its success in staging green conventions.

    We claim proudly that our local organizing activities for the Democratic National Convention were carbon neutral. We did
    everything we could to prevent emissions, we measured our carbon footprint and we offset emissions we could not avoid. The
    Executive Committee of the Convention Host Committee underscored the integrity of our commitment to green when it elected
    after the Convention to invest $99,520 of the Convention budget surplus into the Colorado Carbon Fund for investments in
    renewable energy projects here in Colorado.

    Hundreds of partners deserve our heartfelt appreciation for this impressive effort. A few must be singled out for their steadfast
    commitment to greening and their perseverance in the face of daunting logistical, economic and security challenges: Parry
    Burnap, our Director of Greening, Mike Dino, Denver 2008 Host Committee CEO; and Katherine Archuleta and Chantal Unfug,
    the City’s Manager and Deputy Manager of all things Democratic National Convention. We acknowledge, too, the vision and
    support of John Powers and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, which allowed us to harness the community’s ideas and energy.

    Finally, we thank the Denver community for believing that it was possible for Denver to host the greenest convention ever and for
    joining with us to make it happen.

      Elbra Wedgeworth                                                   John W. Hickenlooper

      President/Chair                                                    Mayor
      Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee                              Denver, Colorado

2     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
      Greening the Democratic National Convention
Greening the Democratic National Convention
Forward                                  4
                                                       CONTACT INFORMATION
Executive Summary                        6             Greenprint Denver
Administration                           8   
Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee    13            Denver Mayor’s Office
Business                                 16            City and County of Denver
                                                       1437 Bannock Street, Room 350
City Facilities                          22
                                                       Denver, Colorado 80202
Events                                   26
                                                       (720) 865-9017
Resource Recovery                        30
Energy                                   34
Transportation                           39
Bikes                                    42
Water                                    47
Lean ‘N Green Choices                    50
Carbon                                   54
Communication                            60

Conclusion                               64

Greening Initiative Documents            65

                                        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 3
                                                     Greening the Democratic National Convention
    From start to finish - from the sparks of early ideas to the practical and complex steps taken to make most of those ideas real -
    the efforts of the City and County of Denver and the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee to green the 2008 Democratic
    National Convention was a local community effort. The Greening Initiative was a natural reflection of Denver’s passion to protect
    the natural heritage that sets us apart and of our faith in a sustainable future and our spirit of cooperation. This initiative built on
    and accelerated the efforts of countless environmental leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who have been working
    for decades to advance sustainability in Denver. Without a model to follow, we created this together as we went along.

    Successful initiatives require simultaneous and mutually reinforcing leadership and grassroots work. Every member of the
    Executive Committee for the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee was constant in their advocacy of greening. Our
    thanks begin with them: Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth, President/Chair; Colorado Governor Bill Ritter; Denver Mayor John
    Hickenlooper; Senator Ken Salazar; Congresswoman Diana DeGette; Steve Farber, Attorney-at-Law; and of course Host
    Committee CEO, Mike Dino.

    The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee staff and every single organization listed in the box below contributed substantial
    amounts of time and resources to the local 2008 Democratic National Convention Greening Initiative.

            A-1 Organics * Adaptive Adventures * Alliance for Sustainable Colorado * Alpine Recycling *America
            on the Move * Aspen Canary Initiative * Bicycle Colorado * BikeDenver * Bikes Belong * The Brendle
            Group, Inc, * CamcoGlobal * Civic Results * Colorado Association for Recycling * Colorado Carbon Fund
            * Colorado Convention Center * Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Environmental
            Leadership Program * Smart Meals Program * Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association * Colorado Proud *
            Colorado Restaurant Association * Coors Brewing Company * Corporate Express * Denver Environmental
            Health * Denver Office of Cultural Affairs * Denver Office of Economic Development * Denver Office of
            Marketing * Denver Parks & Recreation * Denver Recycles * Denver Regional Council of Governments *
            Denver Theatres and Arenas * Denver Water Department * Denver Zoo * Downtown Denver Partnership
            * EcoHatchery * EDAW * Energy Solutions Unlimited * Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII
            * Governor’s Energy Office * Green Convene Strategies * Humana Health Care * Institute for Consensus
            Action * Malcolm Pirnie * Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Task Force * Metro Denver Health and Wellness
            Commission * National Renewable Energy Laboratory * Neighborhood America * PNM * Recycle America
            * ReDirect Guide * Shenkein & Assoc. * Staples * Transportation Solutions * University of Colorado
            Environmental Institute * Urban Trans * Vail Associates * VISIT DENVER * Waste Management * Weston
            Solutions * Worldwater & Solar Technologies * Xcel…and other unaffiliated committed citizens.

            More than 140 people representing 50 public and private organizations came together to take advantage of
            this historic and motivating moment to accelerate what they were already doing: taking risks, and trying out
            new ideas. Greening team leaders merit special mention for the ideas, time and continuous effort they so
            freely gave for the entire year leading up to the Convention. Please see the task team volunteer roster at the
            end of this report for a complete list of team members:
            • Business: Janna Six, Lynette Meyers
            • City Facilities: Paul Schmiechen
            • Events: Donna Pacetti
            • Resource Recovery: Jennifer Daw, Andrea Hart, Marjie Griek
            • Energy: Paul Schmiechen
            • Transportation: Bill Obermann
            • Bikes: Andrew Duvall, Tracy Halasinski
            • Water: Donna Pacetti
            • Lean ‘N Green Choices: Susan Bonsall
            • Carbon: Susan Innis
            • Communication: Paulette Middleton, Chris Lopez

4     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
      Greening the Democratic National Convention
Forward (cont.)
Christina Beisel was a star. Starting as an intern in the Mayor’s office when the bid was first awarded to Denver, she became one
of two paid staff for the entire greening effort. Her phenomenal organizational skills and dedicated, hard work helped hold us all
together. Our summer greening interns, Aaron Robinson, Lucy Emerson-Bell, Meryl Wisner, and Bridget Sahey did whatever
needed to be done to carry us to the finish line.

Special thanks to the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado for being our creative, administrative and fund-raising partner. Additional
support for the Denver 2008 Greening Initiative was generously provided by the Garfield Foundation, the Overbrook Foundation,
the Kevin Luff Family Fund, the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, the Jared Polis Foundation and the Stuart O. Roberts Family

Looking back, we can see that our community was strengthened by our work together. This report summarizes all we tried to
accomplish, what worked, what did not, lessons learned and programs that will carry forward. Greening is not about perfection
but an unceasing pursuit of a fragile balance. There will always be more to do and ways to do it better.

Our goal for this report was to capture as much as possible in order to equip and embolden future host communities to exceed our
vision and surpass our performance. We hope that future conventions will move beyond greening to true sustainability – that an
integrated understanding of community, environment and economics will be built even more deeply into the organizations and
programs of future conventions.

Parry Burnap

Denver Director of Greening

                            Like everything about this initiative, the writing of this report was a team effort. We extend our
                            thanks to the Governor’s Energy Office for helping us fund this report and to everyone who helped
                            to write this report: Kristen Hannum and Christopher Juniper with the Sustainability Institute who
                            pulled together the first draft; all of the team leaders who reviewed and commented on early and
                            subsequent drafts; Christina Beisel, Director of Greenprint Denver Michele Weingarden, and Senior
                            Advisor to the Mayor Sue Cobb who edited later drafts; and finally Brent Tongco and Amanda
                            Caldwell who both reviewed, edited, and transformed the report with their graphic design and
                            production skills.

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 5
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
    Executive Summary
                                                                        to a long-term bike share program for the City and County of
    Greening Initiative Mission                                         Denver.
    To build a long lasting green legacy that will thrive in
    the community and around the world long after the last              Throughout this report, you will find an overview of the goals,
    delegate leaves Denver.                                             strategies, process, results, legacies, strengths and challenges,
                                                                        and lessons learned for each of the 10 task teams. This report
    In May 2007, several months after Denver was selected to be         is intended to provide future convention planners with ideas
    the host city for the 2008 Democratic National Convention,          to improve upon and for building their own unique, locally
    Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper asked the community               appropriate strategies.
    and convention planners “How do we make this the greenest
    Convention in the history of the planet?”

    A group of community environmental leaders immediately
    coalesced to brainstorm ways to meet that challenge. Shortly
    thereafter, in recognition of the fact that the lofty goal set by
    the Mayor and the ideas emerging from the community would
    require the full time attention of staff, a private donor stepped
    forward with a donation generous enough to pay for a director
    and an assistant.

    The newly hired Director of Greening reported simultaneously
    to the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee and Denver’s
    senior lead for planning the Convention in the Mayor’s
    Office. The Director identified and put into place 10 task
    teams that focused on the primary areas of activity that had
    been identified by the community task force. Membership
    on these teams was drawn from the original volunteers and
    supplemented by inviting additional subject area experts as

    As time went on, some ideas were modified and other new
    ones were added. More than 140 volunteers from the public,
    private and non-profit sectors addressed various aspects of
    greening by designing and implementing solid work plans
    focused not only on the Convention, but on creating a legacy
    for Denver.

    The 10 task teams focused on strategies in Business Outreach,
    City Facilities, Greening Events, Energy, Resource Recovery,
    Transportation, Water, Lean ‘N Green Choices, Carbon, and
    Communication. In addition, the Greening Initiative worked
    with local partners to host the Green Frontier Festival and New
    Energy Station.

    Staff and teams focused simultaneously on optimizing
    sustainable practices during the Convention and ensuring an
    enduring positive legacy after the close of the Convention. As a
    result, there is a legacy aspect to the work of each team. These
    legacies vary from increasing education about sustainability

6     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
      Greening the Democratic National Convention
Executive Summary (cont.)

  A sampling of what we accomplished together:                   And we helped set in motion wheels to create
  •	 Identified and promoted almost 500 businesses who           permanent legacy programs:
      were committed to being on the path to sustain-            •	 The Greener Denver Business Program – an Office
      ability.                                                      of Economic Development Program to encourage,
  •	 Provided greening training to more than 550 indi-              measure, and monitor the efficiency and conserva-
      viduals from seven convention-impacted business               tion efforts of local businesses.
      sectors.                                                   •	 Rocky Mountain Greener Venues Partnership – a
  •	 Developed Environmental Management Systems for                 partnership of ten major events and sporting facili-
      three high-profile, intensely used City facilities: Col-      ties who have pledged to practice environmental
      orado Convention Center, Red Rocks, and Denver                stewardship in nine areas.
      Performing Arts Complex.                                   •	 A Colorado Chapter of the Green Meeting Industry
  •	 Hosted a sustainable opening event for more than               Council forming under the leadership of events and
      9,800 visiting media at Elitch’s, which was pow-              meeting planners who initially came together dur-
      ered by wind, diverted 81 percent of its waste by             ing the Convention planning.
      recycling and composting, and proudly featured             •	 A Sustainable Events Guide for all planners;
      Colorado Grown local and organic food.                     •	 Denver Bike Sharing – one of the US’s first pro-
  •	 Hosted a local Green Frontier Fest that featured 100           jected launches of a city major wide bike sharing
      green businesses and attracted 8,000 guests.                  system.
  •	 Rode 26,463 miles on bicycles, burning an esti-             •	 VISIT DENVER online event and travel carbon
      mated 818,899 calories, and preventing possibly as            calculators – a partnership with the Colorado
      much as 9.3 metric tons of carbon emissions.                  Carbon Fund and the first of their kind to be hosted
  •	 Provided 26,000 reusable water bottles to our guests           by a major US metropolitan convention bureau,
      and made available a chilled water truck and 21               available to resident and guest travelers and event
      water refill stations.                                        organizers.
  •	 Installed low flow plumbing at City venues and two
      major xeriscape projects at the Convention Center
      and along Auraria parkway in front of the Pepsi
  •	 Served up healthy, local or organic dining options at
      28 restaurants in 40 locations.
  •	 To the best of our ability to measure and act,
      achieved a zero carbon impact for local and Host
      Committee activities with a $99,520 donation to the
      Colorado Carbon Fund and wind power supplied
      by XCEL and renewable energy credits provided by

                                                                 Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 7
                                                                              Greening the Democratic National Convention
    When Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper challenged the                   Host Committee, and the Pepsi Center. This contract - for
    community and convention planners in May 2007 to host the            the most part a reflection of previous convention organizing
    “greenest Convention in the history of the planet,” inspired         experiences - subsequently became the single most important
    community environmental professionals and advocates                  articulation of roles, responsibilities, and legal and financial
    immediately embarked on a journey to address this lofty              accountability. At this very early stage, the organizers did not
    goal. Enabled by a generous donation, two full-time paid staff       foresee the emphasis on environmental performance and as
    positions were created: a Greening Director and an assistant.        a result, the words “greening” and “environment” were not
                                                                         mentioned in the contract. When the Greening Initiative came
    The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC),                 into being months later, it was ineligible for Host Committee
    an organization of the Democratic National Party comprised           funds. The Greening Initiative was launched with the two paid
    of experienced political convention planners from around the         staff funded by an independent donor and the workspace in the
    country, also hired a Sustainability Coordinator from California     Mayor’s office, and without any additional operating funds. Not
    for greening. After some discussions occurring during the            only could the Initiative not draw from the Host Committee
    initial months, it became evident that the DNCC and Host             budget at that time, the Greening Initiative was not able to
    Committee would work in parallel on different focus areas.           seek funds from any entity that might potentially be a Host
                                                                         Committee funder.
     The DNCC was responsible for greening everything related
    to their core activities: the main venue, the Pepsi Center; the      No final accounting is available, but we estimate that the value
    media workspace around the Pepsi Center; the official hotel;         of contributions by our partners to be in excess of 2 million
    transportation of delegates from hotels to the Pepsi Center;         dollars. A sampling of contributing partners includes:
    and the events within the Colorado Convention Center. In             •	 Humana Health Care
    effect, the DNCC was responsible for greening the main show          •	 Denver Water Department
    while the local Greening Initiative was focused on setting           •	 EPA Region VIII
    the stage by greening the community, city facilities, hotels,        •	 Governor’s Energy Office
    operations, the other 92 hotels, ground transportation from the      •	 VISA
    airport and around town, Host Committee operations, and any          •	 Corporate Express
    special city or Host Committee events. The two greening efforts
    stayed loosely connected through periodic check-in meetings          Traditional fundraising generated $108,000 from the following
    and the local teams made themselves available as requested by        entities:
    the DNCC effort.                                                     •	 Jared Polis Foundation
                                                                         •	 The Garfield Foundation
    GOALS                                                                •	 Denver Foundation – Private Donor Advised Fund
    The following goals guided all of the work of the local Greening     •	 The Overbrook Foundation
    Initiative:                                                          •	 Stuart Roberts
                                                                         •	 Colorado Governor’s Energy Office
    •	     Minimize any potentially negative environmental impacts
           of the 2008 Convention on the community.                      Therefore, the Initiative simultaneously pursued two tactics of
    •	     Create a new green standard for all conventions that can be   support: 1) requests to partners with compatible missions for
           reproduced in the future, in Denver and elsewhere.            materials or services as needed, and 2) traditional fundraising
    •	     Demonstrate the economic and community benefits of            from public or private organizations that were screened and
           greening.                                                     confirmed for any reason as ineligible to make contributions
    •	     Educate citizens and guests about green and healthy           to the Convention itself. Because of the need to keep moving
           choices they make in their own lives.                         forward and the time limitations on this one year project,
                                                                         program goals were continuously pursued in spite of the
    SUMMARY                                                              uncertainty about the ultimate sources of support. Both tactics
    One of the first major milestones in the staging of a convention     worked to some degree.
    is the development of a contract between the principal
    Convention organizers; in this case, the City, the DNCC, the

8        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
         Greening the Democratic National Convention
Administration (cont.)
Committed volunteers from the private, public and non-             the Initiative was moving too fast by the time the software
profit sectors stepped in to lend their expertise and time to      was secured and set up for use. In spite of offering training,
building and support successful green initiatives and projects.    the Greening Initiative was not able to enlist consistent use
The task teams began meeting monthly in October 2007,              by all of the team members. Optimizing the use of web
with meeting frequency increasing for most teams to twice a        enabled project management software for this fast moving
month beginning in February 2008. Teams scheduled standing         and complicated initiative would have required an earlier
meetings coordinated to prevent conflicting meeting times.         start before work communication paths and habits had
Beginning in April, team co-chairs began meeting every             been established. A dedicated expert in using the project
other Friday to discuss their efforts, learn about the work        management software application to aggressively manage the
that other teams were doing, and to check for overlap and/or       team would also have been helpful. By the time the group was
opportunities for partnership.                                     ready to use the software, no one had time to incorporate or
                                                                   enforce new practices.
The Greening Initiative was physically housed in the Mayor’s
Office but organizationally located both within the City and the   In addition to the two paid staff and the 140 planning
501(c) 3 Convention Host Committee. The Greening Initiative        volunteers, the Greening Initiative was joined by four
staff attended all meetings in order to provide direction,         summer college interns who worked in the Mayor’s Office
coordination between teams, and support where needed.              and approximately 1,000 volunteers who helped during the
The involvement of staff varied by team, with some teams           week of the event. The Greening Initiative worked closely
needing less leadership and support and others needing greater     with the Host Committee Volunteer Management Team and
attention to move forward. The Director, with a picture of the     the ICA Lead Facilitator to recruit, communicate with, and
whole initiative, helped lead or support agenda development        deploy the Convention week volunteers who helped especially
for all of the teams to make sure that they were in sync with      with events, resource recovery, and bikes. Greening elements
one another.                                                       were incorporated into general training sessions for all 6,000
                                                                   volunteers and two special green trainings featuring team
Several communication and coordination practices were              breakout sessions were offered to volunteers who signed up in
integral to success. Meeting notes were taken at every team        advance specifically to help with the greening.
meeting and distributed within a week with action steps
highlighted in the cover e-mail. A local network of trained
facilitators, the Institute for Consensus Action (ICA),
supported the Greening Initiative at two key junctures. At
the end of February, ICA worked to help design an agenda
and process for a full day greening strategic planning meeting
which featured facilitated breakouts for each team and a
planning plenary during which each team reported and
discussed plans with the entire group. Later, in early summer,
the ICA’s Lead Facilitator worked with the team leaders to help
coordinate and fine tune countdown activities.

A software coordination program can be a helpful tool to
help multiple committees and task teams stay on track with
each other. Halfway through the project, financial support
from a member of the team was secured to purchase the
license for project management software at a discounted
price. The intention of this software was to help facilitate
coordination of the diverse and dispersed partners working
on simultaneous complex tasks. The hope was that use of this
software application would enable communication, calendar
scheduling, document sharing and filing, and task scheduling
and coordination. While the software had many strengths,

                                                                      Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 9
                                                                                   Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Administration (cont.)
     The strengths supporting the Greening Initiative more than           •	   Community Partners with Corresponding Missions – Early
     compensated for the challenges the team faced. Without these              in the process, citizens with shared values participated
     assets, any one of the challenges could have marginalized                 in brainstorming teams. Greening staff also strategically
     efforts.                                                                  recruited additional partners with shared goals and work
                                                                               plans who could take advantage of this opportunity to
     Strengths                                                                 achieve their own goals and helped to fill in staffing and
     •	 The Moment – The 2008 Convention galvanized Denver                     funding gaps.
         residents to a degree unmatched in collective memory.
         The Mayor repeatedly encouraged all residents to stay in         Challenges
         Denver during the Convention to co-create and celebrate          •	 Funding Constraints - Funding for environmental
         with the City. Community environmental leaders and                  programs was not in the original contract/budget and the
         citizens were inspired to come together to accelerate what          Greening Initiative was not allowed to compete with the
         they were already doing, try new things, and complete               Host Committee for funds.
         them with a real and looming deadline.
                                                                          •	   Time - The deadline was unchangeable and therefore there
     •	     Top Level Leadership – The Mayor and the Executive                 was no time to be logical, sequential or thorough – e.g.
            Committee of the Host Committee positioned the green               create a plan, refine, raise money, hire staff, implement,
            message front and center at all opportunities. Not only            measure, communicate, etc. Everyone who had anything
            were the Greening Initiative committees empowered, but             to do with organizing any aspect of the Convention had
            all other Convention organizers were challenged to think           to build organizational capacity simultaneously while
            green. Their leadership for greening was substantive and           delivering.
                                                                          •	   Information Gaps – The immutable deadline and speed of
     •	     Two Paid Staff – Thanks to the fundraising support of the          time required that the teams move forward continuously
            Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the Mayor’s Office/             without complete information. Everything was constant
            Host Committee was able to hire two paid staff one year            in motion and late breaking developments were the norm.
            in advance of the Convention. The Director attended all            Access to information was problematic and exacerbated by
            weekly Host Committee planning meetings thereafter.                the political process and security concerns.
            This literal presence at the table was instrumental for the
            staff to be able to recognize and act upon opportunities.     •	   Organizational Complexity – Four autonomous
            Dedicated staff who lived, breathed and dreamed this               organizations were parties to the original agreement (the
            Initiative were essential to keeping all of the pieces             City, Host Committee, DNCC and the Pepsi Center).
            connected and moving in the same direction.                        Decision making was non-linear and non-hierarchical.

     •	     Denver’s Existing Sustainability Programming and Staff
            – Previous goals and achievements of the Mayor’s Office
            Greenprint Denver program and Denver’s Department
            of Environmental Health provided the foundation for
            the Greening Initiative and a home for ensuring a future
            legacy. Even while Greenprint staff continued with pre-
            existing programs, they were vital leaders and members of
            the Convention Greening Team.

10        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
          Greening the Democratic National Convention
Administration (cont.)
The following observations represent the local perspective        Integration of Greening into other Host Committee
on administrative issues related to efforts to “green” the 2008   Activities
Democratic National Convention. They are intended to inform       •	 The inclusion of greening staff in all Host Committee staff
and encourage future political and non-political conventions          meetings was essential for recognizing opportunities and
that have as greening as a fundamental organizing principle.          staying connected to the bigger picture.
                                                                  •	 Including greening as a stand alone agenda item in all
Dedicated Greening Staff                                              Host Committee staff meetings assured continuous
•	 Paid dedicated staff was essential                                 attention.
•	 Minimum suggested staff configuration:                         •	 Even when “green” is conceptually embraced by everyone
     1. Two in City Office – benefited from instant team              involved, there are naturally occurring shades of green
         and functioning workplace, close proximity of                that mirror the broader environmental culture. Mindsets
         Mayor, especially good for legacy.                           to be aware of include:
     2. One in Host Committee – had a college intern                      1. Greening is a clean-up activity at the end of the
         situated in the Host Committee Office several blocks                  day.
         away, but Host Committee could have used more                    2. Greening is important but someone else’s job.
         support.                                                         3. Environmental performance is a design principle
     3. Part-time Metrics – Resources were not available to                    secondary to economic performance.
         hire a metrics specialist, nor could a volunteer be      •	 To enable complete seamless integration, all director level
         found to design metrics and a system for collecting          staff should have environmental performance as part of
         them.                                                        their job description, interview criteria, and performance
•	 An extensive community volunteer network is essential.             evaluations. Director level staff report should include
                                                                      routine green updates.
                                                                  •	 As soon as the initial executive staff is hired, a team
                                                                      building, training, and planning retreat could help with
                                                                      integrating green performance as a core, operating value.
                                                                      The training should feature practical and experiential
                                                                      environmental content to equip staff with environmental
                                                                      management skills and knowledge pertaining to their
                                                                      areas of responsibility while inspiring them to keep
                                                                      greening in focus even when times are intense.

