AGU is committed to implementing greener practices that will lessen the impact of its events on the planet. AGU works on several fronts to implement green initiatives through 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
- Did you know that Fall Meeting was named the #2 San Francisco convention by the Bay Area Rapid Transit System for 2014 and continues to lead the effort in making San Francisco the city for sustainability. Join thousands of your colleagues and take the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) around the city and to/from the airport; details about how to travel around the city will be posted in late summer 2016. Fall Meeting attendees can prepurchase vouchers for an easy and quick to travel to their hotels.
- The carpet throughout the Exhibit Hall 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.
- Surplus promotional items and books will be collected from exhibitors for local charity donation.
- AGU is 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 the commuters in the area use public transportation.
What You Can Do
There are numerous opportunities for participants to contribute to making 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 it 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 five-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 prepurchase vouchers for an easy and quick way to travel to their hotels. A portion of the proceeds from those vouchers will be donated to Save the Bay. Not only that, but using BART saves up to 10 pounds of CO2 per trip.
- 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!