A Professional Guidance Statement of the American Meteorological Society
(Adopted by the AMS Council on 3 January 2011)
As a professional organization whose members are keenly aware of environmental issues, AMS strives to be in the forefront of environmental stewardship. AMS places a high priority on using natural resources responsibly in conducting meetings and scientific conferences, in accord with the AMS Green Conference Guidelines (adopted September 2007). The purpose of this statement is to help AMS members involved in meetings and conferences minimize their negative environmental impacts and thereby maximize their societal benefits.
The green1 meetings guidance herein addresses a wide array of meeting types and sizes and is not restricted to AMS-sponsored events. Helpful suggestions are offered, not hard-and-fast rules, because circumstances vary. While some choices are clearly greener, others are more ambiguous. The suggestions are based on a 2010 survey of industry-wide guidelines and represent current best practices. However, they should be reviewed and revised as technologies, understanding, and options continue to develop.
This statement is organized to cover a variety of aspects of professional meetings: scoping and planning; working with contractors and vendors; exhibiting; and participating as an attendee. As this statement addresses only some of the myriad decisions associated with meetings that have environmental impacts, a list of Web-based resources is included for further information and ideas.
The statement focuses on traditional, face-to-face meetings. However, as meeting agendas are being considered, an evaluation should be made as to whether other, less resource-intensive, options for interaction among colleagues (such as video/telephone conferences and Web-based remote meetings) may meet the group’s needs.
Suggested Green Practices and Actions
Working with Contractors and Vendors
Inform all parties providing meeting services of the meeting’s environmental goals. Include language in contracts stating vendors’ commitment to comply with environmental requests. Some suggested requests are listed below.
Attending the Meeting
Information Resources and Tools
The Oceans Blue Foundation offers tips for planners and suppliers.http://www.bluegreenmeetings.org/index.htm
The Convention Industry Council provides recommendations on best practices.http://www.conventionindustry.org/projects/green_mtgs.htm
The Netherlands recommends a short check list for green meetings. http://www.holland.com/meetings/uk/green-meetings/green-meetings-checklist/
The Green Meetings Industry Council offers a collection of resources. http://www.greenmeetings.info/Default.aspx?pageId=724957
MeetGreen offers one of many resources for green meeting destination selection.http://www.bestplacestomeetgreen.com/
The National Recycling Coalition’s Green Meetings Policy has ideas on working with exhibitors.http://www.nrc-recycle.org/greenmeetingsp.aspx
The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Protection Agency offer tools for estimating personal carbon emissions associated with travel, food choices, etc.
The American Geophysical Union offers general policies and tips for attendees.http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/green-initiatives/index.php
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Sustainability Office offers resources for UCAR meetings. http://www.fin.ucar.edu/sustainability/greenoffice.html
The AMS Green Conference Guidelines specifically addresses AMS meetings. In general, the AMS Meetings Department aims to meet or exceed the recommendations in this statement in organizing AMS conferences. http://www.ametsoc.org/MEET/greenconferenceguidelines.html
[This statement is considered in force until January 2016 unless superseded by a new statement issued by the AMS Council before this date.]
© American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693
1 The term “green” is used here to describe environmentally responsible and sustainable practices that minimize waste, pollution, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.