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US Botanic Garden

Destination DC Sustainability Policy

FY 2024-2025

As the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, Destination DC’s mission (DDC) is to promote the nation’s capital as a premier destination for business, convention, tradeshow, meeting and leisure travel. In doing so, we aim to create an economic impact that creates new jobs and benefits the District’s local economy and community. 


By engaging its 1,000+ member businesses, DDC acts as a steward of the destination and supports the city’s commitment to remaining the healthiest, greenest and most livable city for residents and visitors.



DDC will utilize its increasingly strong presence in the global marketplace to attract visitors from around the world to the nation’s capital. As an economic development organization for Washington, DC, DDC’s goal is to generate visitor spending and support local jobs through the continued development and execution of integrated marketing, communication and sales initiatives. As a sustaining community partner in the District of Columbia, DDC embraces the values of diversity, equity and inclusion as it welcomes all visitors to the city. 


DDC ensures the tourism, meetings and events industry leaves a positive social, economic and environmental legacy in the city. Through the stewardship of its member businesses, the organization secures the longevity of the city’s attractiveness to both visitors and residents by making the city a safe, clean and vibrant city for generations to come.


Definition of Sustainability

DDC follows UN Tourism’s idea of sustainable tourism, defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” DDC applies this definition to leisure travel, meetings and events. 



DDC affirms its overall vision for a more sustainable tourism, meetings and events industry in the city by ensuring its own operations are in support of that goal. DDC will conduct a biennial review of this sustainability policy to ensure continuous alignment with evolving organizational priorities and industry best practices. 



Authentic Representation

  • DDC tells stories about the destination authentically by promoting the diversity and history of the city’s culture and people.
  • DDC represents its sustainability efforts honestly and transparently. 

Capacity Building & Community Engagement

  • DDC encourages community engagement by hosting staff events and outings in all four quadrants of the city.
  • DDC’s internal Sustainability Task Force provides sustainability training during new hire onboarding in addition to annual trainings for all DDC staff. 
  • DDC’s internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force hosts at least one educational activation each month to ensure staff are aware of the cultural differences, differing abilities and overall diversity that make up the destination and its visitors. 
  • DDC provides a variety of employment opportunities for DC residents. Our non-profit organization, the American Experience Foundation, works closely with the DC public school systems to provide classroom and on-the-job training experiences in hospitality for young people.




  • DDC prioritizes local suppliers and businesses for all event- and gift-related purchases.
  • When issuing Requests for Proposals to vendors, DDC’s events team includes requirements that eliminate single-use plastics and use reusable and sustainable materials. DDC prioritizes vendors who offer products or services that generate value through its whole life cycle.
  • DDC spends a portion of the funding generated by the Tourism Recovery District legislation with DC Certified Business Enterprises. Spending parameters ensure equity with local businesses that are owned by women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other traditionally disadvantaged groups. 
  • For in-office amenities, DDC chooses items that are available in bulk or with minimal packaging.


  • DDC ensures it hires employees from all eight administrative wards of DC.
  • DDC's DEI Business Fellowship expands the demographic makeup of member businesses to ensure economic benefits of the tourism, meetings and events industry are accessible to all groups. 




  • DDC works with its property manager to monitor energy usage in the office and set a benchmark for future reduction goals. 


  • DDC works with its property manager to monitor water usage in the office and set a benchmark for future reduction goals. 
  • DDC encourages staff to use the office dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes.


  • DDC eliminates single-use plastic waste from its offices where possible.
  • DDC incorporates more reusable amenities in its offices for guests and bio-based and bio-degradable materials for staff.
  • DDC posts clear signage about diversion streams at its events.
  • DDC works with suppliers to reduce packaging when sourcing items for events and client gifts.
  • DDC serves as a recycling collection point for nontypical items such as batteries, and will recycle those materials, including all electronic waste, at the proper city facilities.


  • DDC supports the property manager’s compliance goals with DC Department of Energy and Environment’s Building Energy Performance Standards. 
  • DDC will begin to calculate and benchmark scope 1 and scope 2 emissions as a supporter of the Net Zero Carbon Events agreement. 
  • DDC subsidizes public transportation for employees to reduce the organization’s scope 3 emissions. A hybrid workplace policy reduces the carbon footprint of commuting. 
  • DDC promotes taking public transportation to its event attendees.