Tuesday Talk: The Night the Lights Went Out at GWCCA

Tuesday Talk rounds up the latest Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) news you might have missed and also points forward to upcoming events on our campus.

When the lights went out Saturday night (March 28) on GWCCA’s downtown Atlanta campus it wasn’t an accident, grid malfunction or anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather, it was a coordinated effort to observe Earth Hour, a designated time when organizations and people around the globe turn off lights to show support for energy conservation and sustainability.

The light towers on GWCCA’s International Plaza (see picture above) and Hermes Towers lighting in Centennial Olympic Park (see picture below) went dark from 8:30-9:30 p.m. in a show of solidarity, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS), owned by the GWCCA but operated by the Atlanta Falcons organization, also participated.

“This has been celebrated for about the last decade to raise awareness of unnecessary energy consumption and lighting,” said Tim Trefzer, GWCCA’s Director of Sustainability and CSR. “Globally, people and organizations opt in to support Earth Hour by turning off lights and other electronics for an hour.”

Earth Hour was established in 2007 by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) in Australia and is “now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment,” according to earthhour.org.

The GWCCA campus joined a record-breaking Earth Hour on Saturday, when people from 190 countries and territories supported the movement, according to the website. According to the site, “#EarthHour and related hashtags trended across 37 countries on Twitter and Google Search.”

GWCCA has participated many times in the past by turning off the lights on International Plaza and the Park’s Hermes Towers while using messaging on external digital boards acknowledging that the lights were turned off for Earth Hour.

The 220-plus acre GWCCA campus is one of the most eco-friendly complexes in the country with three LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings and vast green spaces – we even have our own beehives. LEED is a worldwide green building certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Georgia World Congress Center is the largest LEED Gold certified convention center, MBS is the first professional sports stadium in the U.S. to obtain LEED Platinum status, and the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, also on the GWCCA campus, was awarded LEED Silver in 2015.

For more about the Authority’s industry-leading sustainability and CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives click here.