                                                                  Convention Contract
                                                                  •	 Core environmental and sustainability principles need to
                                                                     be established in the original Convention contract.
                                                                  •	 Original contract should stipulate a minimal
                                                                     environmental performance standard that is similar to the
                                                                     preference stated for procurement of goods and services
                                                                     that are provided by union, minority, or women owned

                                                                    Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 11
                                                                                 Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Administration (cont.)
     Convention Governance                                               Timing
     •	 While parallel efforts do not optimize success, a                •	 Host Committee greening initiatives should set and stick
        constructive division of labor does make sense and should           to early completion dates. This requires discipline because
        be defined in the original contract so as to avoid spending         pre-existing ideas tend to spawn new ideas.
        unnecessary time figuring out boundaries.                        •	 Design greening activities with more information about
     •	 Full separation by the National Convention Committee                other key convention organizing and election deadlines.
        of its greening efforts from all local City/Host                 •	 As soon as the candidates’ organization moves into the
        Committee programmatic efforts is counterproductive to              host city, a general greening briefing directly between
        environmental goals.                                                green staff and campaign staff would be beneficial.
     •	 Through regular communication, cooperation, resource
        sharing and shared measurement with the DNCC, the                The success of any greening effort comes from the heart and
        respective greening programs can strengthen each other.          hard work of the community. The aforesaid recommendations
                                                                         are focused on how that effort is encouraged, administered,
     Green Fundraising                                                   communicated, and coordinated. While many of the
     •	 The absence of a budget for greening can force a degree          recommendations are difficult, given the realities that are an
         of inventiveness and partnership creation that is essential     immutable fact of life when organizing a convention of this size
         for success; however, some start-up funds within the            and political nature, they are important to consider.
         Convention planning budget would be beneficial. There is
         no guarantee that future convention host committees will
         enjoy the same community donor generosity that Denver
     •	 The Host Committee strategy of offering corporate
         sponsors the “bonus” opportunity to add more funds to
         their original commitment to support green activities does
         not work. When it does work, it is very time consuming.
     •	 Convention planners should consider creating a pre-
         established set of criteria for all “green” sponsors who then
         set aside a certain percentage of their contribution to help
         with greening.

12     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
The Denver 2008 Convention Planning Committee                      SUMMARY
recognized that the ultimate success of the local greening         Fundraising
efforts depended on choices made as an organization and            In all fundraising and sponsor-related activities and events,
as individuals throughout the planning process. The Host           the importance of using environmentally friendly materials,
Committee recognized that the integrity of systematic              employing green practices, and promoting paperless
greening started with “walking the walk” everyday. From Host       communication was emphasized. To the greatest possible
office practices to integrating greening into fundraising and      extent, electronic communication was utilized from monthly
volunteer operations, efforts were made to be more sustainable     sponsor newsletters to news releases and media updates.
at every level. In November, the Brendle Group – a Fort            When sponsorship packets needed to be printed, for example,
Collins, Colorado-based woman-owned engineering firm –             they were printed on recycled paper. In addition, the green
organized a short sustainability training workshop for Host        message was carried to sponsors, and their commitment
Committee staff and followed up in March with a Sustainability     to the environment was encouraged as they participated in
Management Plan for office operations. The planning and            Convention activities and sponsorship programs.
implementation activities were factored into the final carbon
footprint of the local Host Committee. After the Convention,       Some specific examples of green sponsorship programs
when the footprint calculation was final, the Host Committee       included hotel key cards, hotel information booth signage,
elected to donate $98,000 to the Colorado Carbon Fund to           street banners, and media and delegate welcome bags. Multiple
offset all of the Host Committee carbon emissions.                 greening approaches were implemented from recycling to
                                                                   repurposing. The wooden hotel key card program, used by
GOALS                                                              participating area hotels, was one of the most innovative
In order to achieve the goal of creating the greenest              green sponsorship programs in Host Committee planning.
Convention to date, the Host Committee committed to “green         (See for more detailed information.)
as we go.” The following statement was posted on the Web site:     Whenever possible host hotels used light-projected signs called
                                                                   “gobos,” and when not feasible, information booth signage was
At every feasible opportunity, we will conserve energy             made from recycled wood/paper products. The 20,000 media
and natural resources, avoid waste and prevent pollution.          and delegate welcome bags were made from recycled plastic
When possible, we will mitigate the negative environmental         bottles and 85 percent of the paper products included in the
consequences of our actions. We will promote these values in the   bags were made from recycled paper/wood products from
way we conduct business and in the messages we send to our         mixed sources of well-managed forests and other controlled
partners and the public.                                           sources. Convention street banners were repurposed into
                                                                   thank you tote bags for sponsors and other Convention

                                                                     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 13
                                                                                  Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee (cont.)
     Sustainability Management Plan
     The Brendle Group, Inc., a small woman-owned business in
     Fort Collins, generously donated a Sustainability Management
     Plan (SMP) in March 2008. Engineers from Brendle met with
     and interviewed Host Committee staff and developed a plan
     that provided strategies for reducing the environmental impact
     in the Host Committee offices. The strategies were customized
     to actual, everyday practices of office staff. Suggestions included
     retrofitting fixtures and lighting in the office space, making sure
     recycling bins were placed next to every trash can and creating
     signage to remind staff to make green choices.

     A Greening Initiative summer intern took on the task of
     implementing the SMP to the greatest possible extent. Many
     practices were put in place such as the following:

     •	     Lighting upgrades
     •	     Appliance power management systems
     •	     Water saving fixture in kitchen
     •	     Utilizing reusable serviceware
     •	     Re-using once-used paper
     •	     Recycling
     •	     Composting at the volunteer headquarters
     •	     Purchasing of green office supplies
     •	     Green commuting practices, including the use of four
            donated office bicycles
     •	     Green components for all orientation of new staff
     •	     Strategically placed signage encouraging green behaviors
     •	     Weekly electronic updates and reminders about office
            greening practices

     •	 Eighty hotels participated in the sustainable cards
     •	 The 20,000 media and delegate welcome bags were made
        from recycled bottles and contained reusable water bottles
        as well as pedometers.
     •	 Energy efficient lighting was donated and installed in the
        Host Committee Office through a donation by another
        Fort Collins business, Energy Solutions Unlimited, which
        then used publicly available Xcel rebates to help them
        defray the hard costs of the fixtures.
     •	 Nearly 900 RTD passes were donated for use by Host
        Committee staff and interns in order to provide a
        sustainable transportation option.
     •	 Staff avoided car trips by riding bicycles approximately 422

14        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
          Greening the Democratic National Convention
Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee (cont.)
LEGACY                                                              LESSONS LEARNED
•	 Lighting retrofits will remain in the former Host                •	 Secure green office space with water and energy efficient
   Committee office spaces, providing energy efficient lights          fixtures, central location close to public transit, and other
   for the next tenants.                                               green anmenities.
                                                                    •	 Optimal timing of staff training and the creation of a
STRENGTHS                                                              sustainability implementation system for the office should
•	 Generous donations by the Brendle Group (SMP) and                   occur at least one year before the Convention.
   Energy Solutions Limited (lighting upgrade).                     •	 Put green practices in place as soon as organization has
•	 Staff was enthusiastic about implementing greening                  core staff in place and train new staff members as they
   practices.                                                          arrive.
•	 Dedicated intern present in Host Committee offices helped        •	 Designate a “green guru” to be on hand to support green
   implement greening practices and encourage other staff              actions by Host Committee staff, help answer questions,
   and interns.                                                        and remind staff about green options. This is especially
                                                                       important if a future greening initiative is going to be
CHALLENGES                                                             located in separate offices from the Host Committee.
•	 While all sponsors supported the green philosophy, the           •	 Make greening as easy as possible for staff working in a
   cost of green products and practices was often higher and,          fast-paced and high-stress atmosphere.
   for some companies, prohibitive.                                 •	 Loaner in-office bicycles for staff and volunteers to use for
•	 While an intern was in place in the Host Committee offices          commuting, errands, and getting around town during the
   for the final months, a full time professional level staff          Convention itself are an efficient, inexpensive, healthy, and
   member dedicated earlier to Host Committee organizing               effective alternative to cars.
   activities, not community or legacy benefits, could have         •	 Gift Bags
   been better support for Host Committee staff.                        •	 Sponsors’ inserts, if inserts are in fact required,
•	 The short timeline made some green options, such as                      should be asked to meet a minimum standard of
   building improvements, unfeasible.                                       environmental performance. For example, they
                                                                            should be manufactured responsibly, have practical
                                                                            utility or educational value and/or be reusable – no
 Overall Greening Performance
                                                                            single-use anything, no flyers etc.
 A key mission of the Host Committee’s activities was to edu-           •	 Higher quality, more meaningful giveaways ultimately
 cate and/or inspire attendees to live greener lives. The Host              reflect well upon both sponsors and the Convention.
 Committee’s online survey, completed by approximately 2/3
 Democratic National Convention or Host Committee volun-
 teers or staff, found that over 1/3 were inspired or educated to
 add new “green” activities to their lifestyles and 9 of 10 were
 making a deeper green commitment by either adding new
 green activities or accelerating existing ones. Of the people
 intercepted and surveyed in Downtown Denver, nearly 2/3
 reported having conversations with people about greening
           Source: Constant Comment and Intercept surveys

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 15
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
     Colorado’s sustainable business advocates seized the               Greener Denver Business Program, housed in the City and
     opportunity of the Democratic National Convention to               County of Denver’s Office of Economic Development (OED),
     encourage and highlight green business practices in the sectors    will serve as the legacy for the Business Team, carrying
     most impacted: hotels, restaurants, event planners, catering,      forward many of the initiatives the Team put in place for the
     venue management, transportation fleets, printers, and small       Convention.
     local businesses. The Business Team consisted of a broad array
     of green business volunteers from the private, government,         Requests for Proposals
     and non-profit sectors. The Team’s goals were to increase the      Business Team members advised the greening staff on standard
     demand for green products and services, to reduce the impact       green language that added environmental factors into the
     of the Convention by improving the environmental choices           selection criteria for vendors.
     of guests who were using businesses and services while in
     town, and to assist and highlight businesses in permanently       Sample RFP
     increasing the sustainability of their operations. The effort was
     designed to have long-term environmental, social, and business Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
     benefits in the Denver area.                                      Merchandising Vendor
                                                                       Request for Proposal
     •	 Promote environmentally preferable purchasing by              Award will be made on an “all or none” basis; however the
        inserting procurement language into Convention-related        Host Committee reserves the right to accept portions of the
        RFPs.                                                         proposal or the entire proposal. The criteria to be used for the
     •	 Help local green companies highlight their sustainable        proposal evaluation include but are not limited to:
        practices and attract business through the Denver 2008
        Convention Host Committee Vendor Directory.                   a. How products and/or services provided minimize resource
     •	 Hold greening workshops that assist local businesses in       consumption and negative impacts on the environment.
        incorporating sustainability into daily operations.
     •	 Show the economic, social, and environmental benefits of      Language to encourage green business practices was included
        “going green”                                                 in all relevant Host Committee RFPs from merchandise and
     •	 Promote local business and public sector organizations        service providers. Green Business Task Team members then
        that have applied sustainability principles.                  proactively circulated the final RFPs to sustainable business
     •	 Create a legacy that will support sustainable business        networks and encouraged green businesses to respond.
        practices after the Convention.
                                                                      Unfortunately, with the pace of operations continually
     SUMMARY                                                          accelerating, there was not sufficient time for the Greening
     Projects for greening the business aspects of the Convention     Initiative to systematically quantify the effect of this strategy.
     began one year before Convention week with the insertion         However, prior greening experience and willingness to support
     of green language into Requests for Proposals for vendors.       the greening goals of the Host Committee were included
     The Business team was able to take advantage of the fact that    in the factors discussed and emphasized in the selection of
     the Denver Host Committee was offering for the first time        the insurance company, the media party caterer, and the
     an online, web-enabled business directory for Convention         merchandising company.
     attendees. The team developed a two-level sustainability self-
     certification system and then worked with Host Committee
     staff to add the designation in the directory alongside the
     traditional designations of small women and minority operated
     businesses. Green businesses were given placards to display
     in their storefront or on Web sites. During the winter, the
     Team helped to organize six peer-to-peer workshops for
     more than 550 interested businesses. On the Sunday before
     the Convention a Green Frontier Fest set the green tone of
     the Convention with exhibits by local green businesses. The

16     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Business (cont.)
Vendor Directory
To ensure that businesses in Colorado and the West were           Host Committee Green Business Criteria
easily found by Democratic National Convention organizers
and participants, an online Vendor Directory was created           Basic Level (1 leaf)
and posted by the Host Committee. With the leadership              A business interested in making a commitment to join the
and support of the Business Team, a green designation was          path to sustainability or a business already incorporating
added using a web-enabled self-certification process that          sustainability practices without verification. You must commit
was designed by the Team. The self-certification was based         to or be currently incorporating at least 4 of the 7 categories
on an honor system as there were no resources for follow-          below into your business.
up inspections. Users conducted searches by categories
including “green” in any of 20 industry sectors. One green leaf    Advanced Level (2 leaves)
designation showed a business’ commitment to sustainability.       A business with a documented track record of sustainable
Two leaves meant the company had been verified by a third          practices for at least one year, making continuous
party as using advanced green practices. (Stars meant women-       improvement each year, and has been recognized by a 3rd
owned or minority-owned business.)                                 party for efforts in at least 4 of the 7 categories below.

Businesses in the Vendor Directory have been invited to            Can choose between Basic Level or Advanced Level of the
participate in Denver’s Office of Economic Development’s           seven categories below that apply to your business.
legacy program, Greener Denver.
                                                                   1.    Leadership: Our business complies with and strives to
Host Committee media releases promoted the Vendor                        exceed compliance with all applicable regulations. We
Directory multiple times. Unfortunately, no documentation                share our practices with others and support stakeholders
is available about the number of Democratic National                     which are committed to sustainability.
Convention participants who knew about the Directory,              2.    Save Energy: Our business conserves energy, obtains some
number of green business searches done, or the number of                 of its electricity from a renewable resource, and/or uses
businesses that benefited by having their name listed in the             energy efficiently in lighting, heating, cooling, travel and
Directory.                                                               equipment use.
                                                                   3.    Save Water: Our business avoids wasting water by using
                                                                         it efficiently, and preserves water quality by significantly
                                                                         reducing discharges to water sources.
                                                                   4.    Avoid Waste and Pollution: Our business develops
                                                                         and implements comprehensive practices that prevent
                                                                         pollution and waste of materials and natural resources.
                                                                   5.    Community Involvement: Our business is locally owned
                                                                         and/or is substantially involved in our local community,
                                                                         providing financial support and utilizing local materials
                                                                         and services.
                                                                   6.    Working conditions: Our business exceeds requirements
                                                                         for livable wages and benefits, safe and healthy workplace,
                                                                         and other benefits such as health care -- for our employees
                                                                         and/or throughout our supply chain.
                                                                   7.    Education: Our business educates our stakeholders
                                                                         about our sustainability practices and involves them
                                                                         in minimizing the life-cycle social and environmental
                                                                         impacts of our products and services.

                                                                   Third Party Verification is Required for Advanced Level only.

                                                                        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 17
                                                                                     Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Business (cont.)
     Green Business Training                                             businesses with advanced level sustainability certification
     Convention-related green business workshops offered one-day         were interviewed. The goal was to identify specific green
     trainings designed to educate industry owners and managers          initiatives taken, motivations, level of success or effect and
     about short and long term programs they could put in place to       recommendations for others.
     reduce their impacts on the environment and reduce operating
     costs.                                                              Due to Web site development capacity, timing, and strategic
                                                                         considerations, the Greening Initiative was not able to post
     Six workshops for more than 550 attendees offered examples          these case studies on the Host Committee Web site.
     of how to infuse social and environmental responsibility into
     business practices as well as where to find expertise, materials,   Green Frontier Fest
     and resources. Participants left each workshop with an action       Early discussions about a business expo during the Democratic
     plan outline and information on how to be included as a green       National Convention envisioned 3-10 booths throughout
     company in the online Vendor Directory for the Democratic           downtown Denver for businesses to showcase sustainability
     National Convention and beyond.                                     technologies and products to the public. That idea did not
                                                                         take form because of complications with permitting, as well as
     Partners included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency          conflicting and intense demands on downtown space. Instead,
     (EPA), Tetra Tech, the City and County of Denver, Greenprint        the Greening Initiative hosted the Green Frontier Fest, a day
     Denver, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Colorado             long event at the Sculpture Park near the Denver Center for
     Environmental Leadership Program, and the Denver 2008 Host          the Performing Arts which featured 100 green business booths.
     Committee’s Greening Committee. The keys to success were            (Read more about the Green Frontier Fest in the Energy
     active partnerships with the business trade associations as well    section.)
     as reliance on a peer-to-peer learning model.
     The EPA funded and loaned staff support to the Greening             •	 Language to encourage green business practices was
     Initiative and Business Team for the workshops for restaurants         included in all relevant Host Committee RFPs from
     (in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association),             merchandise and service providers.
     hotels (with the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association)            •	 Four hundred and twenty-eight businesses self-registered
     and event planners, caterers, and venue managers (with VISIT           on the Convention Vendor Directory as working in at least
     DENVER). The EPA provided certificates to companies that               four out of seven sustainability arenas.
     attended a workshop and completed an action plan. Workshop          •	 Fifty businesses registered as advanced green businesses
     attendees were specifically encouraged to sign up for the              with documented successes and third party verification.
     Convention’s Vendor Directory and instructed how to, if             •	 Sixteen percent of the local Democratic National
     qualified, self-certify as green.                                      Convention Vendor Directory participants were green
     Custom trainings gave industry-specific suggestions. The green      •	 Six green business workshops were held for seven
     printers’ workshop was co-hosted by the Printers and Imaging           sectors: hotels, restaurants, caterers, event planners,
     Association of Mountain States. Two small business workshops           venue managers, printers, and small businesses. Over 550
     were held, co-hosted by the Colorado Women’s Chamber                   participants attended these workshops.
     of Commerce, Xcel Energy, and the Downtown Denver                   •	 Almost 100 action plans were completed and EPA
     Partnership. The City and County of Denver’s Environmental             certificates awarded.
     Health staff offered short, on-site training sessions to            •	 The creation of three peer groups that met in advance of
     Convention transportation fleets.                                      the Convention to exchange information about greening
                                                                            operations were facilitated: facility managers, event
     Case Studies                                                           planners and caterers.
     The Business Team planned to develop a bank of approximately        •	 A “green fleet road show” offered tips and reminders about
     50 case studies to offer to journalists and bloggers to publicize      idling and carbon-friendly driving practices onsite to at
     inspiring stories of Convention businesses that made the               least ten taxi and shuttle companies.
     commitment to go green.                                             •	 Twenty advanced green business interviews were
                                                                            conducted and case studies were developed.
     A template for a green business profile was created. Twenty

18     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Business (cont.)
LEGACY                                                            CHALLENGES
•	 Greener Denver Business Program (www.                          •	 Starting in the middle of the summer, as politics heated The City and County of Denver’s            up and the excitement of the candidate selection process
   Office of Economic Development has adopted the green              occupied center stage, opportunities to aggressively
   business Democratic National Convention efforts with its          communicate directly and indirectly with businesses were
   new Greener Denver Business Program. Reaching out to              limited.
   businesses in the Vendor Directory, it is already signing up   •	 More time was needed to follow up with businesses who
   businesses which wish to reduce their energy needs. The           had taken the trainings to make sure they completed
   program will provide support, training, and recognition of        action plans, submitted names to the Vendor Directory,
   companies’ efforts and “Strategic Industries Networks.”           and implemented their action plans.
•	 Peer Groups                                                    •	 Staff and financial resources for the Host Committee Web
     1. Since first meeting in April 2008, large venue               site and therefore the Vendor Directory was limited.
         operators have been continuing to meet even after
         the Convention to learn from each other about
         improvements in environmental management
         practices. This group, with staff support from EPA
         Region 8, includes representatives from the Pepsi
         Center, Invesco Field, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park,
         Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Coors Field, and the
         Colorado Convention Center.
     2. With the leadership of champions from within the
         local convention and event planning sector, the
         events peer group is evolving into a local chapter of
         the Green Meeting Industry Council.

•	 Collaboration with Communication Team and larger
   Host Committee Business Outreach Team expanded the
   impact by providing additional skill sets and networking
•	 Many Denver area businesses were already “on the path
   to sustainability” which enabled an effective peer to peer
   learning model.
•	 Abundant public and private support from interested
   businesses exists in Colorado.
•	 Local and national media were interested in stories about
   green businesses during the Convention planning period.
•	 EPA Region 8 staff leadership and funding for technical
   support by a highly regarded environmental consulting
   firm enabled the success of the workshops.

                                                                    Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 19
                                                                                 Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Business (cont.)
     •	 The Business Team was well served by having a variety
        of community leaders from green business consultants,
        non-profit business associations, and related government
        programs. Strong local sustainable advocacy organizations
        will have an important role in a greening effort’s success.
     •	 Greening language needs to be placed into RFPs beginning
        the day that a host city wins the bid — or earlier. This
        is a challenging task. Specific green criteria should be
        spelled out at the first opportunity. Follow up monitoring
        of selection and performance of green vendors needs to
        be built in at the very beginning of the process and will
        require additional staff attention.
     •	 A Vendor Directory that is searchable, links to green
        details, and is actively marketed to Convention decision-
        makers best serves sustainable businesses.
     •	 Online specialized directories are growing in popularity.
        Future green vendor directories could be developed in
        coordination with an existing resource directory.
     •	 The green business workshops were extremely valuable.
        Important attributes included: profiling peer businesses,
        working closely with industry associations to draw
        participants and keep the follow up networks (peer
        groups) active. Include space for exhibitors of relevant
        green products and services. It is easy to find co-sponsors.
        Recommended changes include: initiating the workshops
        a year earlier to have time for businesses to make
        improvements and then benefit from any exposure to their
        greener practices and to follow-up with businesses after
        the Convention to determine which items in their action
        plans were implemented. This follow-up would enable
        quantifiable data to be collected.
     •	 Place more emphasis on case studies of green business
        improvements. They are valuable tools for other
        businesses, the media, and customers.
     •	 Self certification based on an honor system worked but
        with additional time to plan, the next step in the evolution
        of the concept should incorporate more accountability
        such as follow through site visits. Work is needed to more
        quantifiably and objectively determine which businesses
        qualify to be labeled “green” in the Vendor Directory.
     •	 Educational materials from action plans to short lists of
        best practices – should be readily available and should be
        shared with multiple audiences.
     •	 Have all materials and activities completed at least three
        months before the Convention so the Team can focus on
        promotion of the green businesses during the Convention.

