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Environmental Considerations

The 2013 Elevating Impact Summit aspires to produce an environmentally and socially responsible event. We employ a set of core commitments:

  • Commitment to the social dimension of sustainability via robust engagement and collaboration with locally based social cause and non-profit organizations.
  • Commitment to the economic dimension of sustainability through a concentrated focus in our programming and purchasing decisions on building and supporting strong local/regional economies and green businesses.
  • Commitment to minimize the environmental impact through recognized sustainable best practices, vendor relationships and upholding high standards for venue selection.

We continually seek to further enhance our efforts in all of these areas. If you know of a new opportunity for us to look into, please contact the event manager at


The Gerding Theater | 128 NW 11th Ave, Portland OR 97209

  • The first building on the National Register of Historic Places and the first performing arts facility in the world to achieve the US Green Building Council certified LEED Platinum level.
  • Due to intricate integration of mechanical, electrical and information systems, the venue is able to perform 30% more efficiency than code, even with massive energy needs.
  • Rain gutters drain into a 10,000 gallon underground cistern and is redirected to keeping the building’s public toilets flushing. With the help of Portland’s rainy season in line with the venue’s heaviest use makes this redirected water available when it’s needed the most.
  • The Gerding’s Main Stage features an air flow cavity under seating risers and distribution vents under ever seat which gives the attendee a quieter and more energy efficient experience. Upstairs, modular flooring is raised 9 inches from the level’s foundation allowing under-floor air and workspace specific vents. Chilled beams in offices and rehearsal rooms create not only create greater efficiency, but also employ a small fan blowing air past tubes of regionally chilled water to cool individual workstations. Energy-efficient illumination is built into the same fixture.
  • Construction crews have maximized recycling of the Gerding’s construction waste, diverting 95% of it away from landfills. 25% of all materials used by contractors contain recycled content and 45% of them were regionally manufactured.
  • Cleaning crews use only environmentally sensitive cleaning products and onsite staff commutes to work via carpool, public transportation or bicycle.

Registration and Communication

  • Event promotion is pursued primarily via online methods
  • Registration process utilizes a 100 percent paperless ticket system
  • Badge holders are compostable and made from corn-starch, as well as re-used
  • All suppliers are local when possible and deemed conscious of their social responsibility (A/V, food/beverage, exhibitor materials)

Food and Beverage Options

Caterer: Artemis Foods

  • Use ingredients & products which are grown organically or locally and which are as minimally processed
  • Work with local farmers who deliver to us directly. We choose local first, and 95% of that is organic. 
  • Sends recycling containers out on all events and offers real plates and cutlery on our breakfast and lunch service (group size permitting) at no extra charge to reduce paper waste
  • Uses compostable paper products, compostable corn-based plastic hot and cold cups, and compostable potato-based plastic utensils
  • Participates in City of Portland’s composting program for both kitchen and post-event composting
  • Recycles all paper, cardboard, cans, bottles and plastic, including metal/paper hangers and plastic wrap
  • Donates extra food to a homeless shelter
  • GO Box Containers
  • GO Box is a new way to conveniently and safely reduce the waste associated with single-use, disposable to-go containers.
  • GO Box uses containers made of BPA-free, dishwasher-safe #5 plastic and will be recycled at the end of their life.

Printing and Signage

Event signage and programs provided by Willamette Print & Blueprint, which uses higher quality display products, made from post-consumer recycled materials, and printed with virtually no waste or harmful by-products. Their Enviro-Board is made locally and is composed of 67 percent post consumer/post-industrial recycled content

Transportation Options

  • Venue was chosen in part for its central location near multiple public transportation options, including bus routes and Streetcar lines as well as accessible bike parking.
  • Take Public Transit! The Gerding is right on the Streetcar line. Plan your route here.
  • Ride Your Bike! Covered bike parking is located one block up on 12th street between NW Couch and NW Davis Street.