Gen Con Announces Sustainability Initiatives for 2018 Convention

Event to Support “It’s My City” Campaign with New Efforts

FOR RELEASE – April 18, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2018) Gen Con, the largest and longest-running gaming convention in North America, has announced a multi-year sustainability campaign that will feature several 2018 components, including the reduction of millions of pages of paper and paper waste, upcycling single-year signage into collector’s items, new “unboxing stations” for the recycling of game packaging, testing of digital ticketing, and support for food rescue efforts. This on-going sustainability initiative supports Indianapolis’ “It’s My City” campaign and the company hopes to provide a template for sustainability initiatives for other conventions and events as well.

“Just as Indianapolis loves welcoming Gen Con to our city each year, Gen Con has shown their commitment to Indianapolis – working to lessen their environmental impact and actively participate in the betterment of our community,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This year, as Gen Con proclaims ‘It’s My City,’ I encourage all local organizations to take ownership of the place we call home, and join in our efforts to create a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful Indianapolis.”

Gen Con has committed to reducing its paper usage by three million pages for the 2018 convention and will realize this goal primarily by reducing the size of its annual program book and consolidating convention materials. By committing to this effort, Gen Con estimates the conservation of more than 130 trees.

“As a leader of tabletop gaming culture and one of the largest gaming events in the world, we have a unique opportunity to drive positive change,” said David Hoppe, President of Gen Con LLC. “Through proactive planning, investments in digital resources, fun engagement with our attendees, and cultivation of strategic partnerships, we hope to provide a lasting sustainability template for both gaming and non-gaming events.”

New in 2018, Gen Con will offer “unboxing stations,” where attendees can recycle their gaming components and packaging materials, including cellophane wrap and interior cardboard components. Gen Con also has committed to making at least 25% of its signage either recyclable, multi-year, or repurposed. The convention plans to increase this percentage each year.

As part of this strategic initiative, Gen Con has reached an agreement with local Indianapolis company People for Urban Progress (PUP) to fabricate designer, one-of-a-kind collectible bags and wallets from last year’s outdoor Gen Con 50 signage. PUP will post these limited-edition items for sale via their website

“PUP works with local designers to create handmade accessories from upcycled materials at their headquarters on the near west side of Indianapolis,” said Jessica Bricker, Director of Design + Fabrication at People for Urban Progress. “Recently we have partnered with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NCAA, and Sun King Brewery to turn their banners into products. The Gen Con bags will be crafted using both the RCA dome material and the gaming convention’s banners.”

For the upcoming convention, Gen Con has selected Indianapolis’ Second Helpings as one of its two annual charity partners. The convention will work with local partners on food rescue messaging and will host several events that have charitable options for attendees to donate to help these efforts.

The city of Indianapolis has launched the “It’s My City” campaign as a three-year effort to leverage civic pride and engage residents in the health of the city. Those taking part in this work are encouraged to use the social media hashtag #itsmycity to showcase their work and plans.

"Our city's commitment to green initiatives has made us a leader in this space, from designing the country's first LEED-certified airport to our convention center recycling more than 60 tons of waste annually," said Chris Gahl, Senior Vice President at Visit Indy. "By investing in electric vehicles and biking, innovative food programs, smart design, and more, Indy continues to look for ways to remain a leader in sustainability."

Gen Con 2018 will return to the Indiana Convention Center Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5. Last year marked a historic milestone when the convention celebrated its 50th show, setting record attendance numbers and selling out for the first time in its history. Gen Con expects to sell out of attendee badges prior to the convention this year as well.

About Gen Con LLC

Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.

About People for Urban Progress

PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS is an Indianapolis-based 501c3 nonprofit that advances good design and civic sustainability by developing products and projects in connectivity, responsible reuse, and making. PUP is creating a smarter, more sustainable, and more resilient city by combining good design with existing resources. We are stewards of Indianapolis’ resources and curators of its public spaces.

About Second Helpings

Second Helpings, Inc. accepts donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry.

About “It’s My City”

“It’s My City” is a three-year effort designed to leverage civic pride and engage residents in the health of Indianapolis. Designed to progressively improve the city until, at the end of 2019, they see a city that is clean, green and beautiful – and full of residents who are proud to call Indianapolis home.

Media Contact for Gen Con LLC

Stacia Kirby, (206) 363-1492, [email protected]