BECC has a long history of setting new green standards for conference planning. From our beginning in 2007, we have endeavored to ‘walk the walk.’ When in person, we work closely with our hotels and attendees to minimize our climate and natural resource footprint. (Our hotels tell us that we produce 2/3 of the trash of a standard conference). To the extent possible, we try to follow the Sustainable United Nations Checklist for Green Meetings for our in-person conferences, including:

Minimize Impacts and Waste

  • All marketing, communication, program development, and registration processes are electronic
  • Presentations, abstracts, and conference agendas are posted online
  • Our program is printed on recycled paper
  • No handouts, flyers, etc. larger than a business card and no plastic; display-only copies are okay (Our sponsors/attendees have been very creative in meeting this guideline!)
  • Name tags are compostable/recyclable; lanyards are reused
  • Recycling bins easily available; reuse and recycle as much as possible
  • Carbon-offsets purchased to cover conference climate impacts

Thoughtful Site Selection

  • Hotel should have a strong green policy or certification
    • Management commitment
    • Linen and towel reuse is default option
    • Tracking of energy, water, and waste processes
    • LED lighting, low-flow showers, sinks, toilets, etc.
  • Public transit easily available; safe bicycle parking options

Careful Catering Decisions

  • All food where possible is served family style not in individual disposable containers
  • No bottled water
  • China and silverware are used for serving; disposables are avoided
  • Linen napkins are used for sit-down meals: recycled paper napkins for breaks

Lower Footprint Food Choices

  • Serve local and seasonally available food where possible
  • One lunch is 100% vegetarian, the other is vegetarian/vegan optional
  • No beef or pork; dairy/ cheese used sparingly; chicken and fish sourced responsibly
  • Healthy choices such as grains, nuts, fruit and each breakfast should contain protein, not ’empty calories’
  • Leftover food is sent to food kitchens or consumed by hotel staff
  • The hotel should be connected to a waste composting service

Engaging Attendee Involvement

  • Post our Green Policy on our website and discuss at opening plenary
  • Encourage attendees to
    • Use public transit, carpool, and bicycling; provide transit, and other information
    • Purchase carbon offsets for travel and lodging impacts
    • Reuse linens and towels
    • Bring their own re-usable water bottles