Going Greener: Our Sustainability Journey

During Convening Leaders 2022, consultant Honeycomb Strategies analyzed our programs, purchasing, waste, food and beverage, and engagement. In a findings report, they highlighted best practices and identified recommendations for future improvement.

Honeycomb Strategies Logo

Convening Leaders 2023: Our Commitment to Sustainability

To improve our sustainability performance in 2023, we are committed to four sustainability principles:

Sustainability Graphic


Sustainability Graphic


Sustainability Graphic


Sustainability Graphic


  • Diminish Climate Impacts: PCMA will employ carbon reduction solutions when planning programs and initiatives and will offset emissions that can’t be avoided. Our goal is to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050.
  • Improve Durability and Circularity: PCMA will prioritize the use of items that can be easily reused, repurposed, or recycled after their initial use.
  • Be Mindful of Environmental Resources: PCMA is committed to meaningful planning and engagement with all stakeholders to raise awareness and address the environmental impacts of producing our event.
  • Expand Equity, Accessibility and Opportunity: PCMA will support local business and people from all corners of the community to create a more diverse and inclusive experience at Convening Leaders.


As a trusted steward of the venues and destinations we visit, we set tangible goals to use resources responsibly and leave a lasting legacy of positive environmental and social impact . We invite you, our partners and stakeholders, to help us reach our goals by doing your part for sustainability at CL23.

Diminishing Climate Impacts

We committed to choosing a venue that sources 25% of its energy from renewables. In 2022, we met this goal at Caesar’s Forum which sources 29% renewable energy. In 2023, we will exceed this goal because 100% of energy at Greater Columbus Convention Center is offset by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) equivalent to the total amount of energy used. In addition, we love that Columbus is a very walkable city.

Help us decrease our carbon impact. While at CL23, enjoy Columbus by foot, or use their great bus system and CoGo Bike Share stations.

Greater Columbus Logo

Columbus Ohio Walking

Improve Durability and Circularity

Our baseline revealed that Convening Leaders 2022 produced nearly 20,000 lbs of signage, none from sustainable substrates. 56% or about 11,200 lbs of that signage ended up in the landfill. This year, we eliminated all foam core signage and prioritized materials with recycled content.

To help us out, be sure to download the PCMA CL23 mobile app! We reduced the number of printed materials, and everything is available on the app.

Go Digital

Nearly 70% of all food and beverage waste at events ends up in landfills. We made a goal to go above and beyond. We want to divert 25% more waste from the landfill than the GCCC average. One thing we did is commit to procuring durable or compostable food and beverage service ware.

What you can do to reduce waste is enjoy a sit-down meal rather than eating on the go. You’ll reduce packaging and waste and have a chance to connect with your peers over some delicious local and seasonal food provided by Levy Catering and the GCCC in-house Smart Farm. And, don’t forget your reusable water bottle!

Expand Equity, Accessibility and Opportunity

A documented best practice in our baseline report was Convening Leader’s efforts to give back to the community. This year, Hospitality Helping Hands volunteer events will continue the practice, assembling boxes for the local YMCA to distribute to underserved communities.

Plan to volunteer with Hospitality Helping Hands by checking out the full networking activities schedule

Sustaining our communities includes supporting all members and groups that comprise them. We made a goal that 20% of our partners are women, BIPOC, veteran-owned, and local. Let’s celebrate the diversity of people who are welcome at PCMA Convening Leaders.

Help us create an inclusive community.
When you’re filling up your schedule with amazing activities, consider going to see a speaker whose background is different than yours.

One of our goals is to make accessibility options easily available for those who need it.

If you need support
in mobility or sensory care, GCCC can provide scooters and sensory inclusive bags at the Guest Services Center.


We’ve included some guidance for our partners and sponsors to consider at the conference:

  • Remember to pack in/pack out all materials. You are responsible for disposing your waste responsibly during move in and move out, as well as during your time at the event.
  • If your activation provides samples, encourage attendees to forego packaging, or accommodate a reusable bag or cup provided by your patron.
    Follow procurement guidelines from PCMA for sustainable, reusable and recyclable items:

      • Signage – if you can, use digital signage like an iPad or flatscreen that can be used over and over. If this isn’t an option, print signs on honeycomb substrate or other recycled and recyclable material. Any printed flyers or cards should also follow this guidance.
      • Swag – consider the gift guide linked here.