AASHE is committed to modeling sustainability in all of our activities, including the conference. We implement a variety of practices to neutralize or minimize the conference’s environmental footprint and maximize our positive impact or “handprint.”
Air & Climate
To help address the carbon emissions associated with the conference:
Element Markets is excited to offset emissions associated with the 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo. Element Markets has helped universities across North America tackle their climate goals through greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies.
ELKAY is proud to be the 2019 Hydration Station Sponsor. Their support will help eliminate the need for disposable water bottles onsite while tracking the number of water bottles diverted from landfills.
Food & Dining
To support the creation of ecologically sound, fair, humane and resilient food systems and promote healthy, plant-based diets:
- A vegetarian menu will be served for the entirety of the conference.
- All meals will include substantive and clearly labeled vegan and gluten-free options.
- We are working with this year’s in-house catering company to use environmentally and socially preferable food products (i.e., those that are Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Certified Humane or sourced from local, community-based producers) to the greatest extent practical.
To help create a sustainable economy:
- Volunteer T-shirts are made with sustainable materials and are provided by Eco Promotional Products, Inc., which is a woman-owned Certified BCorp and Green America Gold certified company.
- Badge holders are reused whenever possible and name badges are printed on recycled content paper.
To facilitate and encourage the use of more sustainable transportation options:
- All conference hotels are selected in close proximity to where the conference will be held.
To minimize resource use and waste generated by the conference:
- Busch Systems will be this year’s Conference Waste Tracking Sponsor. Containers will be placed in the expo hall to live track the amount of waste collected in each stream throughout the conference.
- Attendees can use the Cupanion Fill it Forward app to track their impact and give clean water every time a reusable water bottle is filled. You can also check in on AASHE’s collective impact in real-time to track how much waste the whole conference has diverted from our landfills and oceans.
- We are currently seeking a partner to provide reusable cups to all attendees in order to eliminate the need for single-use cups.
- We encourage attendees to download the conference mobile app to access program content and other pertinent details of the conference including schedules, session descriptions and maps. Limited printed schedules will be available to those without a Smartphone.
- Conference meals will be served buffet style with reusable or compostable plates and utensils.
- All materials produced for the meeting (such as banners, posters, signs, place cards) are designed for reuse at future conferences and are recycled at the end of their usable life.
- Presenters have been asked to minimize physical handouts.
Many different entities are involved in putting together a conference. We strive to work with partners that share our commitment to sustainability.
The Spokane Convention Center is a LEED® Silver Certified facility. Learn more about SCC’s sustainability efforts.
Stetson Convention Services, our show decorator, works to minimize on-site material waste and uses a variety of recycled-content and biodegradable materials. Learn more about Stetson’s sustainability efforts.
How You Can Help
All attendees have a role to play in improving the sustainability of the conference. You can help by:
- Take advantage of public transportation options. Or, request an alternative fuel or hybrid vehicle taxi and share your ride with others.
- If you choose to print the schedule of sessions or other materials, print double-sided on 100% post-consumer recycled, agricultural residue and/or FSC certified content paper.
- Bring/use your own water bottle and bring it with you each day.
- Place any the materials you wish to discard in the appropriate collection receptacle.
- Return name badges to the registration desk after the conference so we can reuse them at future events.
- Participate in the hotel linen reuse program.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Turn off lights in your hotel room and unplug appliances or other equipment when not in use.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face.
- Adjust your hotel room temperature or turn off the air conditioning when you are not in the room.
- Locate and use recycling and compost bins throughout the conference venue.
- Encourage others to “green” their conference experience, too!