Sustainability, Helping Community Are Driving Forces for Events in Austin

A Sponsored Article From Visit Austin

Author: Curt Wagner       

items on table to fill donation kits Austin Convention Center

For one of the CSR initiatives during Subaru of America’s 2022 National Business Conference, held at the Austin Convention Center, attendees filled kits with home and educational items for nonprofits to give to their communities.

The organizers of Subaru of America’s 2022 National Business Conference wanted to ensure that no recyclable materials from the event ended up in landfills, and they found a partner capable of helping them achieve that goal in their host destination of Austin, Texas. Through CSR donations and sustainability efforts, the conference, held July 18-21 at the Austin Convention Center (ACC), sent no waste to landfills.

“It was a collaborative effort in working with the Austin Convention Center’s sustainability team to make sure our conference was 100-percent zero landfill,” said Nicole Gauthier, one of the team members from One10 Marketing, who helped plan the conference.

Subaru Austin recycle bins

Subaru worked with the sustainability team at the Austin Convention Center to collect food, compostable, and recyclable waste to divert 100 percent of waste from landfills.

The annual business conference brings together Subaru retailers and other company employees — roughly 2,000 attendees this year — over three days to strategize and also to recognize those who support the company’s vision, the Subaru Love Promise. That promise is a pledge to “leave the places where we live and work better than when we arrived,” Gauthier said.

Among the reasons Austin was picked to host the 2022 event, Gauthier said, were that it could accommodate the size of the Subaru group as well as provide unique experiences for attendees. “Austin, with its rich musical history and unique culture, was a highly anticipated location for our guests,” she said.

Another plus was that Austin and the team at the convention center share similar values to those laid out in the Subaru Love Promise. The convention center’s sustainability efforts include an extensive recycling, reuse, and composting program that sees 50 percent of all waste generated at the center diverted from landfills.

The center’s program was enhanced during Subaru’s conference. Teams pre-sorted all material coming off the show floor, which allowed them to divert 100 percent of compostable and recyclable waste — 28,177 pounds — from landfills.

Conference organizers also cut down on recyclable waste through donations. Over the past 10 years, Gauthier said, Subaru and its retailers have pledged to donate as many goods as possible to charitable organizations in the cities where they hold their national conferences. For the July event, three local charities were tapped to receive various donations: the animal sanctuary Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch; Mobile Loaves & Fishes, an outreach ministry that serves homeless people, and Adopt A Classroom, a national nonprofit that provides school supplies to classrooms and needy families. Those donations included 923 pieces of furnishings and décor and 373 live plants. Carpets from the show floor were not donated but given back to the manufacturer to be sold as “used carpet.”

The Austin-Subaru partnership continued with the event’s CSR efforts that included partnering with Hound Rescue in Austin for a dog adoption event and the assembling of three types of kits to be donated. By the end of the three days, conference attendees had assembled 300 education kits that went to Adopt A Classroom, plus 600 food kits and 300 welcome home kits for people moving into Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ micro homes.

The success of Subaru’s business conferences relies heavily on the partnerships Subaru creates with local teams in its host destinations, Gauthier said. “The Austin Convention Center was receptive to our requests and worked with Subaru to continue its sustainability and community efforts,” she said. “It took over a year of collaborative planning with the ACC to achieve our goals.”

cleaning supplies stacked for donation

Subaru attendees assembled 300 “welcome home” kits, filled with cleaning supplies and other items, to be donated to new residents of Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ micro homes.


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