Conference Sustainability

Each year, SPLC strives to produce a conference using innovative practices that lessen our impact and reflect our social, environmental and economic values. To this end, SPLC has developed a comprehensive set of Event Venue Requirements & Preferences, Food & Beverage Requirements & Preferences for use in producing SPLC events. Through these and other measures, SPLC models the practices discussed in our conference sessions, to reduce the impact of this event, and illustrate ways other events can similarly reduce their impacts.

Additionally, this year MeetGreen® was hired to manage conference logistics and provide leadership and expertise in sustainability as it relates to meeting management. MeetGreen® is independently certified compliant with the ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management System Standard. All aspects of their work for SPLC comply with ISO 20121 approaches.

Following are some of the measures we are implementing at this year’s Conference.

Destination Selection

  • Environmental aspects of the destination (Washington, DC) were considered when selecting the host city. Examples include venues and suppliers with environmental practices, availability of waste reduction and recycling, local transit, and energy and water conservation programs adopted by the host city, venues and suppliers. 

Meeting Facility Selection

  • A clause is included in the facility contract requiring the meeting venue to comply with the agreed upon sustainability practices.
  • The conference venue was chosen so that no ground transportation is required for attendees to get to the sessions.
  • The venue has provided a contact responsible for assisting SPLC in increasing the sustainability of its event.
  • The facility and caterer has attested that all workers involved in catering SPLC’s event will be paid above the “1 Adult” hourly living wage estimated by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for Washington, DC.


  • SPLC uses paper that is made with 100 percent recycled fiber and 50 percent post-consumer waste, processed chlorine free, for printed Conference materials.
  • SPLC uses low-VOC vegetable-based inks for printed Conference materials.
  • All pre conference communications are conducted electronically.


  • Apex Clean Energy sponsored the Summit to go 100% renewable energy powered and carbon neutral. Apex’s Balko Wind Farm supplied carbon offsets and renewable energy credits to cover energy used by the meeting venue and hotel, as well as attendee travel and waste generation.


  • Offset of 100 percent of the carbon emissions generated by travel and facility usage during the Conference.
  • Attendees are encouraged to choose ground transportation options that minimize their carbon footprint such as mass transit, rail service, car sharing or shuttle service.

Guest Accommodation

  • Housekeeping will leave old containers of partially used toiletries instead of replacing. 
  • Hotel staff is instructed to turn down the heat/air-conditioning, shut drapes, and turn off the lights when rooms are vacant.
  • A towel and sheet reuse program is in place for all sleeping rooms.
  • Green certified products are used in guest sleeping rooms and public areas of the facility.

Food & Beverage

  • Recycle and/or a compost program for throw-away food waste.
  • Use china / glassware on all banquet / catering functions.
  • Cloth napkins are used in all banquet functions.
  • No polystyrene products are used for banquet/ catering functions.
  • Condiments served in bulk containers, except sugars and sweeteners, in banquet functions.
  • Eliminate the use of disposable service-ware.
  • Menus will be chosen with local, organic and sustainable products when possible, and vegetarian meals will be served.
  • Any seafood ingredients comply with Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and/or Marine Stewards Certified.
  • Food on buffets and in menus will be labeled for those with food allergies.
  • The supplier shall report the % of total foods that are organic or local (within 250 miles).
  • Only 100% certified Fair Trade coffee and tea will be served.

Waste Management

  • Recycling bins for glass, plastic, metal and paper available on all meeting floors.
  • Recycling bins for glass, plastic, metal and paper available on all lodging floors.
  • Leftover and unused exhibitor amenities (such as tote bags, product samples, etc.) are donated to a nonprofit organization.
  • To avoid paper waste, exhibitors are requested to print handouts on 100 percent post-consumer paper with vegetable-based ink and bring a minimum amount to distribute.

Meeting Management

  • All communications with speakers, sponsors and hotel are electronic.
  • Conference registration is entirely online and confirmations are electronic.
  • Conference office equipment is all EnergyStar rated.

Summit Partners

AASHE ACCO BSR Center for Resource Solutions Farm-to-Cafeteria Conference GreenBiz Iseal Alliance ISM MCSP MWCOG NASPO NCMA NIGP NGLCC Practice Greenhealth ProcureCon Indirect East Procurious RPN RSB USGBC