20     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Business (cont.)
 Hotel Green Practices Metrics
  All Greening Initiative teams were concerned about how best to quantify the greening of the Convention. However, staff
  and time limitations prevented the design and implementation of a coherent measurement system. With the exception of the
  Carbon Footprint, most of the documentation of greening is based on anecdotes or limited snapshots of particular activities.

  For example, summer college interns conducted a survey of Convention hotels during summer 2008, about six months after
  the workshop. While a causal relationship could not be claimed, the picture revealed will be helpful to future sector initia-
  tives in Denver. Interns collected data from 42 out of 97 hotels.

  The hotels reported varying levels of commitment to greening:
  • All the responding hotels encouraged electronic communication rather than paper, with 11 either currently using or
      about to institute paperless check-in and check-out systems.
  • Thirty-five (83 percent) of the hotels were either using the Denver ProjectPlanet or a corporate water conservation
  • Thirty-two (76 percent) were interested in learning more about upcoming peer groups in the Greener Denver Program in
      the Office of Economic Development.
  • Twenty-seven (64 percent) had recycling programs in place, five hotels did composting, and two additional hotels are
      planning to launch composting programs.
  • Twenty-five (60 percent) had partially converted to compact fluorescent bulbs or other new technologies. Two of the
      hotels subscribed to Xcel’s Windsource program, with two more considering a renewable energy program in the near
  • Twenty (48 percent) offered discounted or free mass transit passes to employees and two of the hotels offered bike shar-
      ing programs for guests.
  • Fifteen (36 percent) of the hotels used environmental preference criteria in contracts and negotiations with outside
      vendors. Three of those were based on corporate level requirements. Two additional hotels were planning on adding
      environmental criteria in the future.
  • The other surveys went to the general public. One was an intercept survey on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the other an
      internet survey. Combined, the two showed that about half of survey respondents staying in hotels participated in water
      conservation measures such as not requiring daily linen/towel changes. More than two-thirds turned down lights or air
      conditioning when away from their room.

                                           Denver DNC Hotel Green Practices

                                                                                 Gree n Procurement

                                                           48%                   Alternative
                                            5%                                   Wind Electricity
                                 1                               60%
                                                                                 Efficient Lighting
                                                                                 Recycling Programs
                                                                                 Water C onservation
                                  0%               50%               100%

                                                                     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 21
                                                                                  Greening the Democratic National Convention
 City Facilities
     Denver had already committed to a five year plan to implement      Arts Complex, Red Rocks, Public Works facilities, City office
     a citywide ISO 14001 Environmental Management System               buildings, and Environmental Health complexes, including the
     (EMS) in advance of the Denver 2008 Democratic National            animal shelter.
     Convention,. After Denver was named the 2008 Convention
     host city in January 2007, those efforts were expedited for        The EMS covers categories such as vehicle fueling and
     Convention-impacted facilities managed by the Theatres and         maintenance, use of building cleaning products, construction
     Arenas Division within the Department of General Services.         of new buildings, maintenance of existing buildings, solid waste
     The City’s ongoing work to green its facilities, led by both       management in the City, routine office operations, travel, and
     City staff and private contractors, contributed to a greener       purchasing. Those categories are further broken down, so that,
     Convention. The Colorado Convention Center, the Denver             for instance, routine office operations includes electronic office
     Performing Arts Complex, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre were           equipment, office supplies, cooling, heat, light, and water for
     facilities included in this effort. Those facilities now have      office space and janitorial services.
     visible recycling programs in place, as well as use of compact
     fluorescents (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) lights and       As part of their efforts, the City Facilities Team also increased
     “back-of-house” (i.e. facility kitchen) composting and low-flow    the documentation of their “green” work to date. This primarily
     plumbing fixtures. All facilities are well-positioned to further   involved producing a number of brochures and documents that
     their commitment to green activities in the future.                highlight the key activities that have already been implemented.

     GOALS                                                              All of these facilities are now among the first in the country to
     •	 Implement an Environmental Management System at the             have an EMS in place. The Denver Performing Arts Complex
        Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts          is now the first performing arts facility in the United States to
        Complex, and Red Rocks                                          have an EMS, and the Convention Center is one of the first in
     •	 Implement, document, and measure identified waste,              the country. These facilities, and other major City facilities,
        energy, transportation, and water projects                      were third-party certified to the ISO 14001 international EMS
                                                                        standards on November 21, 2008.1
     By June 2007, the City Facilities Team, an internal team
     managed by the EMS program within the Division of
     Environmental Quality in the Department of Environmental
     Health, began by scoping out what initiatives could be
     undertaken in order to make City facilities more sustainable.
     Most of the Team’s focus was on the Denver Performing Arts
     Complex, the site of many events hosted by the City, as well
     as Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which hosted the Green Rocks
     concert on August 24.

     Environmental Management System
     The Department of Environmental Health led the ongoing
     development of the EMS for the Convention-related
     facilities. This involved meeting with numerous facility staff,
     reviewing their operations, identifying ideal environmental
     practices, planning their environmental improvements, and
     communicating the purpose of the work. Much of this work
     built upon the greening work already underway at the facilities
     while establishing future directions for those operations.
                                                                        1 International standards for an EMS are the ISO14001 series, first developed in
     Completed just prior to the Convention, an EMS now guides          1996 and updated in 2004. For more information about the merits of govern-
                                                                        ment operations benefiting from an EMS, see the US EPA Web site “Implement-
     environmental operations at major City facilities. This includes   ing ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems at the Municipal Level” at
     operations at the Convention Center, the Denver Performing

22     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
City Facilities (cont.)
Colorado Convention Center                                        Sample EMS
Less than one year before the Convention, the management
company of the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) hired             An EMS is defined as a set of processes and practices that enable
the country’s first major Convention Center Sustainability        an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its
Program Administrator. This individual acted as the connector     operating efficiency. The EMS uses the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” model
between the City’s internal work and the procedural changes       as a framework:
requested by the Democratic National Convention Committee         •     Plan — plan the activities, including identifying key environmen-
(DNCC), who rented the facility during the Convention.                  tal issues and establishing goals
Therefore, the CCC was greened from several directions as a       •     Do — implement the work, including conducting training, and
                                                                        applying operational controls
result of the Convention.
                                                                  •     Check — verify implementation of the plans, including monitor-
                                                                        ing and applying corrective actions
The Colorado Convention Center is a showpiece of the City’s       •     Act — conduct progress reviews and make needed changes to the
greening. Convention-goers saw a building with dramatically             system.
increased greening activities in 2008. Most visible were:         •     This model is circular so that acting leads once again to planning,
•	 Vendors using china instead of disposables and, when that            thus repeating the circuit.
    was not feasible, compostable products instead of plastic
•	 Xeriscaping around the Blue Bear, an art installation          The fundamental advantage of an EMS is that it requires the organiza-
    outside of the Center                                         tion to assess its impacts, select the most significant ones, and act to
                                                                  continuously reduce the impacts through a coherent management sys-
•	 Toilets and urinals retrofitted to low-flow fixtures
                                                                  tem. Most organizations identify energy, water, toxic substances, and
•	 Free hybrid parking spaces located in the parking garage       waste as significant impacts – meaning that their EMS consistently
•	 Energy efficient lighting fixtures and management              stimulates cost-saving efficiencies.2
                                                                  2 See the many publications that document savings from EMS systems, includ-
                                                                  ing the Clean Texas program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Qual-
Many of the changes, however, are behind the scenes.              ity, “ EMS: A Better Bottom Line for Local Government.”
Improvements such as kitchen composting, lights set at
just 50 percent of brightness (or less) until an hour before
events begin, escalators timed to each event schedule so that
they don’t run all the time, and 99 percent biodegradable,
biorenewable, Green Seal-certified cleaning products aren’t as    Convention Center – Water Fixture Improvements
visible but are just as important.                                Sometimes the effect of the Host Committee’s greening ef-
                                                                  forts was long-term, or “legacy,” instead of short-term and
During the week of the Convention alone, composting at the        measurable. The City of Denver’s investment in 310 low-
Convention Center resulted in the diversion of 26 tons of         flow toilets and urinals for the Convention Center, which
kitchen compostables to A1 Organics instead of to a landfill.     hosted both Democratic National Convention and Host Com-
The total waste diversion rate at the CCC for Convention-         mittee activities, will reduce water consumption per use by
related events exceeded 85 percent.                               57-86 percent for its approximately 1 million annual visitors.
                                                                  These 310 toilets and urinals saved 1.6 million gallons in the
In addition, a program to reduce idling at the Colorado           six months following the installation. Toilets and urinals both
Convention Center was implemented, with its results to be         had used 3.5 gallons per flush. Now the toilets use 1.5 gallons
replicated at other venues. Signs were installed urging trucks,   per flush and the urinals use 0.5 gallons per flush.
cabs, and buses to keep idling time to a minimum.                 Source: Denver Water Department

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 23
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
 City Facilities (cont.)
     Other Facilities                                                •	   The private contractor that manages the Colorado
     Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts                   Convention Center hired a full-time Sustainability
     Complex (DPAC), and other City facilities also featured              Coordinator in 2007 to implement environmental
     sustainability improvements.                                         practices.
                                                                     •	   Staff at all City venues have a long standing commitment
     Samples include the following:                                       to environmental and energy improvements.
     •	 Permanent, public recycling bins were installed at the       •	   Visibility was given to the venues’ greening efforts due to
        Denver Performing Arts Complex                                    the large number of people using the facilities during the
     •	 A composting program was implemented at Red Rocks in              Convention.
        May of 2008
                                                                     •	 The DNCC, as the Convention Center’s client, had ultimate
                                                                        control over the venue during Convention week. In that
     LEGACY                                                             respect, the greening efforts of the City and the DNCC
     •	 City utility savings and ongoing reduction of carbon,           were somewhat separate, although they were moving in the
        waste, and other environmental and social impacts are           same direction.
        substantial.                                                 •	 Limited City budget for making facility improvements
     •	 The Environmental Management System processes will              prior to the Convention.
        last long beyond the Convention, as will the physical
        improvements brought about through the EMS planning
        process. Based on the strong track record of EMS’ cost-
        effectiveness, the systems can be expected to continuously
        save money for the City and future conventions.
     •	 The green performance of the Colorado Convention
        Center has already been incorporated into Convention
        Center documents, which are being used in marketing
        efforts to attract convention planners. CCC facility
        planners are also looking into Leadership in Energy
        and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the
     •	 CCC’s food and beverage provider is investigating options
        for providing more local and organic options on the
        Center’s menus.
     •	 The largest solar array in downtown Denver, initiated in
        preparation for the Convention but delayed for contractual
        reasons, is now operational.

     •	 Denver Performing Arts Complex, Red Rocks
        Amphitheatre, and Convention Center staff were already
        considering a variety of environmental and energy
        improvements at their facilities.
     •	 The Convention provided an extra incentive to have an
        EMS for the Theatres and Arenas facilities up and running
        sooner than anticipated.
     •	 Idling initiatives were already in place due to concerns
        from the Emily Griffith Opportunity School across
        the street. These initiatives were accelerated for the

24     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
City Facilities (cont.)
•	 Take advantage of the natural symbiotic relationship
   between host city internal environmental programs
   and the commitment to green a major convention. The
   convention can accelerate and generate public awareness
   of city programs. City staff can help in turn to green the
   convention by being a compatible partner for convention
•	 Use special events to pilot new green initiatives. The
   Convention Center started a composting project in the
   kitchens for the Convention and has continued that
•	 Go for the actions that give the biggest bang for the
   buck. For instance, if the light bulbs haven’t already been
   converted to CFLs, this is an easy energy fix. In Denver’s
   case, water is a critical resource. The Convention Center,
   thanks to the leadership and resources of the Denver
   Water Department and community volunteers, was able to
   make some changes that brought substantial water savings
   through plumbing retrofits and new landscaping.
•	 Communicate the competitive advantage of being green
   at every step. Partner with your local Convention and
   Visitors Bureau to help spread the message.

•	 Environmental Protection Agency:
•	 Denver Department of Environmental Health: www.
•	 “Going green for the DNC,” By Susan Thornton, The
   Denver Post, Jan. 16, 2008 www.denverconvention2008.

                                                                 Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 25
                                                                              Greening the Democratic National Convention
     Denver Convention organizers learned at the outset from                 By virtue of being organizationally situated both within the
     staff in previous host cities, that the Democratic National             Host Committee and the Mayor’s Office, the Greening Initiative
     Convention is actually “a Convention of 1,000 conventions.” In          was able to identify all Host Committee sponsored events
     addition to the main event in the arena, the City could expect          and any event or assembly scheduled to occur in a city park
     hundreds of satellite events to occur for delegations, caucuses,        or facility. The Greening Initiative worked closely with the
     think tanks, forums, lectures, sponsors, lobbyists, special             Resource Recovery Team, the Office of Cultural Affairs, Denver
     interests, etc. Knowing this would be the case, but not knowing         Parks and Recreation, Denver Public Works, and the Host
     any particulars, the Events Team researched and compiled                Committee Events, Fundraising, and Communication teams.
     green event practices and then pursued two converging paths.
     The adoption of green practices was promoted by the events              The Team placed events into three tiers. The first tier was
     planning and hosting business sector in Denver and a strategy           comprised of events with which the Host Committee had
     was developed to work with the actual Convention event hosts            a direct contractual relationship or line of authority. The
     themselves. The Events Team was unique in the sense that                second tier included events the team could influence, but over
     there was a great amount of overlap with other teams, primarily         which they had no control. The third tier included events
     the Resource Recovery, Water, and Lean ‘N Green teams.                  with which the team was familiar, but to which they had no
                                                                             connection. The tier that an event was assigned to determined
      Tradeshow Waste                                                        the level of involvement in that event. The team was able to
      2007 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report                      work closely with Tier One events. Greening options were
      identified tradeshows and conventions as being the second              promoted to Tier Two events and support was actively offered.
      most wasteful industry (behind construction) in the United             Information was provided to the third tier, but the Events
      States.3                                                               Team had limited leverage over their responses. Many of the
                                                                             events that were placed into tiers were found through the
      3 “Sustainable Showfloor: How Green Are We?” by Lisa Plummer, Trade-   City’s permitting process. In order to host any event in a city
      show Week, December 10, 2007
                                                                             space such as a park, organizers must apply for a permit. The
                                                                             permitting process, as part of city business, is public record. By
     GOALS                                                                   accessing these lists, the Team was able to directly contact event
     •	 To research and promote environmentally responsible                  organizers in order to provide them with information about
        practices in the arenas of resource recovery, supply chain           greening their events.
        management, food, water, energy, and transportation in all
        1,000 events throughout Denver:                                      One of the first actions taken in the Host Committee event
           1. Directly, by working with convention event                     planning process was to issue RFPs for services. By working
               planners                                                      with the Host Committee Event Director, the Greening staff
           2. Indirectly, by disseminating best practices                    was able to insert language into the RFPs that indicated that
               throughout the local community                                environmentally friendly practices would strengthen vendor
                                                                             proposals. This helped to insure that chosen vendors would
     SUMMARY                                                                 incorporate sustainable practices. The staff also worked with
     The first phase of work was to research and document best               the Host Committee Communication Director to include a
     event planning environmental practices and to distribute the            section in the monthly sponsor newsletters encouraging those
     information locally through a Web site, a workshop, and an              hosting events to be green.
     events planner peer group. Partnering with and outreach to
     actual event hosts proved to be more difficult. As planning
     progressed, it became clear that details about most events,
     what they were, who was hosting them, and where and when,
     would not be known until mid-summer before the event and
     even then was considered to be proprietary information. In
     many cases, events occurred entirely apart from Convention
     organizing activities. This lack of information was the most
     significant barrier. The goals were adjusted correspondingly
     and a targeted strategy was pursued to reach approximately 24

26     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Events (cont.)
Following the Convention, a Mayor’s Office intern called event      Elitch’s Media Party
planners in Tiers One and Two to survey them about the              The largest and highest profile event organized by the Denver
greening practices they put in place during the Convention.         2008 Host Committee was the Media Welcoming Party which
During these calls, any metrics that were collected during          launched the week’s activities on Saturday night at a Denver
the Convention were recorded. In the end, information was           amusement park, Elitch Gardens. 9,800 people attended the
collected from 24 events. Some of that information is included      Saturday evening event. Starting very early in the process, the
in the results section.                                             greening staff and the Events Team leader worked closely with
                                                                    the entire event planning team, extremely supportive staff from
Throughout their planning, the Events Team found the                Elitch Gardens, the caterers, and the Media Party planners to
work overlapping with other teams. The Events Team led the          integrate sustainability into all aspects of the event.
Greening Events workshop with support from the Business
Outreach Team. The Water Team provided great assistance in          ZeroHero Events, a Fort Collins, CO company, set up 80
the efforts to provide drinking water and filling stations. The     waste-recovery stations for attendees and “back of the house”
Events Team used the guidance of the Lean ‘N Green Team             composting stations for caterers. The event’s waste-recovery
for recommended menu items. The most significant overlap            stations were heavily staffed by volunteers. Denver Water’s
was with the Resource Recovery Team. During summer 2008,            chilled water truck was on hand to fill cups and water bottles.
the work became so intertwined that Events and Resource             The caterer worked with planners to integrate healthy and
Recovery combined.                                                  local foods into the menu items and to provide compostable
                                                                    serviceware. Xcel Energy donated wind credits to offset all of
Green Events Workshop                                               the electricity used by Elitch’s during the Media Party. Guests
In April 2008, the Events Team hosted a Greening Events             and volunteers from the Denver area were encouraged to walk
Workshop at the Colorado Convention Center. The Workshop            if possible, to use the transit option provided, or to carpool
was hosted in partnership with EPA Region 8, VISIT                  using a special convention-tailored, web-based program
DENVER, and the Business Outreach Team. Green Convene               created by the RideArrangers Program of the Denver Regional
Strategies, a local meeting planning company, donated the           Council of Governments. Elitch’s cooking oil waste was picked
meeting planning support. The day-long training brought             up by Rocky Mountain Sustainable Enterprise in Boulder,
together more than 150 event planners, venue managers, and          CO and recycled into bio-diesel for reuse. 70-90% of the
caterers to discuss sustainable best practices and available        ingredients in the items offered by the caterer were bought
resources. A Resource Center was provided on-site to connect        locally and fresh. Guests were educated about greening efforts
attendees with organizations that offer technical assistance        on the back of their Media Party badge and largely through
in areas such as water conservation, waste hauling, and             communication with volunteers at waste stations.
sustainable products. The Workshop was organized around a
peer to peer learning approach and featured case studies and        The event earned media notice for its sustainability efforts.
facilitated sessions. The sessions focused on action plans that     At Elitch Gardens, according to the Denver Post, “limes and
had been developed for the Convention Greening Initiative           jicama (compostable) were cut in half to hold buffet signs,
and workshops by the EPA with its contractor, Tetra Tech,           soy-based eco-fuel replaced Sterno under chafing dishes, and
in consultation with the teams. The actions plans were              multi-colored vegetarian pasta salads and crudite platters
then available on the Denver 2008 Convention Web site as a          replaced the usual amusement park fare.4
resource to those who were unable to attend. Organizations
that attended the Workshop and then completed the action
plan received an EPA certificate recognizing their sustainability

Following the Workshop, a group of event planners agreed
to form a peer group and continue to meet and share green
practices. By December 2008, this group had met three times.

                                                                    4 “Feeding the Media,” by Kristen Browning-Blas, The Denver Post online blogs,
                                                                    September 2, 2008

                                                                        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 27
                                                                                     Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Events (cont.)
     Other Events
     The Events Team worked with the Resource Recovery Team                      Specifically, the following legacy pieces are in place:
     to develop a list of questions and recommendations for the                  •	 A Sustainable Events Guide has been created and is
     events that the teams could not directly influence through                      available at to assist event
     contracts or permits. A Mayor’s Office Greening intern then                     planners in the future.
     contacted identifiable event planners to disseminate and                    •	 Greenprint Denver is working to incorporate
     promote the practices. Questions addressed topics such as                       environmental practices into the permitting process for
     water conservation, energy use, and resource recovery. See the                  festivals and events that use Denver facilities and parks.
     Resource Recovery section to learn more about this outreach.                •	 Events Planning Peer Group is evolving into a local chapter
                                                                                     of the Green Meeting Industry Council.
     RESULTS                                                                     •	 The Greener Venues Partnership is now a permanent peer
     •	 Winter Event Planning Workshop for 150 event planners,                       group.
        caterers and venue managers.
     •	 Event planning peer group met before the Convention to
        exchange information.
     •	 An extensive green event planning action guide was
        created for event planners, caterers, and venue managers
        and made available at the workshop and posted online.
     •	 The Events Team participated directly in green planning
        for the biggest private events at the Convention – the
        Elitch’s Media Party and the Green Concert – and
        improved the sustainability of more than a dozen other
     •	 Of 24 events the Event Team could directly control or
        indirectly influence, 13 were cited as being very green, 10
        were moderately green, and one was not very green.
     •	 Renewable Wind Energy Credits were donated by XCEL
        to offset the carbon emissions associated with the Elitch’s
        Media Party, the Green Concert at Red Rocks and all
        events at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

     A recent Watkins Study - a bi-annual survey of the nation’s top
     meeting planners - found that 34% of meeting planners have
     been told by their clients to only meet in green destinations
     and 40 percent said that if all else is equal, they will meet in
     the greenest destination. The same study found Denver to be
     the third greenest city in America with the ability to deliver a
     “green” meeting, as rated by meeting planners. Richard Scharf,
     President and CEO of VISIT DENVER, told the Denver Post
     that the Convention’s legacy is green. “Green is going to be
     gold for us in the future,” he said. “Every city has a legacy —
     New York has restaurant week. Our legacy is the green piece.”5
     While Denver had already been making strides in sustainability,
     the education and information shared during the planning for
     the Convention helped to move the events industry forward.

