AGU is committed to implementing sustainability practices that will lessen the impact of its events on the planet. AGU works on several fronts to implement green initiatives through the Fall Meeting. This includes working with the city of San Francisco, the Moscone Center, conference hotels, suppliers, and attendees to reduce our environmental impact.
In the spirit of leadership, below are some policies that we will be implementing, as well as some tips on how you can make greener choices during the conference.
During the Meeting
- The carpet throughout the Exhibit floor will be reused and then recycled to make plastic pipes and septic systems. The carpet padding is made from 98% recycled foam and is recycled back into carpet pads.
- Exhibitor kits and forms are only available online.
- Collecting surplus promotional items and books from exhibitors for local charity donation.
- Partnering with all conference hotels to offer guests conservation options.
At the Moscone Center
- NEWS ALERT: The Moscone Center has received LEED® Gold certification. It is the first convention center on the West Coast to attain the green building honor.
- Recycling of paper, plastic, and glass is available throughout the Moscone Center. Behind the scenes, the center also recycles cardboard, kitchen organics, wood, vinyl banners, carpet padding, foamcore, and more. Nearly 2 million pounds of materials are diverted from the waste stream annually, with nearly 13% of that total as donations to local nonprofits.
- A food composting program captures all organic material from food service operations throughout the convention center, with over 12 tons of food scraps composted to date.
- Bowls and plates used throughout the convention center are made from sugar cane, and the center uses potato starch cutlery made from bio-based resins and potato scraps.
- One of the nation’s largest municipally owned solar generation installations now operates from the roof of the Moscone Center. The solar component consists of a solar electrical system capable of producing enough power for 550 homes annually. This is accompanied by an extensive lighting system retrofit and related energy efficiency measures designed to reduce energy usage without diminishing interior lighting levels. Check out this video for a tour of the largest publicly owned solar system in the nation.
- The facility uses the most sustainable household cleaning products available. Cleaning agents used in all areas including restrooms, carpets, lobbies, and Exhibit Hall floors are Green-Seal certified and U.S. EPA approved.
- The Moscone Center received the prestigious 2009 Environmental Achievement Award for distinguishing itself as a sustainable building that has helped protect the environment. The EPA and Department of Energy also awarded the Moscone Center the 2004 Green Power Leadership Award for distinguishing itself by using onsite renewable energy applications.
In San Francisco
- The city is working to meet its goal of zero waste by 2020, with a current recycling rate of 72%, the highest in the nation.
- San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban plastic shopping bags.
- Beginning in October 2009 the city requires everyone in San Francisco to separate their refuse into recyclables, compostables, and trash
- San Francisco is a primary reason that California has the most green jobs in the country, with 125,000. The city recently passed $100 million worth of bonds to go toward future sustainable work. More than half of area commuters use public transportation.
What You Can Do
There are numerous opportunities for participants to contribute to making the Fall Meeting a green event. Here are a few:
- Recycle your badge before you leave. We’ll have boxes available for you to drop off your badge holder so that we can reuse them for the next conference.
- In addition to paper, cans, and bottles, remember that you can recycle your poster as well. All posters are recyclable, as long as they aren’t laminated.
- Take advantage of the many public transportation options throughout the city. We encourage you to walk or bike around town, or explore the area using the city’s buses, cable cars, and light rail vehicles. Three and 5 day MUNI passes are a great way to see the sights
- Plan to take BART around the city and to/from the airport. Fall Meeting attendees can pre-purchase vouchers for a easy and quick to travel to their hotel. A portion of the proceeds from those vouchers will be donated to Save the Bay. Not only that, but using BART saves up 10 pounds of CO2 per trip.
- Take the train to San Francisco. Amtrak is offering Fall Meeting attendees a discount on their rail fare.
- Consider bringing your own water bottle/coffee mug to the meeting. Water fountains are available throughout the convention center, and 16,000 people switching to tap can make quite an impact!