Keeping it sustainable at CLEANPOWER

Sustainability has moved beyond a hot topic discussion item. For American Clean Power (ACP) it is part of our ethos and a pillar of how we produce our annual CLEANPOWER Conference and Exhibition. Throughout the years, the CLEANPOWER team has focused on addressing the environmental and social impacts of our events, tracked our impact metrics, and created business goals to keep improving our footprint over time. 

And looking back on ACP’s first CLEANPOWER event in Salt Lake City this past December, we have so much to be proud of. ACP members and partners that produced the event brought to life some of the sustainability activations we’ve been pushing so hard for over the years to new levels.

Environmental Impacts:
CLEANPOWER has long set the goal of working toward becoming a No-Waste event. The ACP information booth was an extension of our NO WASTE event goal by transforming every element from the traditional take-make-waste system to a make-no-waste system. We reconfigured how we manage resources, incorporating more reusable elements and electronic signage that can be adjusted yearover-year.

We improved the sustainability in our supply chain by procuring items for the ACP store to source more products that were made in the USA, reduced unnecessary plastic packaging and included products that were made from more sustainable sources.

ACP provides reusable stainless steel canteens filled with water to all speakers to eliminate single-use water bottles.

In partnership with the Salt Palace Convention Center and local charities, we were able to divert 14,274 pounds of materials from the landfill

And ACP is offsetting the energy used during the CLEANPOWER show, including our staff travel, with clean energy credits.  Additionally, 40% of all food and beverage products available during CLEANPOWER were procured locally, reducing the carbon footprint in the transportation of products.

Social impacts:
Sustainability isn’t just what we do to save the planet, it’s what we do to engage and support our communities. 

Over 90 CLEANPOWER attendees in Salt Lake City participated in our Behind-the-Scenes Sustainability Tour. Stops on the tour included viewing upcycled tradeshow waste turned into art with the Utah Art Alliance and visiting the welding shop where engineers use upcycled materials to reinforce carts to transport trade show equipment. The reinforcement makes the carts safer and reduces the amount of damaged equipment, part of the Salt Palace Convention Center’s significant efforts to divert waste from the landfill.  


The Sustainability Tour highlight was viewing the 600,000 square foot solar panel array on the Salt Palace Roof. The 1.65 megawatt (MW) array has provided about 18% of the building’s power since 2012. With 6,006 solar panels spanning the length of five football fields, the installation is one of the largest rooftop arrays in the United States. 

Check out a time-lapse of the installation of the Salt Palace’s 1.65 megawatt solar panel array.

Continuing CLEANPOWER’s legacy of partnering with a local organization for a community service project, $15,000 was raised through attendee and direct ACP donations to support the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake’s STEM education program.  As part of our partnership, students participated in a solar-focused STEM activity at area clubs. Additionally, a group of industry executives visited with students at a local Boys and Girls Club in Salt Lake City and shared career insights about working in clean energy.

Hannon Armstrong EVP and Chief Client Officer Susan Nickey and ACP CEO Heather Zichal presented a donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake during CLEANPOWER 2021.

A student participates in a solar-focused STEM activity at one of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake.

Hannon Armstrong EVP and Chief Client Officer Susan Nickey, Lauren Glickman and Hannon Armstrong VP – Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Gil Jenkins shared career insights with students during a visit to a local Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake during CLEANPOWER 2021.


Looking Ahead
ACP and the CLEANPOWER planning team are charging full steam ahead into producing an exciting and engaging tradeshow in 2022, one that is built on the foundation of sustainability. 

For year CLEANPOWER has supported an Exhibitor Green Team and in 2021 we had some outstanding Green Team members. We extend a special thank you to Epsilon Associates, DEX Renewable Energy Solutions, and Integrated Power Systems for their outstanding commitment to sustainability at CLEANPOWER 2021!


In 2022 we are upping the ante and making participation in the Exhibitor Green Team mandatory for all exhibitors. It may sound scary, but take it from our exhibitors that have been participants for years: it’s easy to do and can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the trade show. 

The Exhibitor Sustainability Program covers things like lighting, procurement, shipping booth materials and provides guidance on what material give-a-ways and onsite practices you’ll need to adhere to meet our sustainability goals.  

ACP will also offer some amazing Sustainability Sponsorship Opportunities for CLEANPOWER 2022. We are looking for the right partner to help us leave a legacy in San Antonio, and this is a sponsorship opportunity you won’t want to miss. Here are just a few of the options that will be featured in this new opportunity, which will give your organizations a great way to connect with our community and show your commitment to a sustainable future:

  • Help make CLEANPOWER Carbon Neutral by supporting carbon offsets  
  • Sustainability Tours 
  • Engage the local artist community and support Upcycled Art from San Antonio Artists 
  • Wellness program, including a 5K fun run  
  • Legacy Community Service Project 
  • Green Angel Volunteer program supporting our No-Waste Efforts 
  • Sustainability Scavenger Hunt

We look forward to seeing everyone at CLEANPOWER 2022 in San Antonio this May 16 – 18!


This is the first blog in a three-part series on ACP’s event sustainability. Stay tuned for part two, which will include a full debrief on the official CLEANPOWER 2021 sustainability report, plus a preview of what to expect in San Antonio in May.   

Stay informed

Take Action

Subscribe to the American Clean Power blog and receive the latest renewable energy news, policy updates, and opportunities to get involved.