5 “Visitors bureau sees green,” By Jackie Borchardt, The Denver Post, Politics
West, Aug. 26, 2008

28     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Events (cont.)
STRENGTHS                                                          LESSONS LEARNED
•	 Host Committee was committed to greening their own              •	 The Greening Initiative had an unrealistic expectation of
   events, providing many opportunities to have an impact             the number of events that they would be able to influence
   on Host Committee sponsored events.                                or control. Because of a lack of access to information
•	 Close cooperation with City agencies to get access to              and a constantly changing events landscape, flexibility
   information about individuals and organizations planning           is important. Expectations need to be continuously re-
   events in public venues.                                           evaluated.
•	 Strong partnerships with EPA, VISIT DENVER, Colorado            •	 It may be difficult to find out about all events that may be
   Convention Center, and the Business Team help to form a            occurring during a large convention. If this is the case,
   successful and informative workshop.                               focus on providing information to event organizers.
                                                                   •	 Prioritize. It is helpful to put events into tiers depending
CHALLENGES                                                            on the level of access and influence you have and focus
•	 Lack of available information about most events taking             your efforts on the top tiers.
   place during the Convention.                                    •	 Recycling and composting will encompass a large portion
•	 Inability to know how many people/events were reached              of your greening efforts. They can be done on a large scale
   indirectly through newsletters, information posted on              but require advance planning.
   Web site, and workshop attendees.                               •	 Incorporate environmental performance factors into
•	 Measurement of environmental and economic costs                    requests for proposal (RFPs) to planners, facilities,
   and benefits insufficient due to lack of information and           caterers, and other vendors.
   dedicated staff time to build metrics into the process at the   •	 Communicate your sustainable goals with vendors,
   beginning.                                                         planners, invited guests, and other key players. Encourage
                                                                      them to partner with you and take part in the efforts.
                                                                   •	 It would be helpful to research and provide information
                                                                      about the cost of hosting a green event. Many planners
                                                                      are concerned about cost increases that may be associated
                                                                      with greening. Help planners to find cost savings to
                                                                      balance any potential increase.
                                                                   •	 Events Director and the Greening Director need to be
                                                                      close working partners in order to optimize connections
                                                                      between their respective spheres of knowledge,
                                                                      information, and contacts.

                                                                      Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 29
                                                                                   Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Resource Recovery
     The Resource Recovery Team put in place systems to                  to be ready with a resource recovery strategy by the time the
     maximize resource recovery at the Denver 2008 Democratic            events were starting to take form. The Team’s initial focus on
     National Convention on behalf of the Mayor’s Office and             recycling shifted to embrace supply chain management, waste
     Host Committee. The Team worked closely with several City           minimization, and composting. It quickly became clear that
     departments, private event organizers, waste haulers, and           the task was very complex due to local City budget limitations,
     recyclers and the Colorado Association for Recycling. There         market competition between service providers, the concrete
     were collections bins and services provided for the Elitch’s        need for bins, trucks, etc. that did not necessarily exist, the
     Media Party, Green Frontier Fest, the Marketplace in Civic          various security concerns and parameters, and multiple players
     Center Park, the Green Sunday Concert at Red Rocks, at a tree       operating in a consensus model. The Team was also hindered
     planting luncheon, the Presidential Experience, seven bike          by a lack of timely information about the locations and types
     stations throughout the week, the bike parking location at          of events that would be taking place. In coordination with
     Rude Park on the final night of the Convention, and for various     the Events Team, the approach was narrowed to those hosted
     events in 14 parks. Resource recovery was promoted and              by the Host Committee or taking place in publicly permitted
     resources included at all of the workshops that the Initiative      venues. Volunteer coordination and deployment strategies
     organized to help green business sectors impacted by the            were tested during several community events over the course of
     Convention: hoteliers, restaurants, events planners, caterers,      the summer leading up to the convention.
     and venue management.
                                                                         Green Specifications
     GOALS                                                               The Resource Recovery Team developed a specifications sheet6
     •	 Maximize resource recovery during the Convention with            for event planners that provided organizers with information
        particular focus on Host Committee sponsored events.             to help them in the greening process, particularly in the area
     •	 Build upon and unify existing efforts to improve long-term       of product sourcing. The “Green Spec” not only provided
        waste minimization and resource recovery in Denver in            guidance about sustainable practices, but listed local resources
        order to support Greenprint Denver’s goal to achieve a 30        such as product vendors and service providers.
        percent reduction in landfill waste by 2011.
     •	 Develop and disseminate a document providing upstream            Resource Recovery System
        (materials chosen) and downstream (where the materials           In the end, the Team focused on Host Committee events and
        go) management suggestions for event organizers.                 permitted events in City Parks. A spreadsheet was developed
     •	 Plan and test a resource recovery program at a series of         as a managing tool in order to coordinate the copious amount
        cultural events through summer 2008.                             of details. The document included location and expected
     •	 Create a “Sustainable Events Guide” that builds on lessons       attendance at the events, based on the permit applications.
        learned and materials developed for the Democratic               The group tiered the events in terms of their importance and
        National Convention and additional researched best               ability to influence resource recovery, allowing everyone to
        practices.                                                       get a handle on what to focus on. The spreadsheet grew as the
                                                                         last month progressed to include more events and additional
     SUMMARY                                                             columns indicating number of volunteers needed, whether or
     When the Resource Recovery Team first began meeting, it was         not food would be served, how many bins would be needed,
     expected that collaboration with the local private waste haulers,   and other relevant details.
     Denver Public Works, and Denver Parks and Recreation would
     be essential. The Resource Recovery Team also included the          Mayor’s Office interns called event planners and offered the
     lead staff for City permitting during the Convention to provide     “Green Spec,” as well as assistance with resource recovery.
     a connection to the events taking place in public venues.           During these calls, event planners were also surveyed about
                                                                         green event practices.
     During fall 2007 planning meetings, members of the Team
     brainstormed the components of a resource recovery strategy
     and did a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and
     strengths) analysis of the challenge and our local capacity.
     Members declared what they or their organizations could offer
     in order to address the presumed needs. The team’s goal was         6 “Convention Resource Recovery Committee Green Specifications” is in the
                                                                         Web resources for this report.

30     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Resource Recovery (cont.)
In the months leading up to the summer the Greening                 Pedaling to the Dumpsters - Nick Bohnenkamp
Initiative and Resource Recovery Team successfully framed the
challenge and assembled the pieces of the solution. However,        In a couple of instances, serendipity seemed to bring just the
as the Convention drew closer, the enormity of the project          right person at the right time to step in and help greening
necessitated that the Team recruit a full-time project manager      programs at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
for the on-the-ground implementation phase. Thanks to a
grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and             That was the case with Nick Bohnenkamp, a bicyclist and
Environment Pollution Prevention Advisory Board, in July,           graduate student at the University of Colorado at Denver
2008, the Team was able to bring on the Colorado Association        working as sustainability intern at the Colorado Convention
for Recycling (CAFR), with its vast professional network            Center. Lindsay Smith, a member of the Events Team and
and detailed knowledge of implementation to assist with             the Sustainability Director at the Colorado Convention
coordination of the numerous pieces including working with          Center, asked Bohnenkamp if he would like to help with the
waste haulers, volunteers, and venues. CAFR was awarded the         Convention greening efforts. About two weeks before the
small grant, but then, in the spirit of the greening initiative,    convention, he checked in with Parry Burnap, Director of
generously elected to donate the professional management            Greening for the Host Committee.
services of their Executive Director who then strategically
leveraged the funds to secure needed materials and additional       Coincidentally, the Bike Sharing Team realized that a gap in
services.                                                           their planning was the removal of recycling, compost, and
                                                                    trash bicycled out from the seven Freewheelin’ bike stations.
Zero Hero, a Fort Collins business that specializes in “front       With the Convention drawing near, time was limited and
of house” recycling and composting services for festivals and       people were already stretched thin. Burnap asked Bohnenkamp
cruises, agreed to train volunteers and to service two Host         if he would organize a pedicab resource recovery program.
Committee events (the Media Welcome Party and the Green             Bohnenkamp agreed. That was Monday, Aug. 18, a week before
Frontier Fest) pro bono with resource recovery stations located     the Convention began.
in brown tents.
                                                                    Bohnenkamp knew he’d be able to talk some of his fellow
By early August, the Team was finalizing details. For instance,     students into pedaling the pedicabs. He was also plugged into
in Civic Center Park, the site of multiple events in the heart of   the bicycling community and although he’d been warned that
Denver, Denver Public Works signed on to supply and service         Denver’s bicyclists had already been tapped to the max for the
additional trash dumpsters. Twenty recycling bins would be          Freewheelin’ Bike Sharing Program, he also put the emails out
located in the area, to be staffed by volunteers. The recycling     to his 125 BikeDenver and Bikes Belong contacts.
bins had to be affixed to permanent objects and screened
regularly for security purposes.                                    He’d filled half his 30 shifts by Wednesday in response to his
                                                                    Tuesday email. The Bike Sharing Team got him a map of where
Detailed plans, with times for servicing the recycling bins and     the kiosks would be and the Resource Recovery Team got him
volunteer shifts, were also in other parks throughout the City,     the information on where to take the trash. He made maps with
along the parade routes, and for the 33 security magnetometers      short routes for the volunteers.
that would screen delegates and other attendees at the 19
entrances of official Convention venues.                            He asked bicyclists to sign up for a morning shift from 10
                                                                    a.m. to noon, bringing lunches to each kiosk’s volunteers and
                                                                    hauling away the morning’s trash, recycling, and compost, or
                                                                    for a 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. shift hauling out the afternoon’s
                                                                    waste. He had three pedal trucks to work with plus one bike
                                                                    with a trailer for delivering the lunches. The Team also
                                                                    delivered extra lunches at the end of the day to Denver’s Good
                                                                    Samaritan Shelter.

                                                                    Although Bohnenkamp created report forms for volunteers to
                                                                    fill out on their collection amounts and observations, he said
                                                                    that the drivers didn’t use them much. “They were having too
                                                                    much fun,” he admitted.

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 31
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Resource Recovery (cont.)
     RESULTS                                                             LEGACY
     •	 Greenprint Denver received donations of 500 recycling            •	 Denver Parks & Recreation now offers bins available for
        bins and 100 composting bins from Corporate Express and             loan.
        the Denver Zoo.                                                      •	 500 recycling
     •	 Host Committee / Events Outreach                                     •	 100 composting
        •	 Elitch’s Party for 9,000+ achieved an approximate             •	 Resource recovery requirements are being considered as
             81 percent diversion rate: 50 percent compost, 31              additions to the City permitting process.
             percent recycling, 19 percent landfill                      •	 A Sustainable Events Guide providing tips, resources,
        •	 Denver Performing Arts Complex generated 12 yards                and case studies was created and is posted on www.
             of compost and 450 pounds of recycling                and
     •	 Denver Public Works recycled 10.1 tons of waste at
        Convention security magnetometers                                STRENGTHS
     •	 Pedi-truck resource recovery team of volunteers collected        •	 Partnerships with Denver Public Works, Parks and
        30 bags of recycling and 90 bags of trash from seven bike           Recreation, and the Permitting team.
        stations                                                         •	 Alpine Waste & Recycling and Waste Management, Inc.,
     •	 85 percent of Convention-going survey respondents said              Denver recycling companies with representatives on the
        they recycled or composted during the Convention week               Resource Recovery Team, turned the Convention into
                                                                            a win-win opportunity for business and for greening
                                                                            progress with targeted marketing to boost recycling and
     Questions for Events in Parks                                          composting at Denver hotels.
                                                                         •	 Information for non-Host Committee serviced events was
      The Resource Recovery Team learned about most events from             available through the City permitting process.
      the Denver Permitting process. To better understand how to         •	 Intern support was essential for making personal
      help those organizers green the events, the Team asked the            connections to event planners.
      following questions of the event planners who returned our         •	 Procurement of Greenprint Denver recycling and
      calls:                                                                composting bins.
     •	   Your name and name of event.                                   CHALLENGES
     •	   When is your event being hosted? Is it an annual event?        •	 City’s budgetary constraints – Denver Recycling provides
     •	   How many people do you expect to attend each day of               recycling services only to residences and municipal
          your event?                                                       operations, not commercial services.
     •	   Where is your event located?                                   •	 Complexity of the details involved, including materials
     •	   What are your current waste services (trash only, trash &         used and needed, event type, and service provider.
          recycling, please specify what is recycled, composting) for    •	 Lack of knowledge of events taking place during
          your event?                                                       Convention week.
     •	   Are you interested in reducing waste generated at your         •	 Measurement was a huge challenge because of the different
          events?                                                           concurrent events, different service providers, different
     •	   What services or assistance would help you in                     methods, and units of data collection.
          implementing a recycling/greening program?
     •	   If you are unsure and need more information on services
          available please specify (e.g., need information of supplier
          recycled content/ recyclable cups, need more recycling
     •	   Are you hosting any other events for the Convention? If
          so, what are they?
     •	   Has your waste provider contacted you about reducing
          waste during Convention events?

32     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Resource Recovery (cont.)
LESSONS LEARNED                                                   Sample Project Manager Planning Details
•	 Start working to integrate green guidelines into
   convention-related events as soon as possible.                 Resource Recovery involves thousands of details. Here is the
•	 Prioritize. It is helpful to put events into tiers depending   final planning for just one of the nearly 24 events that the Team
   on the level of access and influence and focus efforts on      supported. The Resource Recovery Team found out about this
   the top tiers.                                                 event two weeks before the Convention:
•	 Last minute changes are inevitable – be flexible in the
   approach to reaching goals.                                    Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Marketplace
•	 Combine resource recovery messaging and outreach with          Location: Civic Center Park
   other sustainable events recommendations and support.          Date: Sunday, August 24.
•	 Having a project manager with practical experience in          Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
   resource recovery is extremely important in order to           Bins: 15 – 20 Coke bins for recycling, 15 to 20 bins for trash and
   coordinate the many details required. The project manager      compost. Number of bins will be somewhat dependent upon
   should be brought at the outset if possible. Part-time         number of volunteers to cover each shift. Leave a small supply
   leadership will work at the beginning but full-time is         of extra bins, in case they are needed. It is important that the
   essential for on-site management.                              bins always look clean and neat. If they become dirty, torn or
•	 Depending on the type of event, there may be security          similar, they should be replaced and the old bin recycled.
   issues with the types of bins used and where they are          Volunteers: 15 to 20 per shift, 2 shifts
   placed. Check with convention security teams at the outset     Team leaders: Need a minimum of two for Sunday. Team leader
   to make sure everyone is on the same page.                     volunteer coordinator is Kary Schumpert with Eco-Cycle. See
•	 Determine early on how to measure success but be ready         above for contact information.
   to alter that metric if need be.                               Logistics: Will need to get bins and have volunteers set up
•	 Event Planners need to understand and believe that             Sunday morning and place stickers on bins. Team leader will
   greening is not something that happens after the event has     check volunteers in, give them T-shirts and credentials, and
   already been designed and vendors selected. Greening           assign them to their waste stations or as rovers. Team leader
   starts with the very first conversation and continues          will rove area and ensure that bins are being serviced, check to
   actively past the event to documentation of efforts.           see if volunteers need breaks and check volunteers out at end of
•	 Work with partners ahead of time to coordinate supplier        shift. Team leader will be responsible for recording number of
   and product decisions and waste removal services. Insert       bags of materials collected throughout day and report number
   sustainable language into RFPs and contacts.                   to Marjorie Griek or Jack DeBell. At end of day, team leader
•	 Recruit volunteers to staff resource recovery stations.        will ensure that compost and recycling bins are emptied into
   Signage is helpful, but volunteers are able to both prevent    the appropriate dumpsters and placed in a secure area. At the
   contamination of the waste streams and provide education       end of the event, team leader will ensure recycling bins are
   to attendees at the same time. Volunteers should be            broken down and recycled. Public Works will collect roll-offs
   trained prior to the event.                                    for disposal at appropriate facilities.
•	 Look for events before the convention to test and refine the   Need: Public Works will be unable to record and report metrics
   system and to give the volunteers experience.                  daily. Need to find out when and how metrics will be recorded
                                                                  and reported and who will be responsible for that.
Links                                                             Important note - Public Works will have their purple recycling
•	 A1 Organics, recycles and composts:         carts attached to trash bins at 10 locations within the park on
•	 Alpine Waste:                              Sunday. Our cardboard waste stations should be set up in front
•	 Colorado Association for Recycling:               of those bands and attendees should be encouraged to use our
•	 Ecocycle:                                     cardboard bins, not the large Public Works carts. The Public
•	 Waste-Not:                                   Works carts cannot be serviced during this event. Therefore,
•	 Zero Hero:                              it is very important that the volunteers have attendees use the
                                                                  proper cardboard bins for recycling, composting and trash.
                                                                  Volunteers from Morevents will help carry full bags of trash and
                                                                  recyclables to dumpsters that Public Works will have off-site
                                                                  in front of the Permit Building. Compost will be collected and
                                                                  held for bike station rider to take to Zero Hero collection truck
                                                                  at Green Frontier Fest location.

                                                                      Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 33
                                                                                   Greening the Democratic National Convention
     The Energy Team’s purpose was to promote and publicize                Originally, the Team also focused on purchasing renewable
     renewable energy and support Colorado’s new energy                    energy credits so that the event could proclaim that it was 100
     economy through the opportunities presented by the                    percent powered by renewable energy. This task was eventually
     Democratic National Convention for publicity, education, and          transferred to the Carbon Team since it blended well with the
     implementation. The Team recognized that a national political         effort to achieve a carbon-neutral convention.
     convention is an excellent forum for educating opinion leaders
     and citizens. The Team also wanted to showcase Colorado to            Green Frontier Fest & New Energy Station
     the world as an epicenter for a New Energy Future.                    The Energy Team members decided to look into holding an
                                                                           exposition with renewable energy exhibits that would give
     The Energy Team conceived of a renewable energy fair that             attendees a chance to view real equipment up close.
     would serve as an education center for Colorado residents,            The event grew into two events – the Green Frontier Fest (GFF)
     volunteers, convention delegates and other visitors. Ultimately,      and the New Energy Station (NES). The GFF, a community
     the Team incorporated this concept into two linked, highly            celebration of sustainable choices in the New West, took place
     visible events - a larger one day celebration of progressive          on the Sunday prior to the Convention, and was free and open
     environmental change and personal choice called the Green             to the public with booths, exhibits, and features including guest
     Frontier Fest and a week-long permanent installation of               speakers, children’s activities, eco carnival games, and live
     renewable energy technologies called New Energy Station. The          music.
     Team also arranged tours of the National Renewable Energy
     Lab in Golden and Xcel Energy’s wind farm in northern                 The NES took place in tandem with the GFF on Sunday
     Colorado.                                                             and then continued throughout the Democratic National
                                                                           Convention. The Station showcased Denver and Colorado’s
     In addition, the Energy Team supported the Business                   new energy innovations through a number of displays and
     greening workshops by providing information about energy              applications that highlighted environmentally-responsible
     efficiency and renewable energy solutions as well as public           energy technologies and practices.
     resources available to support business investments in energy
     conservation.                                                         Due to the extensive logistics involved, a sub-team to the
                                                                           Energy Team was formed to handle the Green Frontier Fest and
     GOALS                                                                 New Energy Station planning.
     •	 Educate Convention attendees and the larger community
        about renewable energy and its possibilities for the state         Greening staff approached ReDirect Guide – a member of the
        and nation.                                                        Business Outreach volunteer team and the publisher of a green
     •	 Showcase Colorado as a national leader in renewable                vendor guide doing business in Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake
        energy technology and resources.                                   City, Utah, and Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins – to serve as the
                                                                           lead event planner for the one day festival. Assuming all of the
     SUMMARY                                                               risk for the event, ReDirect stepped right up to the challenge to
     The Energy Team looked at a variety of project options focusing       manage administration, sponsorship recruitment, fund-raising,
     on education, displays of renewable energy equipment, tours           marketing, talent, site design, and coordinating the public/
     of renewable energy facilities, installation of energy efficiency     private team who made it all happen.
     technologies in Convention-related facilities, and the purchase
     of renewable energy certificates. Energy action was also              The Energy Team and ReDirect Guide worked through the
     incorporated into other efforts of the Business Outreach, City        summer, handling logistical, contractual, and permitting issues
     Facilities, and Carbon teams. Much of the preparatory work            with a variety of players. By June, the Green Frontier Fest
     in advance of the Convention, such as energy conservation             concept was on track to showcase the region’s growing green
     education and investments in energy improvements by venues,           economy. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper agreed to speak,
     was largely invisible to the general public. A large portion of the   along with renowned environmental and social justice advocate
     Team’s time and effort was spent on the equipment displays and        Van Jones of Oakland, California, and actress Darryl Hannah.
     facility tours.

34     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Energy (cont.)
                                                                    Energy Tours

                                                                    Representatives from the National Renewable Energy
                                                                    Laboratory (NREL) and Xcel Energy handled logistics for
                                                                    renewable energy tours. Each organization generously donated
                                                                    the tour bus costs and supplied staff to assist in leading the
                                                                    tours. The tours were free and took place during the delegates’
                                                                    free morning hours.

