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Green Meetings

AMS Green Conference Guidelines

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 Responsibility (http://www.ametsoc.org/committeepges/envres/index.html) has been formed. This committee, originally the AMS Green Meetings Committee, created guidelines that summarize the Society’s commitment to conducting conferences in a manner that stresses responsible use of natural resources and 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 should be continually evaluated as technologies and mitigation options continue to develop. For further information, please reference the following Web page:  http://www.ametsoc.org/MEET/greenconferenceguidelines.html. This committee has also created the Professional Guidance Statement on Green Meetings (available online at http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2011green_meetings_amsstatement.html).

Carbon Offsets

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 (available online at http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2007climatechange.html), 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. Details of each approach are available on the Society’s Web site (http://www.ametsoc.org/MEET/greenconferenceguidelines.html).

Green Initiatives at the Morial Convention Center

The New Orleans Morial Convention Center has made a strong commitment to the New Orleans and global communities, and will continue to strive to improve its practices and services keeping in mind its impact on the world around us. In recent years the center has invested additional resources into several renovation projects to make the facility even more “green.” These projects include an overhaul of the center’s lighting system to replace outdated equipment with new and more efficient fixtures; low-flow and automatic faucets; donations of prepared and unprepared foods to a local food bank; 5-gallon water coolers in the meeting rooms instead of water bottles; and cloth napkins and table clothes instead of paper.