Greetings! Below we are giving you an update on the sustainability options interesting to relate to for conferences and events in San Diego. Our recent survey has shown very positive indicators for selecting the Cali-Baja city on the West Coast of US. San Diego Tourism Authority is on track to further shape it’s unique position in the USA as a Green City and as a case study for sustainable management of heat, water, earth faults and ocean as a way to connect businesses, research, and conferences around such and many other topics.

Now, let’s dive into the updates on sustainability activities in San Diego, involving the San Diego Tourism Authority and /or various opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange during conferences in the city:

  1. USTA Journey to Clean: This nation-wide initiative aims to establish end-to-end sustainability in travel, encompassing planning, lodging, meetings, and attractions. The San Diego Tourism Authority is a partner in this endeavor and is currently in the process of drafting the sustainability plan for the city to be recognized.
  1. Recognition as a Green City: San Diego has consistently been recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in both the United States and the world. If you search for “greenest city in America,” you learn that San Diego is Number 1 also in 2023. San Diego was the first major US city to commit to 100% renewable energy, which they are most likely going to achieve this year.

Currently, rooftop solar panels are generating more than 37 megawatts of green energy, making San Diego a solar-power over-achiever. This doesn’t only have the benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but also improved economic conditions and more green jobs. The city is home to a “clean tech” job concentration that’s twice as high as the national average. In fact, San Diego is well-known for its efforts when it comes to promoting

  1. Sustainable Airport: In 2014, San Diego airport became the world’s first terminal to receive LEED Platinum certification. Sustainable elements of the terminal and airside improvements include Solar energy, Water conservation, Energy conservation, Storm water pollution prevention and air quality issues. Additionally, in 2022, it achieved the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation. The airport achieved this certification through a series of programs that have increased the use of carbon-free electricity and all-electric vehicles, facilitated carbon-emission reductions by airline and ride-share partners, and enabled carbon-offset purchases by passengers, among other efforts.
  2. Climate Action Plan: Much of San Diego’s sustainability progress can be attributed to the City of San Diego’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan. In 2005, San Diego became the first major U.S. city to pass such a planDiverse and Innovative Economy: San Diego boasts a diverse and innovative economy with strengths in biotechnology, defense and aerospace, wireless communication, sports innovation, and sustainable energy.

Let us also look at San Diego’s water sector us crucial for a beach destination located in a semi-arid region of California. The city has implemented several innovative solutions to address water challenges and is striving to reduce reliance on imported water:

  1. Water Recycling: San Diego has developed a water recycling program that treats and purifies wastewater for various purposes, including irrigation, industrial processes, and toilet flushing.
  2. Desalination: The Carlsbad Desalination Plant, operational since 2015, provides up to 50 million gallons of drinking water per day to San Diego and neighboring communities. This plant, part of a $1 billion project, is the USA’s most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant. It ensures a drought-proof and locally controlled water supply, offering increased water supply security.
  3. Water Conservation: San Diego has implemented various water conservation measures, such as providing rebates for water-efficient appliances, promoting drought-tolerant landscaping, and enforcing restrictions on outdoor watering during certain times.
  4. Stormwater Capture: San Diego is currently developing a stormwater capture program to store rainwater for use during dry periods, contributing to overall water sustainability.
  5. Heat resilience concepts are another important aspect of San Diego’s sustainability efforts. The city is actively working on strategies to improve heat resilience, particularly in vulnerable communities. These initiatives include increasing tree canopy coverage, creating cool corridors, and implementing heat action plans to provide relief during extreme heat events.

These and other examples for San Diego’s wide approach to sustainability make a great selection for knowledge transfers, legacy projects and experiential programs around your conferences and events alike.

Talk to San Diego Tourism Authority if you plan an event in the US and want to include these or other business sectors in conferences and business relationships. You can take it for granted that we also have the best venues, hotels, highlights, regional food and mobility options and all you need for a purposeful and responsible event in the great West Coast city of San Diego!

Contact at San Diego Tourism Authority:

Kavin Schieferdecker, Chief Sales Officer, San Diego Tourism Authority, email:


Text and update: Johanna Fischer, tmf dialogue/FrauBlau, June 21, 2023 and June 25, 2023

for San Diego Tourism Authority