                                                                    •	   Tuesday, August 26 - NREL, the nation’s premier research
                                                                         laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency
                                                                         technology development.
                                                                    •	   Wednesday, August 27 - Ponnequin Wind Farm,
                                                                         Colorado’s first commercial wind farm. With 44 turbines
                                                                         that generate 30 megawatts of electricity, the facility
                                                                         generates enough energy to serve 9,000 homes.
The weeklong energy exhibits of NES were co-planned and             •	   Thursday, August 28 - National Wind Technology
co-located with Green Frontier Fest, on a highly visible site            Center, operated by NREL. The wind-to-hydrogen
between the Pepsi Center and the Convention Center. NES                  research project takes electricity from wind turbines to
was managed by a volunteer project manager in partnership                produce and store pure hydrogen, which is later used to
with the City leader of the Energy Team, senior facility                 produce electricity from an internal combustion engine, a
management staff from the City’s Division of Theatres and                generator, or a fuel cell.
Arenas and community volunteers.
                                                                    Energy Team members also arranged for tours of the offices of
RESULTS                                                             EPA Region 8 Headquarters and the Alliance Center, owned
The one-day Green Frontier Fest and four-day New Energy             and operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado to
Station combined more than 100 green living exhibits and a          provide gathering and office space for leaders and organizations
child-powered carnival ride with innovative sustainable energy      in sustainability. These tours highlighted local buildings that
displays.                                                           had received the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in
                                                                    Energy and Environmental Design certification. The EPA
Attendance at the Green Frontier Fest, billed as a “free festival   building is certified at the Silver-level for New Construction
for residents and visitors alike to celebrate sustainable choices   and the Alliance Center is certified at the Gold-level for
in America’s new West,” exceeded all expectations with an           Existing Buildings and the Silver-level for Commercial
estimated 8,000 people. Booth space for exhibitors sold out in      Interiors.
just six weeks. Eighty percent of the vendors were Colorado-

The New Energy Station attracted about 200 people per day
during the Convention and was the site for several political

                                                                         Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 35
                                                                                      Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Energy (cont.)
     Some of the more visible displays included:                                  •	   A strong existing renewable energy infrastructure in the
     •	 The Xcel Energy SmartGridCity Experience mobile                                state.
        exhibit, which demonstrated an advanced electrical grid                   •	   Reputable companies, recognizing a marketing
        system that can help increase energy efficiency, demand                        opportunity, were willing to incur substantial costs to
        side management and electric grid flexibility. Boulder,                        supply, set up, and display renewable energy equipment
        Colorado, near Denver, was selected as Xcel Energy’s first                     free-of-charge.
        SmartGridCity pilot project, which began in March 2008.7
     •	 The University of Colorado Solar Decathlon house,                         CHALLENGES
        designed and built in 2007 by CU students (sponsored by                   •	 Installation of new energy saving or renewable energy
        Xcel Energy) to minimize energy use and maximize use of                      alternatives for convention venues prior to the convention
        on-site generated renewable energy. The 700-square-foot                      requires more time for planning, budgeting, and installing
        home is capable of operating off the electrical grid.                        than is likely to be available between a city’s decision to
     •	 A 131-foot, 17 ton wind turbine blade made by Vestas                         host a convention and the convention itself.
        Wind Systems (Denmark), which has established blade                       •	 Need for Project Manager identified late in process; should
        manufacturing plants in Colorado.                                            have identified need at outset.
     •	 A portable solar panel array from Worldwater and Solar                    •	 A late start to the Green Frontier Fest planning resulted in
        Technologies, which provided power to the bike station                       an intense pace and time commitment.
        located next to the Green Frontier Fest (as well as the                   •	 Initial uncertainty about the availability of space in which
        flagship bikes station across from the Convention Center.).                  to hold public green events in the downtown core.
     •	 A diverse set of solar cookers, which were operated by                    •	 Lack of regular communication with the Green Frontier
        local cooking enthusiasts who provided a steady stream of                    Fest project manager by vendors and others needing
        solar-baked cookies, cakes, and other treats.                                special arrangements led to confusion about what was
     •	 Ten electric and hybrid/electric vehicles, available for test                happening, who was involved and when they would be
        driving, one of which was a bright yellow Tesla Roadster                     involved.
        capable of going from 0 – 60 mph in 4 seconds.                            •	 Some of the companies loaning renewable energy
                                                                                     equipment to NES made last minute changes to the
     LEGACY                                                                          delivery schedule of their equipment, which caused
     •	 The Green Frontier Fest and New Energy Station received                      logistical headaches. Others were uncertain if they
        good publicity, helping to brand Denver and Colorado as a                    could actually bring the equipment to Denver up until
        green destination and a center for new energy.                               a month or two before the Convention due to logistical
     •	 Through a partnership with the Colorado Convention                           cosiderations and possible convention security conflicts.
        Center, NREL created and installed a renewable energy
        display in a visible area of the Convention Center. This
        display remains as a renewable energy education center.

     •	 Knowledgeable and committed team members represented
        Colorado’s longstanding, pre-eminent alternative and
        renewable energy institutions.
     •	 Cooperation and participation by a diverse set of team
        members from government, business, and education.
     •	 High interest in renewable energy among the team
        planners, community, and convention attendees.

7 See See also Transmission and Distribution
World Web site, “Xcel Energy Announces First Smart Grid City in the Nation,”
13 March 2008, at
energy-smart-grid-city/. Xcel also provided displays at DIA regarding its solar
array there.

36     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Energy (cont.)
LESSONS LEARNED                                                    Volunteer Extraordinaire: Steve Szabo
•	 Know what to do and start implementing one year before          In early April, as the New Energy Station concept began to
   the event.                                                      take form with companies indicating their interest in taking
•	 Work with progressive local energy companies.                   part, it became clear that a volunteer committee would not
•	 The ambient convention buzz added energy and reach              be able to provide the continuous attention required by an
   to the vendor recruitment and marketing efforts of the          endeavor of this planning and physical complexity. A full-
   Green Frontier Fest and New Energy Station. Much more           time project manager would be necessary. Literally that very
   marketing and publicity would be needed for a green             day, the Greening Initiative received an e-mail from Steve
   expo taking place without an associated big event like the      Szabo, a retired communication executive, organic rancher,
   political convention.                                           and Colorado alternative energy activist who was looking for a
•	 A full-time logistics person is needed to take care of a wide   way to volunteer for the Greening Initiative. It took about five
   variety of details such as site design, set up and take down,   minutes to recognize that Szabo’s extraordinary life experience
   power supply, and insurance coverage.                           equipped him uniquely to create the first ever New Energy
•	 Renewable energy tours to local facilities are worthwhile,      Station. Szabo worked full-time for five months.
   but the ability to communicate in advance with convention
   guests and a strong sign-up process and marketing plan          Szabo wasn’t just any retired communication exec. He had
   are needed.                                                     worked in telecommunication disaster recovery for AT&T and
•	 Consider holding a large, unified visible sustainability        Qwest, directing teams of engineers and other professionals
   event during the weekend before the Convention rather           in exercises replicating the efforts needed after huge natural
   than a one-day event (Green Frontier Fest) followed by          or manmade disasters. As a result, he knew how to execute
   a smaller-scale four day event during the Convention            site specific activities and total project management of the
   weekdays (New Energy Station). The four day event was           event. His passion for renewable energy left a trail of glowing
   held because the companies loaning the equipment were           references behind in the Governor’s Policy Office and the
   not interested in showcasing their products for just one        Governor’s Energy Office.
   day due to the logistics of bringing their large equipment
   to the site (e.g., the solar house required about two weeks     Still, Szabo had never put together an expo. “I knew nobody —
   to erect). A visible weekend event would provide a              I had no support system. So I had to develop relationships fast.
   showcase for a company’s equipment and be long enough           I didn’t even have the software for laying out an event,” he said.
   to justify bringing the equipment to the convention city.
                                                                   And the expo was to take place in less than five months. Szabo
                                                                   learned that planning for something like this usually begins a
                                                                   year out.

                                                                   Szabo would scan his hand-drawn plans — done with a
                                                                   measuring tape and triangulation — of where the gargantuan
                                                                   Colorado-made wind turbine blade would go, where the
                                                                   CU solar home would be situated, the placement of the Xcel
                                                                   display trailer, and all the booths. He’d then email those scans
                                                                   to Mike Johnson of ReDirect, who plugged the information
                                                                   into his planning software. City staff from the Division of
                                                                   Theatres and Arenas who managed the city-owned and
                                                                   operated Park, with knowledge of every square inch of the
                                                                   land and what lay below it and can do attitude, were key
                                                                   members of Steve’s team.

                                                                   Would he do it again? Szabo says absolutely — with more lead

                                                                     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 37
                                                                                  Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Energy (cont.)
     Clean Energy in Colorado
     When the 5,000 delegates, 15,000 media, and other visitors
     to Colorado flew in to Denver International Airport for the
     Democratic National Convention, they might have noticed a
     new giant solar panel array, designed to provide the airport
     with up to four percent of its electricity needs.

     Those with delegate passes to the Pepsi Center may have seen
     the 52 solar panels on the arena’s Blue Sky Grill restaurant.

     While not yet operational during the Democratic National
     Convention, 330KW of solar panels were installed on top of
     the Colorado Convention Center’s parking structure.

     These are just a few examples of Colorado’s “new energy
     economy,” which holds great promise for the region’s and
     nation’s employment growth, energy independence and
     environmental sustainability.

     •	 Green Frontier Fest Denver: Solar Powered Home: www.
     •	 Green Frontier Fest:
     •	 One of several reports on the convention from “Delegate
     •	 Green Frontier Fest - Eco-Friendly Trade Show: www.
     •	 Democratic National Convention2008: Green Frontier
     •	 Vox Boxing asks attendees at Denver’s Green Frontier
         Festival, “If you could say one thing to someone who
         doesn’t believe in global warming, what would you say?”
     •	 Vestas Wind Turbine Blade Being Delivered to
         Denver, CO:

     •	 ReDirect Guide: Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins: www.
     •	 Xcel’s SmartGridCity:
     •	 The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon: www.
     •	 Vestas Energy Solutions:

38     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
The Greening Initiative’s Transportation Team encouraged and      licensed pedicab companies so that they could make pedicabs
facilitated the use of clean transportation choices at the 2008   available at the right place at the right time. The Initiative
Democratic National Convention. They worked with the Bike-        also promoted pedicabs in all related outreach materials and
Sharing Team and the Lean ‘N Green Choices Team to promote        activities.
biking and walking. In addition, the Team encouraged the use
of carpooling, mass transit, pedicabs, and bicycles/handbikes.    Carpooling and Transit
Members of this Team also designed and implemented an             The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)
evaluation intercept survey that focused on attendees travel      RideArrangers and Trapeze Group created a customized
decisions but also incorporated general questions about           carpooling Web site for convention guests using hotel
participation in the convention greening activities.              addresses and the time and place of known events. The
                                                                  program was promoted to volunteers during trainings, through
GOAL                                                              Host Committee email newsletters, and on the DRCOG Web
•	 Promote and offer carbon-friendly green transportation         site.
   options for Convention guests and residents.
                                                                  The Downtown Denver Partnership’s (DDP) “Get Downtown
                                                                  Unconventionally” offered a Visa gift card for solo driving
                                                                  commuters, incentivizing them to commit to using alternatives
                                                                  during the entire month of August.

                                                                  Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
                                                                  Both the Host Committee and DNCC operations directors
                                                                  were committed to maximizing alternative vehicle use and
                                                                  secured and promoted alternative fuels and hybrid electric
                                                                  vehicles. Therefore, the Transportation Team focused their
                                                                  efforts on the other carbon-friendly options mentioned. Both
                                                                  Web sites listed hybrid taxis on their sites as transportation

                                                                  The Greening Initiative Transportation Team also
                                                                  communicated with a number of electric vehicle
                                                                  manufacturers who made several vehicles available for
SUMMARY                                                           operations during the week to display their vehicles during the
The Transportation Team met on a monthly basis to                 Green Frontier Festival on Sunday, Aug. 24.
brainstorm local opportunities for advancing low emissions
and healthy transportation options during the Convention for      (See also Bike Section)
both residents and guests.

During the course of several meetings, the Transportation
Team examined the possibility of a zero-emissions pedicab
program for those who weren’t able or preferred not to ride a
bike or walk. After some discussion, the Transportation Team
concluded that pedicabs could not be an official project of the
Convention Greening Initiative due to insurance, liability, and
licensing concerns. Many pedicab drivers are solo practitioners
who could not be organized, regulated, or inspected in
advance of the Convention. Instead, the Greening Initiative
tried to help maximize pedicab use by providing advance
information about event schedules and locations to Denver’s

                                                                     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 39
                                                                                  Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Transportation (cont.)
     Survey Teams                                                         LESSONS LEARNED
     Members of the Transportation Team had both the                      •	 Provide vouchers for pedicabs as well as taxis for attendees.
     compelling interest and expertise in survey development              •	 Begin promoting sustainable transportation to visitors
     to take responsibility for developing Greening Initiative               before they arrive in Denver.
     intercept surveys. Questions asked people about the greening         •	 Close coordination with Convention operations organizers
     choices they made during the Convention, including their                is critical to determine security issues, event schedules, and
     transportation choices.                                                 locations and host hotels.

     The survey was a structured random sample, with volunteers at
     several locations instructed to intercept and survey every tenth
                                                                          Carpoolers aid green transportation during the Convention
     person. The Transportation Team determined there should
     be six locations in Downtown Denver, primarily on the 16th           A carpool matching tool, provided by the Denver Regional
     Street Mall and near the Pepsi Center. The survey sample was         Council of Governments (DRCOG) RideArrangers and
     statistically low, and the results should be considered anecdotal,   Trapeze, was an early hit with volunteers. Its first use was
     not scientific.                                                      to get volunteers to their orientation classes. The week the
                                                                          tool was set up on the Convention Host Committee website,
     RESULTS                                                              168 volunteers signed up and shared the ride to the July 26
     •	 Seventy-three pedicabs were operating in Downtown                 training sessions.
        Denver for twelve hour days from Sunday through
        Thursday during the Convention. Pedicabs were not                 In all, Convention volunteers kept Denver green by saving
        allowed within the Pepsi Center security perimeter, but           484 vehicle trips for Convention-related activities. The
        pedicabs were visibly present in the downtown area and            carpool matching tool included convention-week activities,
        widely mentioned in the press coverage of the Convention.         entertainment, and events. With the average one-way trip
        One in six survey respondents said they had traveled in           distance in Denver of 11 miles, projections indicate more than
        one.                                                              10,600 DNC-related travel miles were saved from Denver’s
     •	 “Get Downtown Unconventionally” took place the entire             roadways. Participants could be expected to save a minimum
        month of August and saved more than 440,000 miles from            of $7/day in driving costs (fuel, parking, operating costs, and
        being driven in single-occupancy vehicles into Downtown           depreciation).
     •	 General Motors donated more than 30 hybrid vehicles to            The idea behind the tool was to make the Democratic National
        the Host Committee for use during the Convention.                 Convention greener by reducing traffic and air pollution
     •	 Survey results: The intercept surveyors talked with nearly        caused by driving alone. The tool also allowed volunteers to
        400 people. According to this sample, 85 percent of               split gas and parking costs, as well as find a ride with others
        attendees used mass transit at some point – not surprising        going their way. In addition, it was a chance for Denver-area
        with the availability of the Mall shuttle and lightrail stops     volunteers to try carpooling and possibly continue it as an
        at the Convention Center. Of people commuting to                  option for their work commute.
        Downtown Denver for events, about half used mass transit
        (of which about two-thirds was light-rail) and one in             The DRCOG RideArrangers program provides free carpool
        seven used a bicycle. Of the survey respondents who had           matching services that any commuter can take advantage
        commuted from elsewhere in Denver to the Convention,              of by simply going to the Web site at
        about one in five used a car for the commute, with half           ridearrangers and signing up. Instant matchlists are provided
        carpooling.                                                       and participants can continue Denver’s legacy of green
                                                                          transportation by sharing the ride. The money saved in gas
     LEGACY                                                               will definitely be a perk.
     •	 A survey of the “Get Downtown Unconventionally”                   Source: RideArrangers
        participants one month after the conclusion of the
        program discovered that participants were using
        alternative transportation for more than 60 percent of their
        commute trips into Downtown Denver.

40     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Transportation (cont.)
Pedicabs and Ice Cream Cones                                                  Videos
                                                                              •	 Inside the Tent: Pedicab Confessions, from Reuters Video,
Pedicab companies involved in providing transportation                            2.5 minutes, Added Aug. 28, 2008:
services during the Democratic National Convention                                watch?v=JPFqFnfpthE
included Mile High Pedicabs LLC, Colorado Rickshaw LLC,                       •	 Pedicab on 16th Street Mall Denver, from Cheltun, 4
Swift Turtle Taxi LLC, Flatirons Rickshaw LLC, and several                        minutes, Added Sept. 15, 2008:
independent owner-operators. Seventy-three pedicabs                               watch?v=3Tb2rkxZyJE
transported riders during the Convention. Each pedicab                        •	 Steve Meyers Talks About Pedicabs, from
has a top speed of approximately 15 miles per hour and                            BicycleCityVideo, 5 minutes, Added Aug. 15, 2008: www.
about 40 percent of the pedicabs are built to accommodate               
three passengers. On many of the trips, the pedicabs had
four passengers, as they sat on each other’s laps. Each of the
pedicabs went an average of six miles each hour and operated
an average of 12 hours a day, carrying an average of two

The pedicabs served a population that, for the most part,
would not have been riding bicycles. “Pedicab passengers like
to ride bicycles, they just don’t like to pedal,” reported Steve
Meyer of Main Street Pedicabs. “Pedicab passengers typically
are not riding for recreational reasons, they are riding more
out of necessity. It could be that their feet hurt, the high
altitude was bothering them, they were carrying things, etc.
In this sense, the pedicabs complemented the use of the free
bikes available for the Convention and made human-powered
transportation truly a substitute for motorized vehicles.”
Kelly Spors, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, compared the
pedicabs at the Democratic National Convention event to ice
cream cones first introduced at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in
  8 Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2008

•	 Adaptive Adventures:
•	 Colorado Rickshaw:
•	 ECOLimoOfVail (Hybrid Vehicles) 970-331-3135 – local
    service & airport service
•	 Green Limousine (Bio Diesel): www.
•	 Metro Taxi’s Green Taxis: www.metrotaxidenver.
•	 Smart Cars:

                                                                                Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 41
                                                                                             Greening the Democratic National Convention
     The local Bike Sharing Team put together a program that placed     Throughout the planning process, the Team envisioned a
     1,000 bikes and ten accessible handbikes in seven Downtown         longer-term goal: a permanent bike sharing program in Denver.
     Denver kiosks. With pre-registration and a major credit card to
     secure the bikes, anyone could check out a free bike for a quick   GOALS
     ride or for the rest of the day.                                   •	 Provide healthy and environmentally friendly options for
                                                                           guests to move around town during the Convention.
     Planning for the program was detailed and the need for             •	 Provide 1,000 bicycles throughout Downtown Denver
     volunteers was high. Denver’s bike community volunteered              for use by visitors, volunteers, and others during the
     thousands of hours to make the program a success. The Team            Convention.
     also benefited from the support of Humana, Inc., Bikes Belong      •	 Encourage more people to ride bikes, especially for short
     (a Boulder-based bicycle advocacy group), and the City and            trips.
     County of Denver.                                                  •	 Create a legacy for a future urban bike sharing program in
     During the Convention, Denver Freewheelin’ participants
     logged 5,552 rides totaling 26,463 miles, burned an estimated      SUMMARY
     818,899 calories, and prevented approximately 9.3 metric tons      The initial idea for the Bike Sharing strategy was sparked
     of carbon (compared to the same distance being covered by a        early in the summer of 2007 when a member of the original
     car with a single person.)                                         community brainstorming group casually mentioned he “might
                                                                        know someone who could get some bikes.” Shortly after being
     9.3 Metric Tonnes Equivalent: 850 gallons of gasoline, or          hired, the Greening Director traced the idea to the Deputy
     17000 miles driven at 20 miles per gallon. (Source: EDF            Director of the Governor’s Energy Office and in late September
     Tailpipe Tally figure 24.116 CO2 pounds per gallon). (Assumes      the two of them met to float the idea with a member of the
     no CO2 emissions attributed to the energy used to propel the       Board of Bikes Belong, a national bicycling advocacy group
     bicycle - approx 30 calories from a food source)                   coincidentally located in Boulder, Colorado. One door after
                                                                        another opened and before long, Bikes Belong, with the support
                                                                        of Humana Health Care, was working hand in hand with the
                                                                        local Greening Initiative, the Denver cycling community, and
                                                                        City agencies. Bikes Belong/Humana took the concept to
                                                                        Republican National Convention planners in Minneapolis as

                                                                        Media Ride
                                                                        The Convention bike program was kicked off with a special
                                                                        bicycle ride through Denver led by Mayor John Hickenlooper
                                                                        of Denver and Mayor R.T. Ryback of Minneapolis and 100
                                                                        other dignitaries. The group rode from the donated bike-
                                                                        assembly warehouse, a couple miles north of downtown
                                                                        Denver, to a central solar-powered Freewheelin’ kiosk in
                                                                        downtown Denver. The event helped to set the green tone
                                                                        for teh entire Convention. Media coverage included the two
                                                                        Denver dailies, The Oregonian (Portland), and cameras from
                                                                        local news stations.

42     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Bikes (cont.)
Partners                                                            The local bike advocacy community provided great support
Bikes Belong and Humana were key partners for the local             to the bike share effort. From logging hundreds of volunteer
community in the bike sharing program.                              hours to providing crucial advice on the realities of cycling
                                                                    in Denver, the community stepped up to help in any way
Both organizations, neither of them official Host Committee         possible. In particular, Bike Denver, Bicycle Colorado and the
sponsors, contributed substantial resources to the Denver           Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee played an important role
and Minneapolis (Republican National Convention) bike               throughout the entire planning process.
share programs. They provided bicycles, helmets, lights, locks,
technical project management support, a project team to work        Convention transportation and security planners within the
with local team leaders and members, information technology         Department of Public Works and the Police Department
development and computers, and around 50 Humana                     provided critical links to the Convention planning process.
employees to operate the check-out/check-in processes during        Bicycle infrastructure projects were accelerated over the
the Convention. In summary, Humana and Bikes Belong                 summer of 2008 by Denver’s Department of Public Works. The
provided the system and the local Team provided the ground          agency stepped in and provided incredible support for the bike
expertise and interface to make it work in Denver.                  share program through new lane markings and planning for
                                                                    future improvements.
Bikes Belong sourced the bicycles, helmets, and support
equipment through coordination with manufacturers. They             The Basics
negotiated insurance parameters, worked with the Team               Seven different manufacturers donated Denver’s 1,000 bikes.
to help site station locations, acquired warehouse space for        (Another, different group of 1,000 bikes went to Minneapolis.)
bicycle storage and assembly, built the bicycles shipped from       A variety of bikes were used in the program, from 21-speed
manufacturers, and organized volunteers to operate the              bikes with hand brakes to basic single-gear bikes with pedal
stations.                                                           brakes.

During the operation of the system, Humana handled the              The kiosks were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each kiosk was
information-technology related procedures of registration:          staffed by Humana employees, as well as volunteers from Bike
check-out and check-in. Bikes Belong handled the bicycle            Denver, Bikes Belong, and the Denver 2008 Host Committee.
intensive functions, including helmet fitting, safety procedures,   Bike-savvy volunteers assembled bicycles, assisted with repairs,
bicycle maintenance and fleet distribution.                         gave directions, led organized rides, redistributed bikes based
                                                                    on numbers available at each station, and assisted with check
                                                                    in and out.

                                                                    The Transportation Team worked with Adaptive Adventures,
                                                                    based in Evergreen, CO and Wilmette, IL., to obtain ten
                                                                    handbikes for the Convention.

                                                                    Space limitations meant that the handbikes for riders with
                                                                    disabilities could not be integrated into all seven Freewheelin’
                                                                    bike kiosks so a separate All-Access Station was arranged for
                                                                    the handbikes,. Convention goers could borrow a recumbent,
                                                                    upright, racing, or off-road handbike.

