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Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference


The WAHESC organizing committee endeavors to produce a highly sustainable event that upholds industry best practices and our values regarding minimizing environmental footprints, supporting local economies, and maximizing positive social impacts.


  • The Hemmingson reflects Gonzaga's commitment to environmental sustainability. The facility is LEED Gold certification and operational practices address key energy efficiencies.
  • Energy efficient mechanical systems, lighting and heavy insulation reduce energy use by approximately 30% over baseline facilities.
  • Rooftop garden, hydroponic greenhouse for fresh, organic produce, and an apiary.
  • Centralized geothermal heat pumps provide comfort heating and cooling by rejecting or extracting heat from the aquifer.
  • 92% efficient natural gas fired boilers supplement heat during extreme weather.
  • Ventilation air heat recovery pre-heats or pre-cools outside air using air that would normally be exhausted. Demand-controlled ventilation based on carbon dioxide levels inside the building reduce outside air rates when the building is not fully occupied. Variable volume kitchen exhaust systems reduce rates based on appliance use.
  • High thermal insulation values in glazing, wall and roof systems reduce the impact of outdoor temperatures on the building energy usage.
  • Extensive use of windows and a sky-lit atrium space provides ample daylight, and reduces the energy used for artificial lighting.
  • Use of low wattage, long-life, LED lighting sources throughout the building and site.
  • Energy-saving lighting control schemes include daylight harvesting, automated and manual dimming, occupancy sensors, and a central time clock.
  • Multi-level lighting controls for private offices enhance user comfort and provide opportunity for energy-saving practices.
  • 98.6% efficient domestic hot water heaters. 40% reduction in water use achieved through low-flow plumbing fixtures. Drought resistant plant selection and efficient landscape irrigation reduces water use by at least 50% over a typical building.
  • Many of the materials used in the building were selected for their high recycled content, local and regional manufacture, the sustainable techniques used to harvest them, and lack of off-gassing chemicals. At least 75% of all construction waste has been recycled.

Waste Management

  • We seek to make this a zero waste event.
  • Throughout the building, and on campus, participants will find compost, recycling, and landfill options for their waste.

Food & Beverage

  • Sodexo will be providing food at WAHESC this year. We have been working closely with Sodexo's team to develop an appropriately local and sustainable menu for the conference.
  • Any disposable containers used for food will be either compostable or recyclable.

Printing & Signage

  • We will limit the number of printed materials for the Conference.
  • Omit dates on signage so it can be used for multiple years.
  • Official conference materials are printed using vegetable based inks on recycled materials.

Registration & Communication

  • Event promotion is pursued primarily via online methods.
  • Registration process utilizes 100 percent paperless ticket system.
  • Badge holders are compostable, made from corn-starch and re-used when possible.


  • The conference is regionally based to decrease carbon emissions from travel.
  • Attendees are encouraged to carpool and use public transportation to and from the conference. If you are a driver who has extra room in their car or are looking for a carpool option we have created a rideshare page specifically for WAHESC that you can find through this link

Hotel Accommodations

The Davenport Grand Hotel building and site were designed and constructed with a goal of attaining Silver Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®). View more details about their extensive sustainable practices here. 2009 (version 3) Green Building Rating program.

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