It will be a ‘green’ Democratic convention in Denver, officials say |

It will be a ‘green’ Democratic convention in Denver, officials say

Ivan Moreno
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” There was talk of green at the Pepsi Center Monday, but it wasn’t because of St. Patrick’s Day.

Gov. Bill Ritter helped unveil several environmentally friendly initiatives for the Pepsi Center, home of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche ” and the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28.

“We have been discussing how this can be the greenest convention since the advent of electricity and to have the Pepsi Center be out ahead of us in terms of going fully green, that’s a very significant help for us,” Ritter said during a news conference with officials from Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which owns the Pepsi Center.

Venue officials said the Pepsi Center will become the first major sports arena in the country to operate entirely on renewable energy certificates from Sterling Planet, which develops and harvests energy through wind farms. With the purchase, the Pepsi Center will offset the electricity it uses in a year.

Dave Jolette, vice president for the company’s venue operations, said officials are committed to “a 100-percent ‘green-up’ of the Pepsi Center.” He said although the convention was an incentive for the changes, company officials had already been thinking about making the arena more energy efficient.

“Everything we’re doing is to do for us long-term,” he said. “That was the crux of the goal for me. I don’t want to have a convention come in here, green for a week, and not have any living legacy.”

Jolette said solar panels will be installed at the Pepsi Center in the next month to “take advantage of the Colorado sunshine every day.”

Other initiative will include preferred parking for people with hybrid cars, and a “no-idling zone” outside the arena. Jolette also said recycling will be made easier by allowing plastic and paper products to be placed in the same container.

He said lighting fixtures have been replaced throughout the arena with compact fluorescent lamps, which can save the equivalent of 44 barrels of oil a year in two of the club-level restaurants, for example.

Andrea Robinson, director of sustainability and greening for the Democratic National Convention Committee, said a “green” convention is a mandate from DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

“This will be the most sustainably produced political convention in American history,” she said. “That’s our goal and we want nothing short of that.”

Robinson said during the four-day event, DNCC organizers will ensure the materials to clean the facility are nontoxic and that what is used to build platforms and stages can be recycled. She said organizers are also working on having a composting program so material going into landfills is minimized.

“The chairman of the DNC, (Howard Dean) this is something that he’s very supportive of and it’s one of the important pillars of the convention itself,” she said.


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