Since 2007, McCormick Place has committed itself to conservation and ecologically sustainable initiatives. McCormick Place has prioritized sustainable green policies as a top business strategy, striving to find new ways to adapt to existing practices to be more green. Switching to renewable energy and LEED certified building is proof of McCormick Place's green commitment, and its Green Action Team works to customize green initiatives for every event held at the convention center.

McCormick Place also hosted the Green Meetings Industry Council's (GMIC) Sustainable Meetings Conference in April 2013, where the industry's thought leaders led collaborative sessions with meetings and events professionals to educate them on sustainability practices. This was a chance for McCormick Place and Chicago to prove that they are leaders in green, sustainable practices, which are only improving every day.

Visit McCormick Place's green initiatives page for additional information.


  • McCormick Place facility operations has completed many energy-saving projects, which have reduced energy consumption by 1.6 million kilowatt hours annually. These savings are equivalent to 126,556 gallons of gas consumed, 423 tons of waste instead of sending to landfill, and 4.9 railcars of coal.
  • Lighting upgrades have been made campus wide, including replacing 20,000 T12 lamps with T8 Lamps, replacing all passenger elevator lighting with LED, and installing occupancy sensors in all West and South Building public bathrooms.
  • McCormick Place is committed to offsetting 100 percent of its electricity usage with clean, affordable wind energy. The convention center purchased Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated from wind power to match 100 percent of the annual electricity demand.


McCormick Place promotes alternate public transportation as an environmentally friendly mode of travel. Facilities can be accessed by:

  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train lines
  • METRA Electric commuter railroad stop

McCormick Place is a cyclist-friendly venue with many bike racks, and enforces anti-idling and non-smoking policies to improve air quality.


McCormick Place's 2015 water conservation goal is to reduce water usage by 10 percent, in order to ensure the continued health of a valuable natural resource and to reflect water-efficient strategies in daily operations.

  • Shift from bottled water to waste-reducing and environmentally responsible, refillable water bottles is encouraged
  • McCormick Place provides contractors with water dispensers, as well as options to utilize the City of Chicago's water
  • It also provides water stations for meeting rooms and public spaces used for program and education sessions


  • Refillable water sources and double-sided printing, to avoid unnecessary plastic and paper waste
  • The McCormick Place kitchen composts natural food products, and donates extra food to local food banks
  • To increase its annual diversion rate by 10 percent, McCormick Place has added meeting room recycling containers and two high density recycling compactors in the South Building


Reducing environmental impact requires cooperation and collaboration. McCormick Place embraces the opportunity for alliance with teams committed to green initiatives.

  • McCormick Place's food service provider, SAVOR...Chicago is an industry leader for environmental sustainability. SAVOR... is responsible for tending the two-acre rooftop garden at the convention center, pictured above.
  • The garden conserves heating and cooling energy, and provides a local source of herbs and vegetables. SAVOR... also purchases produce, meats and seafood from local markets, composting waste whenever possible.
  • SAVOR...'s website has a full rundown of its sustainability practices.