As a scientific and professional organization whose members are keenly aware of environmental issues, the AMS strives to be in the forefront of environmental stewardship. As atmospheric scientists, many members of the Society are particularly concerned about rapidly increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and associated climate change. The AMS Committee on Environmental Stewardship (http://ametsoc.org/committeepges/envres/) created guidelines that summarize the Society’s commitment to conducting conferences in a manner that stresses the responsible use of natural resources and the minimization of greenhouse gas emissions and other waste and pollutants. These guidelines are provided for coordinators, committees, contractors, and all AMS members, as well as AMS staff, and aim to educate and inspire continued mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions both within AMS and the larger society. These guidelines will be reevaluated as technologies and mitigation options continue to develop. Broad recommendations for organizing meetings are offered in the Professional Guidance Statement on Green Meetings (https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/about-ams/ams-statements/statements-of-the-ams-in-force/green-meetings). If you are interested in joining the AMS Committee on Environmental Stewardship, please contact Claudia Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note that recycling areas will be located near the AMS Registration Desk and the Information Desk for attendees who would like to recycle their program and/or plastic badge holder.
AMS recognizes that personal travel to its professional meetings likely represents the largest contribution to the carbon footprint of its meetings and is probably a significant fraction of each attendee’s personal carbon footprint. The average round-trip commercial flight to an AMS meeting is about 1000 miles and produces roughly 1700 lb of CO2 per passenger. Consistent with the AMS Policy Statement on Climate Change (https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/about-ams/ams-statements/statements-of-the-ams-in-force/climate-change), and in an effort to reduce emissions, the AMS asks meeting participants to consider measures to offset the climate impacts of traveling to its meetings. At this time, AMS encourages either personal actions to reduce emissions or purchasing carbon offsets. More details are available on the Society’s website (https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/about-ams/ams-statements/statements-of-the-ams-in-force/green-meetings).
Seattle is one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the United States. The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has been an industry leader in conservation and recycling for more than two decades, and is dedicated to environmental building practices and “green” operations.
The WSCC continues to reduce its carbon footprint with sustainable culinary practices (such as locally sourced food and beverages) energy-efficient lighting, environment-friendly cleaning products, and a first-rate recycling and composting program. The WSCC continues to invest significant resources into new and innovative projects that make the facility even more efficient.
The WSCC’s comprehensive green program substantially reduces the impact of the facility on the environment. All of employees at the WSCC are committed to providing a dynamic, sustainable meeting experience.
The Seattle Sheraton is part of the Starwood’s Make A Green Choice (MAGC) sustainability program in which guests can choose to help reduce their environmental footprint. Any guest at a participating Starwood property can Make A Green Choice by foregoing full housekeeping for up to three days in a row (excluding their check-out day). For each night a guest opts into MAGC, they receive 250–500 Starpoints or a $5/5€ food and beverage voucher, while saving up to 49.2 gallons of water, 0.19 kWh of electricity, 25,000 BTUs of natural gas, and 7 oz. of cleaning product chemicals per night (actual results may vary by brand and region).
At Starwood, a promise has been made to integrate leading sustainable and social practices and principles into their core food and beverage strategy and operations. From bottled water to seafood, Starwood is are working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of their business while supporting locally sourced ingredients and their suppliers.
Seattle Sheraton also participates in the Sustainable Meeting Practices (SMP) program. This includes a globally aligned collection of initiatives that integrate environmental and social concerns into the meeting process. Included is a Meeting Impact Report that calculates the carbon footprint of a customer’s meeting, tracks the sustainable practices incorporated during the event, and provides the ability to offset the meeting’s carbon footprint. Across all brands, worldwide, meetings at Starwood are now sustainable.