Green Meeting Policy
The U.S. EPA was committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the 2011 Community Involvement Training Conference. With this goal in mind, we:
- Reduced the use of paper by disseminating information via the conference web site, offered an on-line registration system, and reduced or eliminated copies of presentation materials for conference sessions
- Printed conference materials on recycled paper, using vegetable-based inks
- Ensured that all conference materials contained recycled content
- Collected and recycled paper and beverage containers used at the conference
- Offered vegetarian meals
- Worked in partnership with the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel to reduce energy and water consumption
- Promoted public or shared transportation for travel between the hotel and the airport
- Considered additional actions to reduce the environmental impact of the conference
As in past years, the planning committee did lots of things to help make the Community Involvement Training Conference more earth-friendly, and we recruited attendees' help to make the twelfth conference one of the greenest ever.
Developed on a former brownfields site that was completely remediated during construction, the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel was designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's™ Silver LEED certification in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. The hotel achieved this distinction in time for the July 2011 conference.
If you stayed at the hotel, you should have noticed many green features, such as:
- Optional linen service
- Recycling and waste reduction of glass, cans, paper, plastics, and reusable dishware and utensils
- Recycled paper
- Bio-based materials
- Water conservation, low-flow showers and toilets
- Energy conservation
- Paperless, Styrofoam-free breaks
- Vegetative roof over the conference center, which aided in filtering rainwater runoff and reduced heat gain
The hotel is located near public transportation and provides shuttle services to and from National Airport and the Crystal City Metro station. Local participants also could take the Metro to the Reagan National Airport station and catch the hotel shuttle from there.
To save more than 18,400 sheets of paper, the conference booklet was not printed and distributed. Instead, paper copies were placed in session rooms, break areas, and at the reference desk for conference attendees to view it.
Instead of providing participants with totebags, we offered a "totebag exchange." We invited attendees to bring an extra totebag to exchange with others. This also provided an opportunity for conference attendees to give away bags they have accumulated from other conferences they have attended.
At the Conference We...
- Provided recycling containers and encouraged attendees to recycle newspapers, cans and glass, including those from their guest room, in marked containers in the conference area. Any recyclable items placed on the food service trays located throughout the conference area were also recycled behind the scenes.
- Encouraged registrants to participate in the hotel's water, energy, and detergent conservation efforts by following the instructions posted in guest rooms.
- Reduced the use of paper by limiting conference handouts at registration and encouraging presenters to limit handouts and used folders or handouts printed on high post-consumer recycled content paper using vegetable-based ink.
Thanks to the hotel for providing reusable utensils and dishes for breaks and for adopting other "green" programs.
For more information regarding the EPA Green Meeting Initiative please visit www.epa.gov/oppt/greenmeetings/index.html and for guidelines of the Green Meeting Industry Council, visit www.bluegreenmeetings.org/.