Sustainability at NI19

By: Alissa Hauser | October 6, 2019

As an organization that cares deeply about environmental sustainability, we are constantly working to align our values with our actions. Let’s face it, in-person conferences require enormous amounts of resources for 1,500 people to come together in one place from all over the world, and mitigating the collective impact of the travel alone is something we look at very seriously here at Net Impact.

We are proud of our partnership with TripZero who provides carbon offsetting for the travel footprint of all of our participants who book in our conference hotel. We selected TCF center as a conference venue specifically for its sustainability efforts including its robust onsite compost and recycling its energy conservation programs, and the fact that it is soon to be a LEED Certified venue. We strive to achieve zero waste through using recyclable and compostable items throughout the conference, and reusing everything we can. Please help us by making extra sure you put your compostable and recycling items in the right bins -- this action alone can have a significant impact on ensuring our conference waste does not go to the landfill.

We also encourage attendees to plan ahead and bring their own reusable water bottles (we’ll have lots of water refill stations on site) and reusable coffee mugs.

One of the sustainability initiatives we are most proud of this year is becoming a vegetarian (mostly vegan!) conference. Over and over again, research has shown that the meat production industry is the #1 contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, with some estimates saying that as much as 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from meat production. According to a recent study by the University of Oxford and published in the journal, Science, “Eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your environmental impact on earth. Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent.” By serving exclusively plant-based foods at NI19, we are working to significantly reduce the environmental impact of our conference.

Thank you to two of our conference partners, TripZero and Beyond Meat, for helping us make NI19 a more sustainable sustainability conference!  And thank you to all of our participants for partnering with us in all of our efforts this year.

image via R&D Magazine

Alissa Hauser

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