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Solar Farm at IND

Indianapolis International Airport is home to the largest airport-based solar farm in the country.

Sustainability in Indianapolis

Committed to Responsible Meetings

Reducing the impacts and amplifying the positive effects of conventions and meetings is a key area of focus for Visit Indy, the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, hotels, and civic partners. From food rescue to energy consumption to recycling and giving back, initiatives are underway to pinpoint areas of opportunity and initiate sustainable practices. Below is a sampling of existing programs that contribute to responsible meetings.


Indianapolis Event Waste Guidebook

Sustainability is the future of large-scale events, and Indianapolis is committed to providing national and international event organizers with the necessary tools and resources to achieve their environmentally-conscious goals. The Indianapolis Event Waste Guidebook, created during the 2024 Olympic Team Trials - Swimming, builds upon the significant sustainability achievements of major sporting events hosted in the city, such as diverting 117 tons of waste from the landfill during the 2022 College Football Playoff event and hosting the first carbon-neutral NCAA March Madness Tournament in 2021.


Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

Welcoming visitors at the Indianapolis International Airport

IND has been named the "Best Airport in North America" for over a decade and much of that has to do with a focus on sustainability. The stunning terminal, opened in 2008, is the first LEED-certified airport in the U.S. and features the largest airport-based solar farm. Covering 183 acres of airport property, the array can power 3,675 average sized homes for an entire year. Plus, IND is a quick 15-minute drive from downtown Indy.


Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium

Brings your dreams to life with the help of local Indy suppliers

Several initiatives are underway to monitor and reduce power consumption in the Indiana Convention Center.

Energy:

All lighting throughout the ICC is being converted to LED (75% complete, 100% completion expected by the end of 2024). Additionally, the center is participating in the Thriving Buildings program, administered by the City's Office of Sustainability, to benchmark energy consumption and work on reduction solutions. Lighting, escalators and HVAC are timed with move-in and move-out so that we are not lighting, heating/cooling and running escalators when there are no groups in the building.

Recycling:

The Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium (ICCLOS) recycles approximately 100 tons of aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass and cardboard annually. In addition, the facilities have a program to recycle pallets, paper and cooking oil. Batteries, light bulbs and computers are recycled to local organizations. A cardboard bailer compacts cardboard, making it easier to pick up. A food waste pulper recycles dishwater and condenses waste before going into the landfill. ICCLOS also works directly with clients to implement event specific sustainability programs when requested.

Food Rescue:

Since 1998 the ICCLOS has worked with Second Helpings, a food rescue program, to reclaim food after a food function and take it to their kitchens. Local residents, under the supervision of training chefs, participate in a job training program, learning to prepare food donated to homeless shelters and missions. Donations are also often made to local food banks. 

Wages:

The Capital Improvement Board, which manages the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, was named a Certified Employer with Employ Indy's Good Wage Initiative. This designation is given to Marion County (IN) employers committed to providing full-time employees with a wage of at least $18/hr and access to employer-sponsored health insurance benefits.

Additional Sustainable Features:

  • New digital signage can replace single-use banners.
  • Water bottle refilling stations are located throughout the building.

For more information about green initiatives in the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, click here.


Transportation

Indy transportation companies like IndyGo have special accommodations for visitors

Indy's convention campus is known for walkability. With skywalks connecting more hotel rooms to the Indiana Convention Center than any city in the country, it is natural for attendees to walk which saves money on shuttling while reducing emissions. Several other transportation initiatives set Indy apart.

Transit:

Indy is building the nation's largest battery-powered rapid transit system. IndyGo has three lines planned. The Red Line opened in 2019 and spans from Broad Ripple in the north through downtown and south through Fountain Square to the University of Indianapolis. The Purple Line, expected to open in 2024, will connect downtown to the City of Lawrence on the east side. The Blue Line, expected to open in 2027, will provide a green connection between Indianapolis International Airport and downtown. All lines converge at downtown's Julia Carson Transit Center which has a solar-covered roof that aids in powering the buses.

Trails:

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is revered as one of the most ambitious urban trails in the world. Currently spanning 10 miles, the trail circles the city and connects neighborhoods with downtown, White River State Park, the IU Indianapolis campus, and major venues including the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium. With the cultural trail as a central hub, the city is investing a historic $100M to build trails that connect communities, reduce inequities, and work toward a healthier Indianapolis.

Bikeshare:

Indiana Pacers Bikeshare has 500 bikes at 54 convenient stations around the city. Visitors can purchase a 24-hour day pass for $8 and explore the city at their own pace. In 2024, they are adding 250 new e-bikes throughout the city to make it even easier for more people to get around Indianapolis without a car.


Hotels

JW Marriott EmployeesVisit Indy's hotel partners all have green initiatives to support your meeting. From motion sensor thermostats to management of energy and water consumption to recycling and food rescue, we are proud to work with partners who take sustainability seriously. Please contact individual properties for specifics.


Visit Indy, the City of Indianapolis, and our partners are committed to making Indianapolis a leader in sustainable meetings.

Indy Stories

Read our latest blog on sustainable practices that you can take while visiting the Circle City.