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Moscone Center Gets LEED Platinum Certification

The sprawling convention center in San Francisco keeps sustainability at the forefront of all operations

By Amanda Christensen

Located in downtown San Francisco just northeast of the city’s financial district, Moscone Center is within walking distance of all that The Golden City has to offer—from its Michelin-starred restaurants and stunning museums to several noteworthy hotels and greenspaces. Most notably, as of the end of October, is the center’s recent certification as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) for the entire venue. The accolade follows a number of other LEED certifications awarded to the center throughout its time in San Francisco, and it makes San Francisco the only city in the world to have the most advanced LEED Platinum certification for both its convention center and airport.

Exterior of Moscone Center. Nov. 16, 2023
Exterior of Moscone Center || Courtesy of Moscone Center

“In 2019, Moscone North and South reopened after a four-year expansion and renovation and achieved LEED Platinum for New Construction—with the highest score for a convention center in the world,” says Leonie Patrick, general manager at Moscone Center. “Moscone West has been awarded LEED Gold in 2012, which is a great accomplishment in itself. Since LEED Platinum EBOM is so difficult to obtain, our team was excited that our complex now holds this honor.”

Several factors played into the center’s LEED Platinum EBOM certification, including its 70,000-gallon tank that collects groundwater, its large solar arrays to produce sun-powered energy, its robust recycling and composting program, and its participation in donating leftover food to local nonprofits.

Solar arrays atop Moscone Center in San Francisco. Nov. 16, 2023
Solar panel arrays atop Moscone Center || Courtesy of Moscone Center

“[Our sustainability efforts set] us apart from other convention centers, but beyond that, [they give] us a sense of pride that we are doing all that we can for our city and for fellow humans,” Patrick says. “There are groups that will only meet in venues that implement sustainable practices, or groups that want us to help them improve their sustainability scorecard.”

And it doesn’t end there. Slated to be completed at the end of 2024, the center’s team is working to expand the robust solar array to Moscone West. Patrick adds, “We are also working with San Francisco Gold, a group of hospitality professionals, to conduct outreach to Moscone Center meeting planners to facilitate their groups’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals in order to leave San Francisco better than when they arrived.”