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 43
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Bikes (cont.)
     Several handbike riders, including Paralympian hand-cyclist          over about 50 blocks, mostly in central downtown. These
     Alejandro Albor, took part in the kickoff event for the Bike         improvements were accelerated for the Convention. The Bike
     Sharing Program, a bike ride that also included Mayor John           Team worked with Public Works to outline improvements
     Hickenlooper and other leaders. Albor also talked to attendees       needed in the coming months and years in order to increase
     at the Adaptive Adventures booth at the Green Frontier Fest on       accessibility and safety for riders and vehicles.
     Sunday, Aug. 24.
     Adaptive Adventures reports that because the All-Access              Bike stations were shown in the downtown insert of the Hike
     Station was nearly two miles from the Colorado Convention            and Bike map (created through the Lean ‘N Green Team). The
     Center, it did not get much traffic. Their heaviest day was on       Bike team created a map of downtown Denver which included
     the Families for Obama Day at the Museum. All together, about        Freewheelin’ bike stations, bike lanes, sharrows, water stations,
     50 people checked out handbikes.                                     as well as calculated carbon prevented and calories burned
                                                                          for distance traveled. The maps were included in all 26,000
     Station Location                                                     gift bags given to Convention guests, made available by hotel
     Close coordination with and the approval of local public works       concierges, and handed out at bike stations to provide direction
     managers, as well as convention transportation and security          and help riders get around downtown safely.
     planners for the Convention were essential to being able to
     locate stations and routes.                                          Check In/Out
                                                                          Team members decided that for the short-term, Convention
     Location choices balanced many factors, including willing            program, generously staffed kiosks would be preferable to
     property owners, proximity to major Convention venues, rental        an automated system. Humana created a program where
     fees, access to electricity, and size of the location. Ultimately,   individuals could register to check out a bike online or on-
     seven sites were chosen, with two stations being powered by          site at one of the seven bike kiosks. The bikes were free, but
     donated solar panels. Bicycles were not allowed in the Pepsi         bicyclists had to submit credit card information as a security
     Center security perimeter, so a station was placed adjacent to       deposit in order to ensure return of the bikes. Renters were
     the perimeter to maximize convenience for riders.                    responsible for the cost of the bike if it was not returned.

     Insurance                                                            Rude Park
     In the United States, liability and insurance issues are major       In July, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign staff announced
     barriers to bike share programs. Many insurance providers are        that he would accept the Democratic Presidential Nomination
     not willing to cover such a program or have extremely high           at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, rather than the
     premiums for coverage.                                               Pepsi Center. The Bike Sharing Team was contacted by the
                                                                          campaign event planners and invited to help mitigate the
     The Greening Initiative convened a meeting between Bikes             traffic challenges: 70,000+ people were expected to converge
     Belong’s Executive Director, Denver City Attorney, Host              on Invesco Field and for security reasons, none of the parking
     Committee leaders, and insurance representatives in March            spaces around the stadium could be used for parking. Led by
     2008 to discuss liability insurance. Bikes Belong found and          volunteer Maro Kasparian who stepped forward at just the right
     paid for a policy from a company with whom they had worked           time, the Bike Team worked with Denver Parks and Recreation,
     in the past. Coverage included stipulations such as limiting         Denver Public Works, and the security teams to find a location
     operation to daylight hours, offering helmets, and requiring         for bike parking at Rude Park, near Invesco Field.
     signed waivers. Helmet use could not be enforced, but was
     offered, strongly encouraged, and given to the riders. Locks         Cyclists could ride their bikes to the park, check them in at
     were also provided.                                                  the station, and pick them up following the event. Enthusiastic
                                                                          community volunteers worked to very quickly coordinate the
     Sharrow Lanes                                                        program. A community business donated a jumbotron to the
     Clearly marked sharrows, or shared bike/car lanes, help cyclists     site so that volunteers could watch the acceptance speech.
     safely mix with traffic. 3.2 miles of sharrows were added to
     City streets in time for the Convention. Denver Public Works,
     an essential partner, affixed about two markings per block

44     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Bikes (cont.)
 RESULTS                                                                            Bike Sharing: A Great Idea Whose Time Has Come
 •	 By the second week in August, 650 people had registered
    for the Freewheelin’ program. They were from 40 states                          Bike sharing is a practical transportation choice for people
    and 20 countries.                                                               looking for an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and
 •	 Final use numbers surpassed the “bike-partisan” goals for                       healthy way to travel, especially for short trips.
    the city set by Rep. Earl Blumenauer of the Congressional
    Bike Caucus of 5,000 rides and 12,500 miles.                                    According to Bike Sharing Team Co-Chair Andrew Duvall,
 •	 Approximately 1,350 Thursday night attendees chose to                           incorporating exercise into daily life is important for both
    ride bikes (~350 Freewheelin Bikes ~1,000 personal bikes)                       individual and general public health. He notes that bicycles
    and parked at Rude Park.                                                        use “engenders healthy behavior, reduces fuel dependency,
                                                                                    produces zero emissions, and increases overall sustainability.”
 •	 Denver now has 30 bikes that City employees can check                           Duvall is working towards a degree in Sustainable Urban
    out.                                                                            Infrastructure. He is a fellow with the Integrative Graduate
 •	 Denver Public Works is in the process of expanding its                          Education and Research Traineeship, a program funded by the
    sharrow and bike lanes to increase bicycle safety and                           National Science Foundation
    infrastructure. These improvements will help Denver
    reach its goal of becoming a “Platinum City” as rated by                        “With the bike sharing program at the convention we wanted
    the League of American Bicyclists.9                                             to reintroduce people to bikes,” said Duvall, a PhD student
 •	 The effort was a test in terms of legacy capabilities in                        in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the
    Denver: a permanent bike sharing program by Summer/                             University of Colorado at Denver, “We also wanted to show
    Fall 2009. A public-private partnership, many members                           them that riders don’t need to be hunched over with all the
    of which helped with the Convention program, are                                special gear. You don’t need to wear Spandex.”
    committed to making this happen. As one of the first
    cities to actually implement bicycle sharing, Denver is in a                    “The bikes were good for me personally,” said Chantal Unfug,
    position to lead the way for other U.S. cities to being able                    Deputy City Liaison for the Convention. “I’d tried a scooter
    to adopt similar programs.                                                      and that didn’t work. A bike was the best way to get around
 •	 The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee donated                               downtown.”
    $1,000,000 from its surplus to a non-profit organization
    to create the permanent Bike Sharing system, a testimony                        Bike advocates like Duvall hope that we’re at the tipping
    to the success of the Convention Freewheelin’ program                           point of a cultural change. In the United States, bikes are
    and to the Host Committee’s desire to leave behind a                            considered toys or for sport. In the rest of the world, they’re
    permanent positive legacy.                                                      seen as transportation. If that happened here, our bodies, our
                                                                                    communities, and our planet would be healthier.
 •	 Improving bike infrastructure early on is key to success.                       Studies have shown that 41 percent of auto trips in the United
 •	 Involve convention leadership, transportation and security                      States are under two miles; 25 percent are under one mile. And
    planners, local government, corporate sponsors, and local                       yet only 1.5 percent of trips are made by bike.
    and national bike advocacy groups.
 •	 Don’t underestimate the number of details that will be
 •	 Insurance coverage is a problem to be managed but not an
    insurmountable barrier

9 Portland, Ore., is the only U.S. “Platinum City” for bicycling as judged by the
League of American Bicyclists:

                                                                                        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 45
                                                                                                     Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Bikes (cont.)
     What Greening Looks Like                                                       YouTube Videos
     The Freewheelin’ Bike-Sharing Program in many ways became                      •	 Bikes Belong - Free Bicycle Transport during DNC and
     the face of the greening of the 2008 Democratic National                          RNC:
     Convention.10                                                                  •	 Freewheelin’ – The DNC Is Going Green, Fireside
     Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, and                        •	 Freewheelin’ Bike Share Program at the DNC,
     Jonathan Lord, CEO of Humana, wrote in the Rocky                        
     Mountain News that Denver became the perfect backdrop                             EsgHi74c&feature=related
     for what became the largest bike sharing effort ever in the                    •	 PoliticsFitzU gets Freewheelin’, PoliticsFitzU: www.
     United States. “Denver was a great setting because, as Mayor            
     John Hickenlooper puts it, ‘Denver is one of the healthiest
     and greenest cities in America.’ He credits the city’s ‘energetic
     populace and a climate that encourages outdoor activities.’ We                 Links
     think the impressive city infrastructure helps, too. Residents                 •	 Andrew Duvall:
     of other places would love to have a system of bike trails and                 •	 Bicycle Colorado:
     routes like Denver’s.” 11                                                      •	 Bikes Belong:
                                                                                    •	 Bike Commute Tips Blog: www.bikecommutetips.blogspot.
     According to Blumenthal, the success of Freewheelin’ at                            com
     both conventions signaled a turning point for bicycling and                    •	 BikeDenver:
     bike sharing in the U.S. “At each convention, elected officials                •	 Bike-Sharing Blog:
     from across the nation took rides, watched their friends                       •	 Bixi (Montreal’s Bike Share Program):
     and relatives have fun with Freewheelin’, and witnessed the                        php?page_id=1&lang=fr
     benefits of riding bikes for short trips. Now these same elected               •	 Freewheelin’:
     officials are returning home with new information and new                      •	 GreenJoe on the Parisian Vélib’ system: www.greenjoe.
     enthusiasm about what bike sharing could mean for their                  ’-–-freedom-bikes-–-not-
     communities.”                                                                      free-but-worth-it/
                                                                                    •	 League of American Bicyclists:
     In Blumenthal’s mind, three factors meant a new “golden era”                   •	 Smartbike D.C.:
     of bicycle transportation was beginning:                                           information.asp
                                                                                    •	 Bicycles Indicator Data, Earth Policy Institute:
     - Nearly half of all car trips in the U.S. are three miles or less       
     - Gas prices are high
     - Americans are getting more serious about protecting our
     10 Many stories about the convention included mention of the bike-sharing
     program, and there are several youtube videos about Freewheelin’. A few
     print stories didn’t mention anything else: “Bike Sharing a Hit at Political
     Conventions,” Andrea Kelly, Sept. 5, 2008, Arizona Star: http://regulus2.
     11 Lord and Blumenthal: Freewheelin Our Way to Health, by Jonathan Lord
     and Tim Blumenthal, Sept. 5, 2008, Rocky Mountain News: http://www.

46     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
  The 2008 Democratic National Convention provided an                            Colorado Convention Center (CCC)
  opportunity to fast-track several projects and expand                          Through an innovative partnership between DWD and the
  marketing opportunities for conservation. The Water Team,                      CCC, many water conservation practices were put in place
  led by Denver Water staff and supported by the greening                        prior to the Convention. Implementation of plans to install
  staff and community volunteers, focused on three initiatives:                  low flow toilets and urinals in the Center was expedited,
  water conservation in Convention facilities, demonstration                     drastically reducing water consumption in the facility. Also
  Xeriscape projects, and marketing Denver’s drinking water as                   prior to the Convention, Denver Water designed and set up
  an alternative to bottled water.                                               water bottle refill stations located in the corridors of the CCC.
                                                                                 In addition, the water intensive bluegrass around the Blue Bear
  GOALS                                                                          art installation in front of the Convention Center was replaced
  •	 Promote water conservation.                                                 with a completely new Xeriscape design.
  •	 Reduce the Colorado Convention Center’s ongoing water
     consumption by 10 percent inside and 20 percent outside                     Drinking Water Stations
     through indoor fixture retrofits and outdoor Xeriscaping.                   Denver Water rolled out its new $50,000 water truck in time
  •	 Provide reusable water bottles to Convention delegates                      for the Convention. The truck holds 200 gallons of chilled
     and volunteers to reduce the number of disposable water                     water and serves as a refill station for people who have brought
     bottles used during the Convention.                                         their own refillable bottles to events. Denver Water staffed the
  •	 Provide bottle refill stations at the Convention Center and                 truck to ensure smooth service. The “Water Wagon” was used
     Pepsi Center as well as an outdoor “water wagon” to help                    at various events, including the Green Frontier Festival and
     guests fill their bottles with Denver’s award-winning tap                   Green Rocks. Water bottle refilling stations were installed in
     water. 12                                                                   both the CCC and the Pepsi Center in order to provide plenty
                                                                                 of drinking water.
  The Denver Water Department (DWD) liaison to Greenprint
  Denver led the Water efforts, supported by DWD staff,
  community partners, and in collaboration with various
  Convention-related entities such as hotels and venues. Much
  of Denver Water’s water-saving work for the Convention fit
  within existing conservation projects, some of which were fast-
  tracked for the Convention.

  Projects included encouraging both public and private entities
  to retrofit water-guzzling fixtures in favor of more efficient
  models, Xeriscaping, presenting at and serving as resources for
  the business greening workshops, and providing residents and
  guests with an alternative to bottled water.

  Project Planet
  Denver Water partnered with a private organization, Project
  Planet, to provide water and energy education cards for hotel
  rooms. The cards were offered to approximately 6,000 hotels
  rooms to educate the guests on how they could conserve
  water and energy in their room. The displays encouraged
  conservation practices such as reducing the frequency of sheet
  and towel changes, turning off the water while brushing teeth,
  and turning down the air conditioning/heating when leaving
  the room. Denver Water also provided essential training
  workshops to hotel staff so that they could help implement the
12 Denver’s Water Wins Regional Taste Test, 9 News, September 15, 2008 http://

                                                                                    Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 47
                                                                                                 Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Water (cont.)
     Eighteen fire hydrant fountains — hydrants temporarily                  Most of those hotels who did not participate already had
     modified to work as drinking fountains — served Convention-             their own programs in place. If every one of Denver’s
     goers and the public at locations around downtown Denver.               6,000 hotel rooms were occupied and water conservation
     Set-up for the hydrant fountains required plenty of advance             practices followed, the water savings from the hotel-
     planning, as each hydrant converted required the flushing out           installed conservation practices would total 240,000
     of standing water in pipes to the hydrant, as well as bacterial         gallons of water and 2,400 gallons of detergent per month.
     testing. That process, which cost about $750 per fountain, took         That’s 4,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent
     about a week for each hydrant, so it was important to carefully         saved per month for every 100 rooms.
     site where the hydrants would be. Denver Water crews checked       •	   At the Convention Center, Denver Water replaced 310
     each fountain four times a day throughout the Convention.               toilets and urinals, which saved 1.6 million gallons in the
                                                                             six months following the installation. Toilets and urinals
     Greening Initiative staff and interns worked with the Host              both had used 3.5 gallons per flush. Now the toilets use 1.5
     Committee fundraising team to procure water bottles for                 gallons per flush and the urinals use .5 gallon per flush.
     delegates and volunteers. Finding a sponsor was time-              •	   Denver Water estimates the new Xeriscaped landscaping at
     consuming and difficult, but the Team was finally able to               the Convention Center will require 1.5 acre-feet less water
     secure one in the month prior to the Convention. Denver                 per year to maintain than the previous blue grass lawns, or
     Water donated Denver 2008 caribeeners with a message about              nearly 500,000 gallons.
     staying hydrated and filling bottles at the tap. The option        •	   EDAW, a nationwide landscape architecture firm with
     for Convention guests to “fill it at the tap” was also promoted         offices in Denver, stepped forward to offer the pro bono
     through greening training for volunteers and “How to be                 xeriscape design of Auraria Parkway in front of the Pepsi
     Green” tips inserted into maps that were included in all of the         Center. Both projects were created with city support and
     Convention gift bags and made available at hotels.                      all volunteer design, labor, and materials.
                                                                        •	   Denver Water built a 200 gallon chilled water truck and
     Industry Workshops                                                      made it available to events.
     DWD provided education about water conservation during the         •	   Denver Water installed 21 water stations inside the
     Business Team’s industry workshops. Businesses participating            Convention Center and made fire hydrant water fountain
     in the workshops learned about an action plan that included             retrofits outside Pepsi Center and throughout highly
     ten specific steps that businesses could take to increase water         trafficked areas downtown.
     efficiency. Actions include reading the water bill to monitor      •	   The Host Committee gave away 26,000 reusable water
     usage, checking for and repairing leaks, and conducting a               bottles to volunteers, delegates, and media. 20,000 of them
     water audit of the facility. DWD water audits identify the cost-        featured tips on how to be green at the Convention.
     effectiveness of:
     •	 Replacing worn-out standard equipment with water-               LEGACY
           efficient models.                                            •	 The Convention Center water refill stations are permanent
     •	 Serving water only upon request.                                   fixtures.
     •	 Installing high-pressure, low-volume spray nozzles for pre-     •	 The 200 gallon water truck is now available at cost for any
           washing dishes.                                                 interested events. Following the Convention, the truck was
     •	 Planning ahead and thawing frozen food in the refrigerator         almost immediately scheduled for other events.
           rather than under running water.                             •	 Both the Convention Center and Denver’s hotels have
     •	 Adjusting boiler and cooling tower blow-down rate to               improved conservation infrastructure and management
           maintain total dissolved solids at levels recommended by        practices.
           manufacturers specifications.                                •	 Some restaurants and caterers also adopted conservation
                                                                           techniques and invested in both education and water-
     RESULTS                                                               saving appliances.
     •	 The water truck distributed approximately 400 gallons of        •	 The Xeriscape projects will serve as an educational
        water at three events, replacing 3200 pint-size bottles of         example while continually conserving water for years to
        water.                                                             come.
     •	 Denver Water managed an initiative with Project Planet
        to provide water conservation materials and training to
        Democratic National Convention participating hotels.

48     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Water (cont.)
STRENGTHS                                                       Links
•	 Great partners in Denver Water, Colorado Convention          •	 Denver’s Use Only What You Need Campaign: www.
   Center, and the Xeriscape design contributors.         
•	 Award-winning, pure, great tasting Denver drinking water     •	 Denver Water:
   makes it easier to make a case for reducing reliance on      •	 Denver Water’s Tap Smart Factsheet: www.denverwater.
   bottled water.                                                   org/cons_xeriscape/conservation/tap_smart_fact_sheet.
CHALLENGES                                                      •	 Drink Tap:
•	 Difficulty finding sponsors for reusable water bottles       •	 Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates: www.
•	 Existing contracts between Convention facilities and   
   bottled water manufacturers made it more difficult to        •	 Food and Water Watch:
   discourage single-use bottles

•	 Communicate with Convention and event guests ahead of
   time to raise their awareness about choices they will have
   during the Convention, e.g. let them know if water refill
   stations will be available so they can remember to bring
   their own bottle.
•	 Provide drinking water in areas you expect to have the
   highest concentrations of people; remember outdoor
   events, including potential demonstration areas. If
   applicable to your event, take security concerns and
   perimeters in mind.
•	 Engage your local water department in your efforts – they
   have the expertise and resources to help make your water
   projects a success.

                                                                  Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 49
                                                                               Greening the Democratic National Convention
Lean ‘N Green Choices
     The Lean ‘N Green Choices Team focused on the ground level              but related areas: food and movement. Within these categories,
     experience of individual Convention guests as they made small           specific strategies and programs were developed. The Lean ‘N
     choices. For a greening strategy to be effective, attendees at the      Green program focused on menu choices at restaurants and
     event need to be regarded as partners in greening. Attendees            catered events while movement focused on promoting walking,
     have to freely choose green options in order for the Greening           procuring pedometers, working with the bike team to promote
     Initiative to reach its potential. Originally called the Choices        bicycles as a transportation option and supporting the City
     Team, then dubbed “Lean ‘N Green,” this Team focused on the             leadership team that developed the “Hike and Bike” walking
     local and global environmental benefits of individual healthy           and biking map.
     choices. The Greening Initiative encouraged Convention guests
     to move and eat in ways that were healthy for their bodies as           At the beginning of the planning process the team identified
     well as for the planet. This Team was the only Convention               resource needs:
     organizing team to incorporate health into its activities, a            •	 General needs: a Lean and Green logo, funding for
     testimony to the vision and hard work of John Parr, a revered                pedometers and outreach materials.
     community learder who was killed in a car accident before               •	 Map: funds for development and printing, designers for
     seeing his work actualized. The Team also wanted to showcase                 the maps, volunteers to vet the routes and the ability to
     Denver as a vital and healthy city. The Team worked to make                  track steps via a Web site.
     local, organic, fresh, and nutritious foods available to residents      •	 Lean ‘N Green Meal: a resource list of Colorado producers
     and visitors while also promoting physical activity as a healthy             and suppliers, a marketing strategy (including materials),
     option. Projects included a Lean ‘N Green meal program and a                 connections to restaurants and distributors and tracking
     walking and biking map.                                                      capacity via point of sales data.

     GOALS                                                                   Lean ‘N Green Meal
     •	 Connect the concepts of physical activity and healthy food           The Lean ‘N Green Meal program invited restaurants to
        options to a “green and sustainable” ethic.                          participate in the greening initiative by providing at least
     •	 Create a program that encourages and makes it easy for               one menu item meeting Lean ‘N Green guidelines each day
        event planners, local restaurateurs and caterers to offer            during Convention week. The menu item could be the same
        local, organic and healthy food options to residents and             throughout the week or vary day-to-day. The Lean ‘N Green
        guests during Convention week.                                       Team developed guidelines for a meal that met healthy dietary
     •	 Promote walking and biking as viable and beneficial                  standards, left the smallest carbon footprint possible, and was
        alternatives to vehicles when possible.                              easy to follow.
     •	 Provide a legacy map that would feature walking and
        biking routes in Denver while conveying the carbon                   The Lean guidelines were a simplified, voluntary version of
        prevention and calorie burning benefits of healthy                   the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
        movement.                                                            (CDPHE) Smart Meals nutritional criteria and focused on
                                                                             providing a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables and items
 Our Body, Our Planet
                                                                             with low fat content.
     “Our health is the product of everything we do – how we live,
     where we live, and the environment we live in…. Our belief              The Green guidelines suggested the use of fresh items, as well
     is that the same behaviors that would green the nation and              as local or organic foods. After researching sustainable food
     combat climate change, such as eating locally and naturally             best practices, the Team decided to suggest the use of local or
     produced foods, and walking or using bicycles instead of cars,          organic foods rather than preferring one over the other. Local
     would reduce the burden of disease.” 13                                 items often have a smaller carbon footprint because they travel
     Our Bodies, Our Planet, Humana Health                                   shorter distances from farm to table. Organic farming is a more
                                                                             sustainable agricultural practice, but the foods often travel long
     13 My Body My Planet, Humana publication:
                                                                             distances before they reach the table. Providing the option
                                                                             between the two allowed restaurants to make the best choice
     SUMMARY                                                                 for them based on cost and availability of desired items.
     The Lean ‘N Green Choices Team began its work in October
     2007. Not long after, the Team divided its focus into separate

50     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Lean ‘N Green Choices (cont.)
                                                                    Lean and Green Guidelines
                                                                    •	 Half of the meal (50 percent) is made up of fruits and/or
                                                                    •	 Include at least three of the following five colors: red,
                                                                        green, yellow, blue/purple, and white. (Garnishes not
                                                                    •	 No fried items.

                                                                    •	 70 percent or more of ingredients by pre-cooked weight
                                                                        are certified organic and/or grown/raised in Colorado.
                                                                    •	 70 percent or more of ingredients by pre-cooked weight
                                                                        are fresh (not pre-processed).

