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 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 will be reevaluated as technologies and mitigation options continue to develop. Further information is available online. Broader recommendations for organizing meetings are offered in the Professional Guidance Statement on Green Meetings.
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.
Georgia World Congress Center Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives
The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) strives to continually improve its operational efficiencies and preservation of resources by working with its internal and external partners and clients. In an effort to be transparent and meet the nationally recognized green building standard, the GWCC has registered for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings certification and has a designated LEED Accredited Professional and Sustainability Coordinator on staff.
Here are a few of the GWCC’s initiatives: an upgraded irrigation system that reduces the need to water plantings by soil moisture sensors and increases efficiency/reduces evaporation through drip irrigation; paper, plastic (Nos. 1–7), aluminum, and glass are collected in the center’s single?stream recycling program; kitchen food waste is composted; preconsumer food and excess event materials are donated to local organizations; cooking oil is converted into biodiesel fuel; locally grown and organic food options are available based on seasonality; environmentally friendly cleaning products and equipment are used throughout the building; CO2 sensors are installed in each exhibit hall, upgraded lighting and advanced lighting controls in exhibit halls increase energy efficiency; motion sensors in offices, bathrooms, and storage rooms reduce energy consumption; and during move in and move out in the exhibit halls, lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are minimized.