In his initial message inviting colleagues to the 23rd Euretina Congress in Amsterdam, Euretina President Alistair Laidlaw said, “Sustainability will once again be at the core of our conference organisation as we continue to measure and lower our carbon output.”
“Euretina is committed to improving the sustainability of our Congress, and our objective is to collaborate with our supply chain and our partners to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we can. With this in mind, we are continuing with the changes we implemented last year and are adding additional elements this year to make the Congress even more sustainable than before,” said Dr Laidlaw.
The changes include a multipronged approach for reducing the amount of printed materials used. As part of this solution, delegates can expect an improved event App through which they will have all the event information they need digitally at their fingertips.
Dr Laidlaw noted that the physical site for the meeting – the RAI Congress Centre – was selected in part because of its mission to be carbon neutral and evidence that it is making good on this aim based on the many sustainable initiatives already implemented.
Exhibitors are being asked to make a difference by reducing and even eliminating print materials at their booths. In addition, exhibition booth designers have been encouraged to recommend more sustainable materials, lighting ideas and branding formats to bring their space to life as well as to rent booth furnishings from the RAI Congress Centre, which will save on transportation emissions. Among other measures, exhibitors are being asked to consider plant-based menus and locally sourced ingredients/drinks for any catering they offer and to bring leftover food to a donation room so it can be given for charity.
Delegates doing their part
Delegates attending the Congress virtually will be contributing to Euretina’s sustainability goal by reducing travel emissions. Delegates attending in-person are being reminded of the multiple ways they can reduce their carbon footprint, including through their choice of transportation to and from Amsterdam and back and forth to the Congress Centre. Taking advantage of Amsterdam’s excellent public transport network is an efficient way to get from place to place and cuts down on automobile-related emissions. Walking or hopping on a bicycle, a favourite mode of transportation among local residents, gives delegates a chance to enjoy the scenery and get some exercise while being environmentally conscious. New this year, the Congress programme features a sustainability session where delegates will hear about waste management and sustainability in a clinical environment.
Measuring the present and looking ahead
Dr Laidlaw said, “During the meeting we will be tracking all the waste produced at the RAI Congress Centre that counts towards the overall event carbon footprint. Even before the 2023 meeting begins, we are working with event industry sustainability specialists to look at further ways we can reduce our emissions and measure our overall footprint. The meeting in Hamburg in 2022 was our baseline year, and we plan to use that data and this year’s findings to improve year on year.”
More details about sustainability at the 23rd Euretina Congress can be found at: Sustainability Plan – EURETINA