The ever-increasing emphasis on all things green has hit the trade show floor-literally. The producers of the NeoCon meeting said they are pursuing LEED certification for its Chicago headquarters and the tradeshow space it oversees. The management company, Merchandise Mart Properties, said the designation is a logical move given its longstanding commitment to environment responsibility. It did, however, note that the effort will require the company to adopt a number of new procedures. 

“The Mart as a building has always championed green initiatives because green means good business,” said Myron Maurer, senior vice president of Merchandise Mart. “Green buildings create a healthy workplace and ensure that generations to come will have the resources they need to thrive on this planet.”

The effort to earn LEED certification will require the company to improve its recycling programs and adopt a green product purchasing policy. An IAQ management plan, car-sharing program and efficient energy management are also on the agenda, the company said.

LEED certification for green buildings was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Designed to “establish a common standard of measurement, as well as recognize environmental leadership in the building industry while raising consumer awareness of the benefits of green building,” LEED measures building performance in five areas:  sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.