                                                                    During the Democratic National Convention, the Greening
Once the guidelines were developed, the team created a              Committee surveyed people walking on the street and found
Resource Guide for use by restaurants, distributors, and            that one out of six Convention goers were aware of eating in
individuals. 59 producers throughout Colorado were identified       a Lean ‘N Green Choices restaurant during the week, with
and invited electronically to be included in the Guide, but only    slightly less having ordered a Lean ‘N Green meal.14
21 were able to respond during the peak growing season. Four
distributors and 11 producer membership organizations were          14 Two surveys were used to learn metrics on the Convention goers’ experience.
also included.                                                      The first was an intercept survey done on the Sixteenth Street Mall and the
                                                                    second an online survey. There were 400 respondents, almost all of which were
                                                                    through the intercept survey.
A logo was developed, as well as a half-page two-sided flyer
that included an overview of the Lean ‘N Green program,             In addition to the restaurant program, the Lean ‘N Green
the guidelines, and instructions on how to sign up for the          Team partnered with King Soopers grocery store to provide
program. Lists of restaurants were pulled together from various     Lean ‘N Green tips to shoppers during Convention week. A
sources to be contacted via e-mail blasts and brief articles were   shopping list was provided that highlighted healthy and green
disseminated through the Colorado Restaurant Association            food options. Throughout the store, Lean ‘N Green products
newsletter and Web site. Altogether, 628 restaurants were           were highlighted with Lean ‘N Green shelf tags.
directly invited to participate with an email that included
information about the Lean ‘N Green program. The restaurants        Movement
were also contacted through four participating distributors:        In order to encourage people to get out of their cars and
U.S. Foods, Shamrock, United Natural Foods, Inc., and               exercise, to walk, and to ride bikes, the Lean ‘N Green Team
Albert’s Organics. The Team developed a promotional sheet           focused on providing pedometers and maps to guests and
that attached to the distributors’ product list that was given      residents.
to the restaurants’ food purchasers. The distributors’ product
lists highlighted qualifying ingredients. Partnering with the       Why Choose Local and Organic?
major food distributors proved to be a major benefit. Not only      Choosing local and/or organic foods provides lasting benefits
did the distributors expand the team’s reach, they provided         to the environment by supporting sustainable farming
valuable insight into the food sourcing process. The Colorado       practices and reducing carbon emissions associated with
Department of Public Health and Environment’s Smart Meals           food transportation. In addition, local and organic foods
Program created the health guidelines and managed the               have health benefits. Local foods tend to be fresher and
approval process. Once approved, the logo and advertising           less processed, while organic foods are free of potentially
suggestions were distributed by e-mail. Restaurants were asked      damaging chemicals.
to track point of sale data in order to help measure the success
of the program.

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 51
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Lean ‘N Green Choices (cont.)
     “Hike and Bike”
                                                                        Tracking Walking Route Carbon Reduction
     A Denver interdepartmental Leadership Enhancement and
     Development (LEAD) Team stepped forward with an offer of           Lean ‘N Green team volunteers, representing America on
     assistance to the Greening Initiative. After some discussion,      the Move, a national non-profit that promotes quality of life
     they settled on supporting the Lean ‘N Green Team with the         through healthful eating and active living, used pedometers to
     creation and production of a “Hike and Bike” walking and           measure out in steps every one of the five walking routes. The
     biking map that described five thematic walking routes, five       1.6-mile trip around the perimeter of Denver’s Civic Center
     biking routes, and a downtown core map. The ten routes             takes about 3,277 steps and prevents about 1.6 pounds of
     included in the map provided included cultural landmarks           carbon from being emitted.
     along the way and were rated easy to difficult. The relationship
     of personal health to sustainability was conveyed by translating   •	   Walking about 2,000 (or 1 mile) burns approximately 100
     steps taken and bike miles ridden for each path and trail into          calories.
     carbon emissions prevented and calories burned. The colorful       •	   Bicycling 1 mile burns 50 calories.
                                                                        Source: America on the Move
     pocket-sized booklets were printed on 100 percent recycled
     content paper. The downtown map included all street names
     and highlighted the bike station locations. Landmarks were         Pedometers
     featured in order to help people get around the core downtown      Throughout the planning cycle, funding was sought for
     area and the map included text that specifically promoted          pedometers. A small amount of funding came through late
     greening initiative highlights and Denver’s sights. The walking    in the summer, providing the opportunity to offer 6,000
     and biking map was included in all delegate and media gift bags    pedometers to delegates. A link on the Host Committee’s Web
     and was distributed at bike stations and Convention hotels.        site led delegates to the America on the Move Web site, where
                                                                        pedometer-measured steps could be tracked. Unfortunately,
     The LEAD team managed every element of the project, from           the timing was too late for advance promotion or the creation
     fund-raising to design, with connection to and support from        of an effective, integrated program to reach the delegates.
     the Greening Initiative as needed. The Denver Department of
     Environmental Health awarded $10,000 in seed money to the          RESULTS
     project.                                                           Success of the Lean ‘N Green Program varied, with some
                                                                        restaurants selling out and others selling few, if any, meals.
     Other organizations and businesses brought in additional           Success appeared to be a function of several factors including
     funding. Graphic artists from Hanna Design, BikeDenver, and        restaurant location and advertising. Conversations with
     the City GIS staff helped design the maps. America on the          restaurants showed that the restaurants with the highest
     Move, a non-profit organization promoting healthy eating and       Lean ‘N Green sales were those that advertised the special to
     active living among individuals, families, and communities,        customers. Strategies included cards on the tables, separate
     partnered with the Lean ‘N Green Team by helping to vet the        inserts in menus, and asking servers to tell customers about
     routes. VISIT DENVER will offer the booklet for use for future     the special. Location also proved to be a significant factor.
     conventions.                                                       Restaurants in the core downtown area sold more meals than
                                                                        restaurants outside of the core area. In total, 28 restaurants and
                                                                        40 locations offered a Lean ‘N Green menu item. 3,088 meals
                                                                        were sold in the 19 restaurants that reported their success.

                                                                        With regard to the best available data that captures some of
                                                                        the efforts to support exercise, please see the results in the
                                                                        separate bike section. While downtown streets were filled
                                                                        with pedestrians for the entire week, data does not exist that
                                                                        measures the number of miles walked. While America on the
                                                                        Move brochures were included in the gift bags, pedometers
                                                                        were secured too late in the process to promote the program
                                                                        actively, and as a result, there was little traffic on the Web site.

52     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Lean ‘N Green Choices (cont.)
In addition:                                                     LESSONS LEARNED
•	 50,000 Hike and Bike Maps were designed and produced          •	 Convention guests are bombarded with new information
    to highlight walking and biking.                                and visual stimulus when entering a host city. If you want
•	 1,000 volunteers encouraged and supported walking and            them to make environmentally responsible choices when
    biking.                                                         they get here, you need to reach them before arriving
•	 Hotel staff were also trained to encourage walking, biking       so that they are pre-sensitized to look for green options
    and other green behaviors.                                      within the host city.
•	 Prominent local supermarket hosted Lean ‘N Green              •	 A pocket-sized map booklet with local “hike and bike”
    information center in produce aisle and published green         routes and greening information can serve both the
    tips all week long.                                             Convention and as a legacy piece. The pocket-sized map
                                                                    booklet was popular with both residents and visitors.
LEGACY                                                              Conventioneers often used only the single-page insert
•	 Walking/biking maps will continue to be distributed by           map of downtown Denver with landmarks. Print extra
   the Denver Public Library and VISIT DENVER. Future               insert maps that show just the downtown area for those
   conventions will be offered the ability to add their own         who only want a simple map.
   covers.                                                       •	 Attempting to change personal behavior is a sensitive area.
•	 The Lean ‘N Green Team continues to meet to create               Emphasize that the options presented are not mandates
   an organization and raise funds for a long-term legacy           but options.
   program.                                                      •	 Begin early. The timeline to engage restaurants is time-
                                                                    consuming. Suppliers need time to obtain food and
STRENGTHS                                                           supplies for the Convention and restaurants need time to
•	 Some restaurants, caterers and suppliers had already been        create their Lean ‘N Green menu item and order supplies.
   providing items meeting the Lean ‘N Green criteria.           •	 Finding funding for items like the pedometers may be
•	 Partnerships with the Metro Denver Health and                    challenging and time consuming. In order to be able
   Wellness Commission, America on the Move, the                    to monitor success or be assured of results, more time is
   Denver Department of Environmental Health, Colorado              needed between procurement of pedometer sponsors,
   Department of Public Health and Environment Smart                program development, and advance promotion to
   Meals program, EcoHatchery, the supplier and restaurant          Convention guests.
   community, and City LEAD team.
•	 Team dedicated to developing a long-term program.

•	 Difficulty procuring pedometers for use by media,
   delegates, and guests.
•	 Some resistance to Lean ‘N Green due to perceived cost
   increases and supply.
•	 A local paper erroneously reported that “Lean ‘N Green”
   participation was a mandate for all participating caterers,
   and within days the story spun out of control in the
   blogosphere and was then picked up by the mainstream
   press. This interfered with messaging and marketing, not
   only for the Lean ‘N Green initiative but for the entire
   Greening Initiative.
•	 Inability to get contact information of any Convention
   guests and visitors in advance.

                                                                   Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 53
                                                                                Greening the Democratic National Convention
     The Carbon Team for the local Convention Greening Initiative        CARBON MEASUREMENT METHODOLOGY
     worked towards achieving a “carbon neutral” event. Our              Boundaries
     strategy was to seek to understand and measure the carbon           In the beginning, the carbon assessment for the Convention
     impacts of an event of this scale, to prevent emissions             was planned as a single assessment that would account for total
     through the work of all of our teams, and at the end of the         emissions created by the hosting of the Convention. However,
     day, to find sponsors who would purchase sufficient carbon          as the contracts with the DNCC, City and County of Denver,
     offsets to mitigate our emissions. Camco International, a UK        and Camco progressed, the assessments were split into two
     based carbon emissions management company with new US               separate reports: one accounting for DNCC emissions and
     headquarters in the Denver area, donated analytic services          one accounting for Denver and Host Committee emissions.
     to complete a carbon footprint assessment, advise on carbon         The reports were split largely due to DNCC confidentiality
     implications of our greening strategy, and develop a framework      and national security concerns. The long parallel but linked
     for selecting credible offsets. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG)            contracting processes resulted in a delayed assessment
     emissions produced by Democratic National Convention                schedule, ultimately limiting Camco’s advice on greening
     activities attributable to the Denver Host Committee were           strategies.
     equivalent to 9,764 US short tons of Carbon dioxide equivalent
     (CO2e) . To offset emissions from the electricity use by Host       For the purpose of this ex-post GHG emissions assessment,
     Committee activities which were responsible for 46 percent          the Convention Host Committee consulted with Camco to
     of the emissions, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) were              establish an operational boundary which was reflective of its
     donated by Xcel Energy and Public Service Company of New            organizing and hosting role for the Convention.
     Mexico (PNM). The Host Committee Executive Committee
     stepped forward to purchase sufficient carbon offsets from the      Organizer activities
     Colorado Carbon Fund to cover the remaining 56 percent of           The agreed operational boundary of this GHG emissions
     the emissions that were attributable to travel, vehicle use and     assessment encompasses the Convention Host Committee’s
     other non-electrical sources.                                       pre-convention organizing activities, which included:
                                                                         •	 Office electricity consumption and waste disposal.
     The Carbon Team was also interested in legacy benefits that         •	 Staff air travel and automobile usage.
     could help future conventions and event planners and worked         •	 The organized venues and local activities of a portion
     with VISIT DENVER to create two carbon calculators: one for              of the Convention’s attendees, comprised of additional
     travelers to Denver and one for event planners.                          attendees, Convention related guests and media members.

     GOAL                                                                Convention venues
     •	 Minimize, measure, and offset GHG emissions associated           The Convention venues for events organized by the Convention
        with local Convention responsibilities.                          Host Committee included:
                                                                         •	 Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
     SUMMARY                                                             •	 Buell Theater.
     At the outset, the Greening Initiative decided to measure           •	 Boettcher Hall (all located with in the Denver Center for
     and manage GHGs that were produced as a result of hosting               Performing Arts {DCPA} complex).
     the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The UK-based               •	 Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
     global carbon emissions company Camco International (U.S.           •	 Limelight Supper Club And Lounge (general gatherings).
     headquarters in the Denver area) volunteered to serve as the        •	 Elitch Gardens Theme Park (media party).
     official carbon advisor to both the local Host Committee and        •	 American Presidential Experience at Invesco Field (public
     the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC).                    event).
     Their pro bono analysis included the creation of a pre-             •	 Sculpture Park (festival).
     Convention estimate of expected carbon emissions, analysis of       •	 Governor’s Mansion (reception).
     carbon implications of reduction strategies and offset selection,   •	 Civic Center Park (marketplace) during the week of the
     and a post-Convention carbon assessment.                                Convention.

54     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Carbon (cont.)
The GHG emission sources collected for these Convention            •	    Electricity consumption, refrigerant gas loss, natural gas,
venues, where applicable, included:                                      steam, and chill water consumption.
•	 Electricity and steam consumption.                              •	    Convention attendees’ GHG emissions covering
•	 Waste disposal.                                                       Convention attendees’ light rail, taxi and automobile
•	 Natural gas and chill water usages.                                   commuting, accommodations, and commuting by taxi
•	 Refrigerant gas losses.                                               from arrival station (airport or bus station) to their hotels
                                                                         at the beginning of the Convention and their commute
Convention attendees                                                     back to the departure station at its conclusion.
Convention attendee numbers for the Democratic National
Convention were estimated by the Convention Host                   Given the complexity and size of the Convention, the
Committee and the DNCC. The numbers for the Convention             collection of accurate data concerning issues of total attendee
attendees used by the Convention Host Committee were               numbers and transportation patterns were not possible.
derived from the findings of the official 2008 Democratic          To compensate for this lack of data, estimates used in this
National Convention Impact Report. Between these sources           assessment were incorporated from the findings of the official
it was estimated that there were 50,000 Convention attendees       2008 Democratic National Convention Impact Report - an
in total at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. These         in-depth impact analysis prepared by the city to document the
Convention attendees estimates included:                           economic trends and benefits of the Convention.
•	 7,581 delegates (these were the official states and territory
     representatives accounted for in the DNCC’s GHG               Please note: The operational boundary for this assessment
     emissions scope) and affiliates (these were guests and        is consistent with other Convention and events assessed by
     staff of the delegates accounted for in the DNCC’s GHG        Camco.
     emissions scope).
•	 7,900 additional attendees (who were semi-official
     attendees of the Convention).
•	 16,519 Convention related guests (individuals who came to
     Denver for events surrounding the Convention).
•	 18,000 members of the media.

The travel to and from Denver by all these Convention
attendees was outside the scope of the Host Committee GHG
emissions assessment but included within the scope of the
DNCC. The Convention Host Committee took responsibility
for GHG emissions arising from accommodations and
commuting in Denver associated with specific categories
of knowable Convention attendees (additional attendees,
Convention related guests and media members) that occurred
within the Denver metro area and that were not contained in        Excluded activities
the DNCC’s GHG emissions assessment.                               Activities excluded from this GHG emissions assessment
                                                                   boundary include:
The Host Committee Operational Boundary                            •	 Convention Host Committee offices refrigerant gas
The operational boundary of this ex-post GHG emissions                 loss. Refrigerant gases are contained in refrigerant
assessment was defined by the activities that were the                 systems, such as large scale air conditioners, freezers and
responsibility of the Convention Host Committee such as:               refrigerators. The refrigerant gas loss for the Convention
•	 Convention Host Committee’s GHG emissions resulting                 Host Committee’s office has been removed from this GHG
     from daily staff activities over the course of the year           emissions assessment because it is not recorded by the
     including those leading up to, the week of, and the wrap          building’s management.
     up time after the Convention.                                 •	 Convention Host Committee organized Convention venue
•	 Electricity consumption, waste disposal, air travel and the         waste. Venue waste has been excluded from the Host
     use of staff and emergency vehicles.                              Committee’s scope because the waste is being estimated
•	 Convention venues’ GHG emissions.                                   by number of Convention attendees per day and therefore

                                                                        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 55
                                                                                     Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Carbon (cont.)
            falls within the assessment scope of the DNCC.                        Ex Ante Assessment
     •	     Convention venue publications and gift bags which were                The Team began by working with Camco to develop an ex ante
            excluded because of the large variation of items contained            (pre-Convention) report. This report provided an estimation
            in the bags and the inability, using current methodologies            of expected carbon emissions due to hosting the Democratic
            and practices, to accurately account for these GHG                    National Convention. In addition, the ex ante provided a
            emissions.                                                            chance to determine boundaries and establish best practices for
     •	     GHG emissions arising from the organizational activities              data collection for the final report.
            of the DNCC staff organizing and hosted Convention
            venues. The DNCC is responsible for these GHG                         In the beginning, the ex ante was intended to serve several
            emissions.                                                            functions. First, the ex ante would show the Greening Initiative
     •	     Convention attendees’ travel to and away from Denver via              where the most significant emissions would occur, allowing the
            plane, bus, or personal automobile. The Host Committee’s              Team to implement reduction strategies in the most needed
            assessment scope was centered spatially on the Denver                 areas. Second, the ex ante would serve as a baseline from
            metropolitan area and the travel to Denver by Convention              which reductions could be measured when compared to the ex
            attendees was outside of this scope. The DNCC has taken               post. Lastly, the ex ante would provide an expected amount of
            responsibility for the GHG emissions associated with the              emissions to inform planning for carbon offsetting.
            travel to Denver of their official guests.
     •	     Delegates and affiliates’ accommodations and commuting                Due to delays in contracting, the separation of the analyses,
            during the week of the Convention and all Convention                  difficulties in historical data collection, the ex ante assessment
            attendees staying at the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado                was not completed until August 4, 2008. Because the report
            Convention Center. The DNCC is responsible for these                  was completed much later than expected, Convention planning
            GHG emissions.                                                        advanced without the aid of the assessment to inform reduction
     •	     Minimal external catering for the Convention, which was               strategies.
            catering conducted offsite of the different venues. The
            only identified external catering was for media members               GHG Reduction Strategies
            arranged by their own organizations.                                  All of the Greening Initiative task teams had environmental
     •	     GHG emissions of members of the media travel to/ and                  benefits that included but were not limited to carbon
            away from Denver.                                                     emissions. Limitations, including the state of the art of carbon
                                                                                  measurement, the time and staff available in this quick moving
     Most boundary questions were easily resolved, though it was                  project, and the timing of the footprint assessment, prevented
     not obvious whether the estimated 15,000 media members                       us from actually measuring the carbon savings attributable to
     coming to Denver were part of either organization’s carbon                   our efforts to minimize carbon emissions. However, Camco
     footprint. Both efforts decided not to cover media travel due                did complete a “Greening Strategy Addendum” that identified
     to a lack of knowledge about where the media was coming                      the greening strategies that had some level of carbon avoidance,
     from and going to. This decision aligned with protocols that                 and generally discussed their GHG emission reduction and
     suggest aligning carbon responsibility boundaries with areas of              avoidance benefits.
     financial control/responsibility.15 Future convention planners
     should consider whether to include media and other people                    Final calculations: ex post assessment
     informally attending the events without a specific invitation.               Following the Convention, Camco worked with Carbon team
                                                                                  members from the Greening Initiative and City of Denver to
     PHASES OF THE CARBON STRATEGY                                                compile the best data possible for estimating the actual carbon
     The work that Camco provided was originally broken into four                 emissions. The ex post analysis used data collected in areas
     distinct phases:                                                             such as energy use and waste produced in Convention venues
     •	 Ex Ante (projected) GHG Emissions Assessment                              and Host Committee office space, air travel, and emergency
     •	 GHG Reduction Strategies                                                  vehicle fuel use. The final total was 9,764 US short tons of CO2.
     •	 Offset Selection Framework                                                (See “2008 Denver Convention Host Committee Ex-post GHG
     •	 Ex Post (actual) GHG Emissions Assessment                                 Assessment of the 2008 Democratic National.” )
15 GHG emissions assessment methodology applied by Camco consistently fol-
lowed the reporting principles and guidelines established by the World Business
Council for Sustainable Dvelopment and the World Resources Institute

56        Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
          Greening the Democratic National Convention
Carbon (cont.)
Offsetting emissions
A ton of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) has the same              The Denver Events CO2e Emissions Calculator is an easy-to-
impact on the climate no matter where it is emitted. Similarly,     use online tool designed to calculate Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
a ton of emissions saved/offset has the same effect regardless of   Equivalent (e) emissions that result from an event taking place
its location.                                                       in Denver. It covers all aspects of an event: the energy used at
                                                                    the venue, travel of attendees, organizers and suppliers, the
Following the offset guidelines suggested by Camco, the             disposal of waste generated, and water consumed. The Events
Carbon Team decided that the carbon footprint be offset             calculator is housed on the VISIT DENVER Web site at www.
through a mix of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and      
carbon offsets. RECs are used to match emissions from
electricity use while carbon offsets match emissions from           A travel calculator was also developed for use by individuals
travel, vehicle use, and other non-electricity sources. A           who would like to take responsibility for their travel. This
portion of the Convention carbon impact was offset through          calculator is also on the VISIT DENVER Web site at www.
the donation of “green electricity” from two convention   
sponsors, Xcel Energy and Public Service Company of New
Mexico. Xcel RECs were applicable to the electricity consumed       The calculators’ primary benefit is providing an accessible
by Convention Host Committee’s organizers, Convention               and reliable way to estimate and offset the carbon footprint
venues (Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Boettcher Hall, Buell           of an event or individual travel.17 The calculators provide a
Theater, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and other venues), and              mechanism online whereby the user can purchase offsets from
PNM RECs were applied to the electricity associated with            the Colorado Carbon Fund. All payments will be pooled to
Convention attendees’ accommodations during the week of             invest in renewable energy projects right here in Colorado.
the Convention. The remainder of the carbon impact has
been offset by a Host Committee investment in the Colorado          To learn more about carbon offsets, visit the Colorado Carbon
Carbon Fund.                                                        Fund at

