AGU is committed to implementing sustainability practices that will lessen the impact of its events on the planet. During the Fall Meeting, this includes working with the city of San Francisco, the Moscone Center, conference hotels, suppliers and attendees to find ways to reduce our environmental impact.
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
- All meeting program books are printed on recycled paper. Similarly, recycled paper is used for all name badges and printer paper throughout the conference.
- Badge holders are made of corn plastics and are 100% biodegradable and compostable.
- Each of the buses in the AGU shuttle fleet will run on biodiesel fuels.
- 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.
At the Moscone Center
- Nearly 2 million pounds of materials are diverted annually, with nearly 20% of that total as donations to local area non-profits.
- 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.
- 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 on-site 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 will require everyone in San Francisco to separate their refuse into recyclables, compostables and trash.
- Mayor Newsom has pledged to convert 100% of the taxi fleet to hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles by 2011.
What You Can Do
There are numerous opportunities for participants to contribute to making the Fall Meeting a green event. Here are few:
- Recycle your badge before you leave. We'll have boxes available for you to drop-off your badge holder, so we can reuse them for the next conference.
- In addition to paper, cans or bottles, remember 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.
- When making your travel plans, plan to take BART or a shuttle bus from the airport.
- 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!