New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s Director of Sustainability Recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week Champion

New Orleans Convention Center Travelforward

Linda Baynham Honored for Her Contributions to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Director
of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Linda Baynham was
recently recognized as one of five local Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW)
Champions by New Orleans and Company, the city’s destination marketing
organization. Honored during the weeklong celebration, NTTW champions
are individuals in the industry who are passionate about their chosen
field and create positive impacts in the community. Each of the five
champions represent a different sector of the hospitality and tourism

As Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility,
Baynham establishes company-wide sustainability and corporate social
responsibility goals for the Convention Center. She reaches these goals
through the Center’s recycling programs and its energy and water
reduction initiatives, and she works closely with internal and external
partners to implement sustainability programs.

In 2022, Baynham led the Convention Center team through its first
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification,
the first convention center in the world to achieve this standard under
the latest guidelines. Under the current leadership, the Convention
Center has diverted more than 250,000 pounds from landfills, donated
over 110,000 pounds of food to local organizations and installed 5,000
LED light fixtures to reduce energy by 10-15%.

This spring, Baynham expanded green options for visitors and clients
through zero waste meal options, plastic-free and biodegradable serving
ware and landfill-less lunches. She doubled the footprint of the
recycling program, adding several new recycling streams, such as plastic
and glass. She also initiated installation of EV chargers and
facilitated bringing in over $500,000 in utility incentives for energy

“The Convention Center recognizes the importance of having the best
people lead, and Linda is a testament to that standard,” said Michael
J. Sawaya, Convention Center President. “She is a proven asset for the
New Orleans tourism industry and the Convention Center, and her
leadership was the driving force behind our earning LEED gold
certification in 2022. We are thrilled to see Linda receive this
recognition for her tremendous impact on the industry, and I am
confident she will continue to enact change here and in the surrounding

“Linda has worked across departments to coordinate programs, reduce
impacts and increase options for events to ‘go green,’” said Adam
J. Straight, Vice President of Operations. “She has also taken a
leading role in encouraging other facilities, by regularly conducting
tours for industry colleagues highlighting energy upgrades, waste
initiatives, and LEED certification. She also continuously educates
herself on the latest processes so that we are always on the forefront
of this increasingly vital aspect of our industry.”

Baynham holds an M.B.A. in finance from Tulane University, an M.S. in
energy policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. in
physics from Colorado College. Baynham is a LEED Accredited
Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a GPRO Green Building
Operations Trainer. She has more than 20 years of experience in the
environmental, energy, and utility sectors.

“It is an honor to be recognized alongside my peers working to elevate
the New Orleans tourism industry,” said Baynham. “I look forward to
delivering more Convention Center events and experiences that prioritize
sustainability and recycling. And my team and I will continue to pursue
new initiatives to help reduce the environmental impacts of our

For more information on the Convention Center and its sustainability
initiatives, visit [1].

Linda Baynham, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social
Responsibility at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
receiving her NTTW Tourism Champion Award from New Orleans And Company
President and CEO, Walt Leger

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC)
New Orleans is _Built to Host_! With 1.1 million square feet of prime
exhibit space on one level, all under one roof, NOENMCC is the sixth
largest Convention Center in the United States and provides the largest
single exhibit space in the country. Our recent LEED Gold certification
makes NOENMCC the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana and the
largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1
Operations and Maintenance, as well as the first convention center in
the world to be awarded initial certification under LEED Gold v4.1 O+MA.
A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, NOENMCC
event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its
1985 opening.




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