Offset quality considerations include: 16                           RESULTS
•	 Certainty of offset delivery.                                    •	 Camco Global International, the Host Committee’s official
•	 Clear demonstration of additionality: demonstration that            (pro bono) carbon advisor created guidelines for selecting
    the emissions reduction project would not have happened            verifiable and credible offsets
    without the credits.                                            •	 Camco donated a $125,000+ carbon footprint analysis
•	 Permanence of emission reductions.                               •	 Xcel Energy donated sufficient wind credits to offset the
•	 Avoidance of leakage.                                               electrical use of all Convention-related facilities: 665,970
•	 Readily-verifiable monitoring plan.                                 kwh
                                                                    •	 PNM donation of $25,000 Renewable Energy Credits has
The Colorado Carbon Fund will combine the Host Committee               been applied toward offsetting hotel electricity .
contribution with other funding sources. A board will use the       •	 The Host Committee Executive Committee has agreed to
previous framework to assure that the projects selected are            purchase offsets from the Colorado Carbon fund to offset
credible.                                                              fossil fuel use: $99,520. These funds will be invested in
                                                                       renewable energy projects in Colorado.
The Carbon Calculators                                              •	 Event Planner and Travel Carbon calculator launched on
Always with its eye on environmental benefits that would               VISIT DENVER’s Web site. Technology development
outlive the Convention, the Greening Initiative encouraged             delays and communication barriers prevented its
a partnership between the Governor’s Energy Office, Aspen              promotion to and use by Convention guests.
Canary Initiative and VISIT DENVER to develop carbon
calculators for Convention guests not covered under a Delegate
Challenge organized by the DNCC. The technical complexity
of creating the local calculators delayed their launch until
August 19, so few Convention guests used it. However, these
free tools are now available for use by future travelers to         16 Camco ex ante report
Denver and convention and event planners.                           17 The Carbon Calculator is accessible at

                                                                       Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 57
                                                                                    Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Carbon (cont.)
     LEGACY                                                           LESSONS LEARNED
     •	 Capacity building – As the first analysis of a convention     •	 Establish relationship and complete contract with a carbon
        like this, hands-on-training in measurement was very             advisor by at least one year prior to the convention in
        valuable to city staff. Partnership between Governor’s           order to be able to apply carbon considerations to greening
        Energy Office, Greenprint Denver, and VISIT DENVER               strategies and to help build carbon data collection systems
        has been formalized.                                             into greening strategies.
     •	 VISIT DENVER will continue to host the calculators (first     •	 For political conventions, determine the carbon footprint
        major bureau in country) and promote them to future              boundaries between the Host Committee and the national
        conventions and meetings.                                        organizers by one year prior. It makes more sense from the
     •	 Late summer, Denver was ranked 3rd Greenest Meeting              perspective of the analysis to work together collaboratively
        City in the country (Watkins Research Group).                    on one assessment and one offsetting strategy. However, if
     •	 Funds invested in Colorado Carbon Fund from Host                 separation is necessary, draw clear boundaries early.
        Committee and all future calculator use will be invested in   •	 Don’t underestimate the amount of time data collection
        projects right here in Colorado that meet the framework          may take. If an ex ante analysis is conducted, use that time
        criteria.                                                        to lay the groundwork and create the relationships for data
     •	 This process built important local relationships that will       collection after the convention.
        facilitate future carbon responsibility at major events.      •	 When the convention is over, staff scatters quickly. Prepare
     •	 Start to finish model of carbon responsibility has set a         partners to collect ex post data at least one month before
        precedent for all future political conventions.                  the convention so that they can collect within the first
                                                                         couple of weeks after the convention.
     STRENGTHS                                                        •	 Travel carbon offset programs for attendees need to
     •	 Previous work on the Greenprint Climate Action Plan              be fully developed and ready to go months before the
        prepared Department of Environmental Health staff to             convention. A targeted and aggressive promotional
        understand project and help with data collection at City         program is necessary for success.
        facilities.                                                   •	 Use only high-quality, verifiable offsets. Match electricity
     •	 Donation of the carbon analysis by Camco, valued at more         emissions with RECs and use carbon offsets for emissions
        than $125,000.                                                   associated with fuel use.
     •	 Partnerships with Governor’s Energy Office, Denver
        Department of Environmental Health, VISIT DENVER.             Links
     •	 Donation of RECs by Xcel Energy and PNM.                      •	 City of Aspen’s “Canary Tags” Carbon Offset Project:
     •	 Host Committee deep commitment to greening and its      
        support for examining its own impacts, data collection,       •	 Camco’s Event Carbon Calculator:
        and offsets.                                                      convention/green/event-calculator
                                                                      •	 Camco International:
     CHALLENGES                                                           Camco is a Denver-based climate change business that
     •	 Contract delays prevented meaningful integration between          partners with clients to calculate their carbon footprint,
        greening strategy and ex ante results and precluded               develop emission reduction strategies and structure
        Camco from advising on reduction strategies prior to the          competitive carbon offset opportunities.
     •	 Camco content experts/analysts were located outside of
        Denver, making it difficult for them to engage with the
        Greening Initiative.
     •	 The separation of the Host Committee and DNCC
        footprints delayed contract agreements and complicated
        drawing boundaries.

58     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Carbon (cont.)
 Tree by Tree - The Mile High Million

 The Million Tree Initiative continued to make significant strides in 2008, from inspiring school children to adopt and care for
 trees to hosting a historic tree planting event for delegates from across the nation during the Democratic National Conven-
 tion—all the while moving toward the goal of a million new trees in metro Denver by 2025. To date, the program has planted
 more than 142,900 trees, engaged over 6,000 volunteers, and reached hundreds of school children.

 Auraria Pkwy/Speer Blvd Rehab
 On April 23, 2008 Mayor Hickenlooper and local volunteers from the Colorado Convention Center, EDAW, the Democratic National Con-
 vention Host Committee, Democrats Work, and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado planted nearly 200 trees along Auraria Parkway and
 Speer Boulevard. The tree plantings were part of a project to revitalize this important gateway to Denver’s urban core, which includes the
 Pepsi Center, the home of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The innovative design for the project features a restored tree canopy,
 as well as a xeric landscape of indigenous plant material and an irrigation system based on low water use and conservation technologies. By
 leveraging $35,000 worth of pro bono design work from EDAW to The Mile High Million, the project was able to be completed with over
 $340,000 in donations from partners and City funds.

 Convention Center Big Blue Bear
 A collaboration between the Colorado Convention Center, The Mile High Million, Denver Water, green-industry companies, and the Colo-
 rado Garden and Home Show resulted in a new landscape surrounding the Convention Center’s “big blue bear.” Seventy-seven new trees
 were planted in four plots around the bear along with over 1,000 low-water perennials. The landscape is expected to reduce water usage by
 about 80 percent once the plants have established.

 Green Frontier Fest
 The Million High Million participated in the premier green event held in conjunction with the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Green
 Frontier Fest showcased a full spectrum of sustainable green products, services, and ideas, from cutting edge renewable technologies to
 everyday solutions that could be implemented at home. At this outdoor event held in Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex,
 delegates and local residents enjoyed interactive and educational exhibits, local and organic foods and goods, a children’s area, eco-carnival
 games, music and entertainment, special presentations by guest speakers like Van Jones, and many other activities and features.

 Delegate Service Day
 More than 1,000 delegates and dignitaries, including Michelle Obama and her children, volunteered at 30 community-project sites around
 Denver during the Convention’s Delegate Service Day. Two of the Delegate Service Day events involved tree planting. The Mile High Million
 hosted an event attended by Mayor Hickenlooper and the First Lady of New York, Michelle Paterson. Over 100 volunteers planted 60 new
 trees at Mestizo-Curtis Park located in the Curtis Park neighborhood. The volunteer arm of the local Democratic Party, Democrats Work,
 also held an event in Aurora. Former President Jimmy Carter joined delegates in planting 76 trees in Bicentennial Park to demonstrate
 volunteer initiative and community activism.

 Delegate Tree Project
 The Downtown Denver Partnership donated $100,000 in-kind for The Delegate Project, which planted 56 trees in existing empty tree vaults
 within the boundaries of the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) area in support of the 56 delegations coming to Denver for
 the DNC. Denver Parks and Recreation identified trees that thrive in Colorado and that represent trees from each delegation’s home state or

                                                                              Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 59
                                                                                           Greening the Democratic National Convention
     The Communication Team was responsible for communicating           As part of the strategy, the Team worked with other Greening
     to the local community, nation, and world about the Denver         Initiative task teams to keep teams on message, concise,
     Host Committee’s Greening Initiatives for the 2008 Democratic      and connected to the overall Communication strategy. The
     National Convention. The Team supported the Greening               Communication Team drafted and helped distribute press
     Initiative by crafting its message, developing a public outreach   releases and media pitches on greening accomplishments and
     and social marketing strategy, and assisting the Greening staff    plans with the aim of increasing national coverage of Denver’s
     and Host Communication Team with its implementation. They          greening during the Democratic National Convention and
     also helped the Greening staff with the review of materials        beyond.
     intended to inform convention guests about the green choices
     they could make while in Denver.                                   The Host Committee Web site included green pages, the
                                                                        content of which was developed by the Communication
     The Communication Team representatives attended many               Team. All of the resource documents created in advance of the
     of the other Greening Committee’s task teams’ meetings,            Convention were posted on the Web site.
     offering advice, drafting and distributing press releases on
     initiatives, assisting with the design and content of the Web      As part of a social marketing effort, the Team advised and
     site and various print materials, and keeping abreast of their     reviewed the work of the greening staff to produce several
     work. Communication strategies were focused on traditional         handouts to educate volunteers, delegates, and the public.
     media, alternative media, and reaching out to individuals as       These included a tip sheet and a “placemat” handout on what
     appropriate.                                                       the Greening Committee was doing. The Greening efforts
                                                                        were conveyed and promoted to several thousand volunteers
     GOALS                                                              as part of Host Committee training sessions, as well as at the
     •	 Create a comprehensive, consistent green communication          specific Green volunteer training. Press releases were posted
        strategy to maximize outreach and education.                    on “YourHub” section of the Denver Post Web site in order to
     •	 Highlight Denver as a national leader in sustainability to      reach people who did not receive the news through traditional
        local residents, convention guests, and attending media.        media sources. Greening requests were included in newsletters
     •	 Use Convention greening communication strategy as               sent to volunteers asking them to lead through example by
        a social marketing opportunity - to reach out to local          walking, riding bikes, or carpooling, by bringing and using
        residents in order to inspire them to make green choices        durable water bottles, by supporting participating Lean ‘N
        and to accelerate the greening of the City itself.              Green restaurants, and promoting green choices to guests. Brief
     •	 Maximize Convention guest participation in the greening         articles in sponsor newsletters invited sponsors to participate
        strategy through targeted communication to individuals          by choosing environmentally friendly inserts into the gift
        whenever feasible.                                              bags and by greening their own events. Pocket sized tip cards
                                                                        were handed out to hotel workers and drivers for participating
     SUMMARY                                                            transportation companies.
     The Greening Initiative’s Communication Team worked with
     the Host Committee’s Communication Director, the Mayor’s
     Office Communication Team, and the Denver Office of
     Marketing to create a consistent message and effective strategy.
     The Host Committee Communication Director provided
     the pivotal linkage between general convention planning
     and media strategy, the greening media strategy, and the
     press. The mission statement that guided our message and
     communication strategy was crafted during a session facilitated
     pro bono by a team member:

     “To build a long lasting green legacy that will thrive in our
     community and around the world long after the last delegate
     leaves Denver.”

60     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Communication (cont.)
The Communication Team, largely made up of communication             •	    Specific events, mostly Green Frontier Fest and New
professionals, assisted in responding to inquiries from                    Energy Station: 11 percent.
reporters and several documentary filmmakers. A Team                 •	    General greening of Denver for the Convention: 23
member who was a professional public relations person                      percent.
working with Greenprint Denver managed all media inquiries           •	    The Lean ‘N Green effort: 13 percent.
for the week of the Convention. She collected metrics from           •	    13 percent of the stories had negative comments on
all the teams early every morning during the week of the                   greening.
Convention and gave them to the media during the day. She            •	    20 percent were written during the Convention.
also fielded media requests for interviews, ensuring that the
reporter or documentary filmmaker had an opportunity to              In addition:
speak to the appropriate person.                                     •	 In the weeks prior to the Convention, the Mayor’s Office
                                                                         received 36 media inquiries, many of them international.
RESULTS                                                              •	 A cursory Google search for blogs, press releases, and
After the Convention, greening interns collected articles on             major stories generated 80 hits.
the greening of the Convention via Google searches. The              •	 Training and pocket-sized tip cards were provided
articles included blogs, press releases, and major news stories          to approximately 6,000 individuals, volunteers, hotel
featured by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York               workers, and drivers to help them communicate the green
Times. There was significant interest from the international             message.
press. While the online search was neither exhaustive nor            •	 Greening tip cards were inserted as part of bike maps
scientific, the analysis of the 80+ hits provides a sampling of          into all 21,000 Hike and Bike maps given to delegates and
the media focus. Topics covered are listed below, along with the         media.
percentage of stories covering that topic out of the total stories   •	 Green buzz likely helped to spawn numerous other
tracked.                                                                 unrelated green activities during Convention week such
•	 Alternative / renewable energy: 9 percent.                            as: Sunfest, Wind Party, Dialog:City RISD Exhibit: “Partly
•	 Biking or alternative transportation: 14 percent.                     Sunny: Changing the Forecast,” numerous environment-
•	 Green businesses or hotels: 8 percent.                                focused symposia, forums, and dialogs.
•	 Greening for the DNCC (separate from the Host                     •	 Hotels used sustainable wooden hotel keycards.
     Committee): 5 percent.                                          •	 VISIT DENVER created bags from convention banners
•	 Carbon emissions offsets and the DNCC delegate                        and distributed them as thank you gifts.
     challenge: 17 percent.

                                                    Media Stories by Subject


                                                                          14%                                 Alt Energy
                                                                                                              Bikes / Alt Transp
                                                                                                              Green business
                               13%                                                                            Greening DNC

                                                                           8%                                 Host Comm Events
                                                                                                              Host Comm Genl
                                                                                                              Lean & Green
                                                                          5%                                  Carbon Emissions

                                        23%                      11%

                                                                          Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 61
                                                                                       Greening the Democratic National Convention
 Communication (cont.)
     LEGACY                                                            LESSONS LEARNED
     •	 The Host Committee’s Web site was maintained until the         •	 A Communication Team can be a crucial addition to the
        end of 2008. Greening Initiative final reports are hosted on      planning structure. Professional communicators can help
        the Greenprint Denver Web site.                                   team members keep on message, remind them what they’re
     •	 Reports include the final Host Committee carbon                   going to say and advise them in their interactions with
        assessment from Camco Global (a company that manages              the media. Strategic communication should be part of any
        carbon credits and provides carbon advisory service), a           greening effort from the beginning.
        Sustainable Events Guide, and this final report.               •	 Host Committee Communication support and
                                                                          comprehensive understanding of greening initiatives
     STRENGTHS                                                            in the general Communication Team is essential. Had
     •	 Profile of the Convention created a natural curiosity in          there been additional staff, it might have been even more
        the local, national, and international press for all things       helpful to have an internal Communication staff person
        Convention-related. This made it easy to “sell stories”           assigned explicitly to think proactively about green media
        about the greening efforts.                                       opportunities.
     •	 Convention Host Committee leadership consistently              •	 It was helpful to have a Greening Team member dedicated
        included greening in all of their public speaking                 to working with the media during the week of the
        engagements and interviews. The Greening Director was             Convention to support the overall Communication Team.
        included in all Community Forums and other Convention             The Team member acted as a clearinghouse for reports
        presentations.                                                    coming in from volunteers and team leads, shared the
     •	 Integration with Host Committee Communication                     information with the Communication Team, and fielded
        strategy.                                                         calls from the media.
     •	 Opportunities to include green messaging in Convention-        •	 Set early deadlines for messaging, promotions, developing
        related materials such as gift bags, maps and newsletters.        lists of experts for the media, and layout of Web pages.
                                                                       •	 Use greening language that is suggestive rather than
     CHALLENGES                                                           prescriptive.
     •	 Inability to have access to direct communication with          •	 Be prepared for many media inquiries in the week before
        delegates and other guests coming to Denver for the               the Convention. The week prior to the Convention was
        Convention in advance and during the Convention in                the most press-intense time for the Denver 2008 Greening
        order to promote their participation.                             Initiative.
     •	 Proactive greening media outreach was curtailed in the         •	 Keep the message simple and positive.
        month before the Convention due to an inaccurate media
        story that took on a life of its own that compromised the
        educational promise of the greening initiative. Most green
        stories that occurred during the month of August were a
        result of the momentum achieved earlier in the planning

62     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Communication (cont.)
Communication with Guests
•	 All convention guests are integral partners in a Greening
   Initiative. Minimization of the environmental impact of
   a convention itself requires that attendees consciously
   participate and make green choices. To achieve this level
   of mindfulness, attendees need to be alerted prior to the
   convention of any departure from their routine behaviors.
•	 The Greening Initiative was unable to target direct
   advance communication to any of the Convention guests,
   especially delegates or media.
•	 No lists were available for media attending the Convention,
   making it impossible to develop any communication
   strategy with them. With media contributing greatly to
   the environmental footprint at a large, political convention
   and media coverage playing a big role in the reception of
   greening efforts, advanced communication with the media
   is crucial.

 “Denver’s new green sensibilities will be felt -- whether they
 like it or not -- by conventioneers. Mayor Hickenlooper has
 challenged organizers to make the Democratic National
 Convention the “greenest convention in the history of the
 planet.” That means a lot of organic foods, as many as 900
 volunteers dedicated to making sure everyone recycles, 1,000
 bicycles available to the delegates, and a push to offset the
 convention’s carbon emissions with investments in alternative-
 energy and other green ventures.”

  - “Denver’s Second Coming Out Party,” by Michael
 B. Farrell, ABC News and Christian Science Monitor,
 Aug. 25, 2008,

                                                                  Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 63
                                                                               Greening the Democratic National Convention
     The numerous dedicated volunteers, the enthusiastic public, and the supportive leadership from the Host Committee and Mayor’s
     Office led to a sustainable Democratic National Convention. While many lessons were learned about improving success in the
     future, the Denver 2008 Host Committee Greening Initiative reached nearly all of its goals and saw many programs exceed
     expectations. The Host Committee and Mayor’s Office efforts built an enduring green legacy that is thriving in the community
     long after the departure of the last delegate.

     A natural outgrowth of Denver’s long-standing sustainability efforts – led by Mayor Hickenlooper’s Greenprint Denver and the
     Host Committee’s Greening efforts – the 2008 Democratic National Convention was the greenest national political convention
     to date. The Convention served as a galvanizing opportunity to enhance Denver’s green programs and initiatives beyond the

     A final thank you goes out to all of the volunteers, participants, sponsors, and supporters of the Denver 2008 Host Committee
     Greening Initiative. Success in this initiative was truly a community effort made possible by thousand of volunteer hours and
     donated expertise. Because of their efforts, we created a more sustainable Convention and a more sustainable Denver!

             Greening Task Team Volunteer Roster
             Jenny Anderson, Stuart Anderson, Sara Antonio, Carrie Atiyeh, Michele Baker, Mat Barlow, Laurie
             Batchelder Adams, Christina Beisel, Tracee Bently, Joel Berman, Allison Billings, Bryan Birch, Tim
             Blumenthal, Susan Bonsall Adam Borut, Cindy Bosco, Mike Bownman, Patty Breech, Parry Burnap, Tom
             Burns, Amanda Caldwell, Rebecca Cales, Kim Cameron, Malia Campbell, Beth Chacon, Jen Clanahan,
             Leanna Clark, Luis Colon, Tracy Davis, Joe Davis, Jennifer Daw, Jason Delambre, Marcella Devargas, Trini
             Dominiguez, Linda Dowlen, Andrew Duvall, Richard Eidlin, Lucy Emerson-Bell, Rachel Emmer, Lucas
             Erickson, Crissy Fanganello, Laureen Ferris, Greg Fisher, Dick Gannon, Kim Giunta, Sara Godlevsky,
             harvey Greenberg, Catherine Greener, Marjorie Griek, John Griffith, Dan Grunig, Michael Guiietz, Tracy
             Halasinski, Will Handsfield, David Harr, Andrea Hart, Brent Hildebrand, Genevieve Hutchison, Sue Igoe,
             Susan Innis, Alexia Jennings, Dave Jolette, Kristen Jordan, Kim Jordan, Ilene Kamsler, Lisa Kardell, Vikki
             Kelly, David Kennedy, Peter Kenney, Nate Kvamme, Ron Lillich, Tom Lincoln, John Long, Chris Lopez,
             Ed Lopez, Monique Lovato, James Mackay, Kevin Magner, Dan Mahoney, Kristi Mallow, Sarah Martinez,
             Tim Martinez, Mercedes Martinez, Loretta Martinez, Melinda Maxfield, Bud McGrath, Paulette Middleton,
             Brian Mitchell, Scott Morrissey, Lynette Myers, Matt Nabity, Jaime Nack, Mark Najarian, Aaron Nelson,
             Dave Newport, Bill Obermann, Jeff Olson, Donna Pacetti, Andy Papa, Grant Parsons, Nehan Patel, Shana
             Patterson, Charlotte Pitt, Patricia Provencher, Charles Purshouse, Aylene Quale, Wynee Racine, David Rapp,
             Denise Rayborn, Aaron Robinson, Andrea Robinson, Aaron Robinson, Scott Robson, Marlene Romero-
             Phillips, Gina Rubano, Bridget Sahey, Steve Sander, Kendra Sandoval, Kathi Schlegel, Kurt Schlomberg,
             Paul Schmiechen, Danamarie Schmitt, Kevin Scott, Mo Shafroth, Steve Shapiro, Stacey Simms, Janna Six,
             Lindsay Smith, Craig Smith, Stacey Smith, Denise Stepto, Bill Stewart, Steve Szabo, Tim Taylor, Martha
             Tenney, Gregg Thomas, Tony Tomazic, Carol Tombari, Brent Cruz Tongco, Elizabeth Train, Beth Truby,
             Chantal Unfug, Christine Vigil, Bill Wallace, David Weingarden, Michele Weingarden, Sarah Wells, Nancy
             White, Wendy White, Meryl Wisner, Doug Woods.

64     Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative
       Greening the Democratic National Convention
Greening Initiative Documents

•	   Hike and Bike Walking and Biking Tours Map
•	   Sustainable Events Guide
•	   Sustainable Management Plan
•	   Camco Global Host Committee Carbon Assessment Report
•	   Resource Recovery Committee Green Specifications
•	   Sustainable Events Guidebook
•	   Resource Recovery Team’s Volunteer Handout
•	   Denver Water Tap Smart Solutions
•	   Ten Actions for Caterers
•	   Ten Actions for Event Planners
•	   Ten Actions for Venue Managers
•	   Action Plan for Venues
•	   Action Plan for Businesses
•	   Greening Food Industry Workshop
•	   Green Practices for Hotels
•	   Action Plan for Caterers
•	   Convention Greening Fact Sheet
•	   Greening Committee Placemat

These documents will be available May 15, 2009 on

                                                                Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee Greening Initiative 65
                                                                             Greening the Democratic National Convention