Green Meetings


AMS Green Meetings Guidelines

As a scientific and professional organization whose members are keenly aware of environmental issues, 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 ( 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 within both 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 ( If you are interested in joining the AMS Committee on Environmental Stewardship, please contact Claudia Gorski (

 Note that recycling areas will be located near the AMS Registration Desk and the Information Desk for attendees who would like to recycle their programs and/or plastic badge holders.

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 1,000 miles and produces roughly 1,700 lbs. of CO2 per passenger. Consistent with the AMS Policy Statement on Climate Change (, and in an effort to reduce emissions, 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 (

Convention Center's Initiatives


The Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD) Green Team Committee has worked with the Austin Climate Protection Program to develop a first-of-its-kind Departmental Climate Protection Plan. This plan is intended to help reduce the Austin Convention Center Department’s carbon footprint and help the City of Austin meet its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.

The Department was verified carbon-neutral for 2013 following its purchase of 3,450 offsets.

Currently, the ACCD is awaiting final verification for its purchase of 3,570 carbon offsets for 2014 and 2,860 carbon offsets for 2015 to officially become carbon-neutral for those two years.

Carbon emissions are third-party verified every 3 years to insure carbon offsets purchased cover carbon emitted by the department.

We are continually educating clients and attendees on ACCD’s sustainability initiatives.

The Austin Convention Center’s Catering Services division is equally committed to sustainability.


Exhibit Hall and prefunction lighting was replaced with fluorescent lighting to reduce energy consumption and mercury content.

Installed exterior lighting has been redirected to reduce light pollution.

Lamps are the most energy efficient available, including using LED lighting when possible.

After event hours, all unnecessary lighting is turned off.

Exterior lighting is scheduled from sunset to sunrise daily.

Motion detectors have been installed in most offices and restrooms.

Reduced lighting is provided during setup and teardown of events.

Older inefficient T12 fluorescent lighting was retrofitted with high-efficiency T8 lamps and electronic ballasts.

LED lighting was installed in all meeting rooms.

Renewable Energy

Through a mix of on-site panels and Austin Energy’s Green Choice Program, the Austin Convention Center is powered by 100% renewable energy.


Reduced amount of waste by replacing 12” box filters with more efficient 2” filters.

During non-event hours, leased space and prefunction areas are air conditioned at 85 degrees.

Administrative areas are only conditioned Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m.−5:00 p.m.

Water Efficiency

All fixtures have been retrofitted with low-water hands-free devices.

Intelligent irrigation system reduces waste.

Green roof reduces storm water runoff and heat island effect.

Only native and adaptive plant species are used in landscapes.

Material Resources

Recycled carpet, with zero emissions was installed throughout the facility.

Recycled over 180,000 lbs. of old carpet.

Composting program diverts up to 66% of all waste from the landfill.

Waste Management Team sorts and properly disposes of event waste.

Recycling program has been increased through routine waste audits and policy development.

Recycling Efforts

The Department currently recycles the following items:





Light bulbs and ballasts





Food scraps

Disposable food and beverage wares

We currently use recycled crushed 6th street glass in all ashtrays and as landscaping mulch.

Indoor Environmental Quality

All equipment purchased meets the recommended 70-dba noise level.

Continuous commissioning of all automated systems ensures optimal indoor comfort.

Only products marked by a recognized third-party testing agency for high indoor air quality standards are purchased.

Green Cleaning Practices

Green Seal Certified chemicals are utilized for 95% of all cleaning.

Our Integrated Pest Management program utilizes 100% organic materials.

Equipment purchases are compliant with LEED-EB Indoor Environmental Quality Standards.

Other Features

All marquees are LEDs and are scheduled for use.

Escalators are turned off during non-event use.

The Department participates in Austin Energy’s Smart Vending program and has vending misers on all refrigerated beverage machines.

Staff is encouraged to participate in the Car2Go ride share program for business travel during the work day.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Parking

The Austin Convention Center’s 2nd Street Parking Garage offers 30 preferred parking spaces for Alternative Fuel Vehicles. The 30 spaces will be spread throughout the garage, and will be in close proximity to the elevators located in the southwest corner. Alternative Fuel Vehicles include hybrid, electric, biodiesel, and flex fuel.


Hilton Austin Initiatives

The Hilton Austin has partnered with a number of organizations in executing good “green” practices throughout the hotel. We would like to share with you some of the guidelines that may be followed by the hotel to address environmental considerations.

Implemented its own Green Committee dedicated to environmental issues within our hotel’s operation. This committee boasts representation from each department and is led by the hotel’s General Manager.

Reduced the facilities total kBTU output by 8.7% and carbon dioxide output by 2.4% year over year while occupancy has increased by 4% over the same time period.

Awarded the City of Austin’s Waste Smart Certification for significantly reducing the hotel’s solid waste stream.

Produced over 30 tons of recyclable material a year since 2006. These include cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, batteries, computer equipment, aluminum, ink cartridges, and fluorescent bulbs.

Installed compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs in 99% of all fixtures in the hotel.

Introduced guest programs such as linen reuse, public space recycling receptacles, and newspaper refusal to engender guest involvement.

Remain an active partner with the Austin Parks Department in efforts to reclaim and revitalize downtown green space.

Continue to provide a transportation subsidy to team members buying monthly public transit passes.

Green Meetings:

Use of china, glass, silver, and cloth napkins as opposed to paper or disposals

To-go containers are paper or corn-based plastic

Condiments and dressings served bulk whenever appropriate in lieu of individual packets

Use of glass carafes and pitchers at water breaks

Aluminum cans replacing the standard 10-oz disposable glass, foam label “banquet bottle”

Locally sourced menus available

On the Hilton Austin Horizon:

Sourcing our cooking oil out to a biodiesel cooperative

Full housekeeping services opt out available to guests, creating additional water savings as well as fewer chemicals dispersed

Composting feasibility study to further reduce solid waste stream

Banquet Facilities Initiatives:

Use of china, glass, and cloth napkins as opposed to paper

Cardboard to-go box use versus plastic

Food condiments served in bowls rather than individual packaging

Large variety of non-packaged food items available throughout banquet menus

Use of water stations and pitchers

Aluminum can use for sodas

Paper cups usage versus styrofoam

Hotel-wide Initiatives:

Locally purchased food and beverage items, such as produce and bottled water

Recycling programs that include various types of paper, aluminum, plastic, inkjet cartridges, and batteries

Paper cups usage versus plastic in hotel outlets

Guest room newspaper delivery available by request only

Replacement of shampoo, conditioner, and other guest room amenities replenished only as needed

Use of compact fluorescent bulbs throughout the hotel particularly guest room vanity lighting, hallways, and hotel lamps

Water conservation program for guest room towels: fresh towels only replaced when they are placed on the floor


The Hilton Austin is collaborated with locally owned Texas Disposal Systems. TDS succeeds at:

Having never been cited for waste infractions

Produce their own compost products from food waste

Usage of viable wells and landfills to sell back methane from compacted food waste as a renewable energy source to the city


Balcones Recycling has partnered with the Hilton Austin to help achieve the following statistics as they relate to the hotel’s recycling activity over the last 6 months:

39.65 total tons recycled

674 trees

277,508 gallons of water

15,065 gallons of oil

40 homes powered for 6 months (electricity in kW hours)

3,528 cubic feet of landfill space