Consistently recognized as a sustainability leader, Eugene, Oregon and the surrounding communities are a natural draw for green meetings. From the Cascades ridgeline to the Pacific coastline, our citizens have a keen appreciation for protecting our common inheritance of natural beauty and precious resources.
The Eugene City Council passed the Climate Recovery Ordinance (CRO) in 2014, making a bold statement by setting ambitious climate goals and incorporating them into Eugene City Code. The goals include reducing community fossil fuel consumption to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, reducing community greenhouse gasses by 7.6% annually, and establishing carbon-neutral City facilities.
In 2020, the Lane Transit District (LTD) Board of Directors adopted a Climate Action Policy, which established the following goals for the transit fleet: A 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 0% fossil-fueled fleet by 2035. In the spring of 2021, LTD initiated a Fleet Procurement Plan to evaluate all available fuels and technologies for future investment. In 2022, LTD joined the Federal Transit Administration Healthy Planet Challenge to demonstrate its commitment to reducing emissions and taking care of our community. As part of the challenge, LTD and many transit agencies across the country are sharing their climate action plans and strategies, along with measurable goals to increase ridership and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Utilizing a progressive, green meeting space is a smart choice for planners. Eugene is home to many LEED-certified venues. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the US Green Building Council rating system. Some of Eugene's certified venues include the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union (LEED Platinum), Matthew Knight Arena (LEED Gold) and the Lillis Business Complex (LEED Silver).
Many hotel properties throughout the region also boast a strong commitment to sustainable practices. Some of these include energy conservation policies, on-site recycling, green housekeeping services and energy-efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
In 2015, Lane Transit District (LTD), Eugene’s bus service provider, became one of just 13 transit agencies in the U.S.—and only transit district in Oregon— to achieve certification of a high international sustainability standard known as International Organization Standardization’s (ISO) 14001.
PeaceHealth Rides is a network of bike-share stations located throughout the city. Attendees can pick up and drop off publicly available bicycles for one-way trips across the city. The bikes are equipped with GPS tracking and built-in safety features.
A hundred-mile radius around the Eugene-Springfield metro area encompasses the agricultural bounty of the Willamette Valley; verdant foraging, fishing and hunting in the Cascade Mountains; and fresh seafood from the Pacific Ocean. Combine the fertile foodshed with one of the nation's purest water sources, internationally applauded winemaking, a craft beer haven, and a community committed to farm-to-table sustainability for an amazing immersion in Pacific Northwest regional dining.
Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste program allows meeting venues and food businesses to turn their food scraps into healthy compost. Since the program’s implementation in 2012, it has converted over 18,000 tons of food waste into compost and biogas. Almost all the meeting venues and hotel properties participate in the program—making it easy for planners who are committed to sustainable events.
The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon is home to 30 miles of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area—the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. The Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative hosts volunteer work parties that provide groups with guided nature tours and the opportunity to help save the dunes by removing non-native plant species.
The Cascades Raptor Center, located in Eugene, is a rescue and rehabilitation center that is home to one of the largest collections of native raptor species in the Pacific Northwest. Attendees can experience over 50 birds of prey in large aviaries viewed by walking along winding hillside trails. Groups can arrange to help beautify and maintain the grounds by removing invasive plant species, raking trails and planting.
King Estate, the largest certified biodynamic vineyard in North America, is committed to sustainable agricultural practices. One of their most impressive practices is their Raptor Release Site Program. In partnership with Cascades Raptor Center, their estate serves as a release site for orphaned and rehabilitated raptors. Raptors prey on rodents and birds that eat grapes which aids natural pest control. Their large property and highly diverse habitats are the ideal places for these birds of prey to become reintegrated back into daily life. The estate uses time-honored methods to cultivate soil health such as crop rotation, composting and homeopathic sprays — no herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used. Plus, the estate utilizes renewable solar energy and provides habitat for about 200 species of native wildlife, including six — both plants and animals — that are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Planners can add an eco-inspiration activity to their conference agenda with a tour of an organic farm, winery or sustainable industry. Or, take a group to explore the West Eugene Wetlands, hike a local trail and look for birds, or navigate the local watershed by raft or kayak. Additionally, the area is rich with speakers that are passionate about sustainability and enthusiasts that are eager to share their knowledge with groups.
A Sustainable Meeting Destination
Our destination is committed to sustainability. As part of our company ethos, we strive to provide sustainable options to meeting planners in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon. From farm-to-table cuisine to low-emission transportation options, this region has it all. Consider hosting your next meeting here and trust our professional services staff will help make it as sustainable as possible every step of the way.