Climate change and economic downturn have accelerated new expectations. We live in a time of unprecedented change. Social and environmental issues are more important than ever.
In business we face challenges and opportunities that are more critical and complex than ever - where the consequences of failure are unimaginable and the impact of our decisions are felt instantly across the planet.
It’s time to think and act differently. It is not just about “reducing, recycling and reusing”, as the mantra goes. It is about rethinking.
Sustainability (*) plans must consider people, planet and profit. It’s this unique combination and balance that delivers results which bring reward to public and private communities. (*) “An enduring and balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress” (BSI, 2007)
IUFRO 2012 Conference is a unique opportunity to raise awareness among the local communities, hence foster sustainable behaviour and encourage people to make responsible decisions. Greening IUFRO 2012 All D5 Conference will reduce the direct environmental impact of it, but will also leave a positive and lasting legacy to the local community.
In a continuous learning process, involving stakeholders, the Congress organizers, committed from the very beginning to run a sustainable event. As such, several measures to achieve this objective have been implemented, namely, selection criteria, standards and guidelines, conveying to sustainable event organization.
· Green Venue – Estoril Congress Center, environmental best management practices. · Naturally lighted meeting and exhibit space
Communication with participants and registration
· Use of electronic means (email, website, facebook) minimizing paper usage· Use of certified paper when needed
· Use of online registration system
· Provide advice to participants on “green behaviour” by email about what delegates could do before and during the meeting.
· Strait communication with the hotels about sustainable best practices recommendations
· Selecting local accommodation situated within walking distance from the congress venue
· Provide green menus using typical dishes with local and seasonal ingredients
· When possible, encouraging organic products as well as vegetarian, healthy slow food and fair trade products.
· Advertise the Portuguese cuisine including DOP and DOC products
· Providing reusable cutlery, dishware and linens
· Serve beverages in bulk
· Avoid single-serve containers for food and condiments
· Inform caterers of the exact number of participants and re-evaluate quantity needed during the meeting to help avoid waste.
· Donate surplus food to non-profit organisations
· Checking that menus proposed by caterers do not include threatened or overexploited species appearing in the IUCN Red List (http://www.iucnredlist.org) or listed in qualified international and national bodies.
· The exhibition was designed upon the motto of the 3R’s: reduce, recycle and reuse.
· The exhibitors are encouraged to use the best practices on what concerns to: lighting, waste, stands materials and collateral materials.
The organizing Committee encourages participants to use more sustainable ways to travel to the meeting by providing the following information:
· For shorter trips, prefer train to car/coach and plane.
· When train is not an option, prefer car/coach to plane.
· When driving by car share the drive with other participants.
· If flying is the only option, choose direct flights when possible; prefer economy class to business and business to first class.
· Provide links to public transport websites.
· A supply of rental bicycles with parking location at the venue and hotels (TBC).
Measure and Compensation
The organization has established a partnership with Quercus to measure the ecological footprint of the participants (mobility sector) and compensate it with several programmed interventions on the Natural Park of Serra D’Aires e Candeeiros.
Some facts to illustrate why we should be concerned..
“... Every year we destroy 44 million acres of forest, creating an increasing imbalance in the way nature produces and absorbs carbon dioxide. We lose 100 million acres of farmland, cutting down trees, diverting natural irrigation, and creating 15 million acres of new desert around the world. We emit 8 billion tonnes of carbon into our atmosphere, only 3 billion tonnes of which can be reabsorbed. We use 160 billion tons more water each year than is being replenished by rain, enough to require a 450,000 km convoy of trucks.
As a result of this damage 200 million people will become refugees due to flooding and drought if the climate warms by 2-3 degrees by 2050. Or financially, insurance claims will increase by $320 billion due to storms and floods, if carbon emissions continue to rise at present rates – making insurance premiums too expensive for most individuals or companies. The deforestation will reduce crop yields across Africa by 33%, adding to the hunger. And a 5m rise in sea levels, caused by melting polar ice caps, will wipe out many coastal areas, with consequences including a predicted 11% decline in China’s GDP. “