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Loudoun County Searches To Find the “Greenest” Company

November 24, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Business No Comments

NCC Wins Platinum and First Place in the Mid-Sized Business Category at the 2010 Loudoun County Green Business Challenge

The National Conference Center (NCC) received first place in the mid-sized business awards category and the Platinum Award from the Loudoun County Green Business Challenge for NCC’s dedication in maintaining an eco-friendly property. The Platinum Award was the highest level awarded. With 917 guest rooms and more than 250 meeting rooms, NCC welcomes as many as 6,000 guests a month. As one of the largest conference centers in the nation, the team at NCC began their green efforts in the early 90’s to responsibly conserve water and energy at the facility.

The Loudoun County Green Business Challenge honors companies that make a commitment to ensuring a healthy and sustainable life. Each year, participating businesses in the county pledge to take action and better the community and environment with sustainable practices.

In the past twenty years, NCC has come together to involve the entire property and surrounding community in practicing sustainability. Today, NCC’s established green team is the driving force behind the property’s new major green initiatives. According to Pat Trammell, director of housekeeping and “chief sustainability officer (CSO)” at NCC, “Having a green team makes the property’s goals more defined by bringing future ideas to the table. Most importantly, it connects people who are passionate about being green.”

These sustainability practices expand over 110-acres and include water saving devices in the showers, toilets and sinks; motion-sensor heating and air conditioning devices in guest rooms and meeting space; and biodiesel vehicles that operate off of diverted fryer oil.

Other conservation efforts include an active bed linen and towel reuse program, all high-efficient Energy Star appliances, energy-efficient CFL bulbs throughout the property, and the use of recycled office materials. The conference center also considers the “greenness” of its supply chain. NCC’s housekeeping department has eliminated multiple cleaning products and chooses supplies based on the company’s proximity and the manufacturing process.

As a conference center, food flexibility plays a large role in attendance. Currently, the conference center participates in a Farm-to-Table initiative through a partnership with Local Food Hub, a non-profit organization that collaborates with local farmers to provide practical vendors. By using Local Food Hub and other Virginia farms, this promotes stewardship of the land and requires less transportation.

At the forefront of transportation sustainability, The National Conference Center diverts 100% of their fryer oil to create biodiesel fuel for their shuttles. By converting the fryer oil, the newer shuttles are able to operate off the BIO 20 diesel fuel during the warmer months, an estimated diversion of 1300 gallons per year.

The National Conference Center has also extended their efforts outward to the community. For the past four years, NCC has hosted an annual Earth Day event. In April 2010, NCC employees, students from neighboring Belmont Ridge Middle School, and volunteers from Blue Ridge Wildlife Center came together to help clean up the property’s 110 wooded acres, the creek that leads into the Potomac, and shared ways of being green.

Since 2006, NCC’s primary strategic initiatives have been to fully participate in environmental stewardship and serve as a leader in sustainability. In 2009 alone, the conference center was able to save over two million gallons of water and over two million kilo watt hours, reducing their energy consumption by 10 percent.

“We saved green by going green,” explained Kurt Krause general manager at NCC, “Businesses can’t ask for a better outcome than that!”

Located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., the National Conference Center (NCC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings. NCC is also on the GSA schedule. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com.

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