Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CERF Green Meetings Policy: Making strides to minimize the environmental footprint of CERF conferences

Despite the many benefits of CERF conferences, they create adverse
impacts upon the environment by generating carbon emissions, primarily
from attendees’ air transport. They also create an environmental
footprint through consumption of natural resources and generation of
waste at the conference center and hotels. For the sake of estuarine and
coastal ecosystems and to lead by good example, the Governing Board in
March approved a green meeting policy to mitigate that impact as much as
According to the United Nations Environment Program, a green meeting is
one that minimizes negative environmental impacts and leaves a positive
legacy for the host community. Benefits of greener conferences include:
saving money, enhancing organization’s reputation, promoting
environmental innovation, providing local social benefits, raising
awareness, influencing decision-making, and spreading best practices
within the organization.
At past conferences, CERF has encouraged green practices at the hotel,
conference center, and meeting site and has offered registrants a
voluntary carbon offset. Now, CERF will join other scientific
organizations in reducing the environmental footprint of conferences
even further by moving “Toward Green CERF Conferences.

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