Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
IN-5: Green Event Certification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Behn Jang
Program Coordinator, Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities and Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution’s green event certification program address the following?:
Yes or No
Sustainable transportation options, teleconferencing options, and/or carbon offsets Yes
Sustainable catering (e.g. sourcing local and third party certified food and beverages, providing vegetarian/vegan options, using reusable/compostable materials) Yes
Paper consumption (e.g. minimization and recycled/FSC certified content) Yes
Energy efficiency (e.g. equipment and lighting) Yes
Waste minimization and diversion Yes
Communications and/or signage about the sustainable practices Yes

A brief description of the institution’s green event certification program, including the specific components selected above:

GREEN SPACES PROGRAM

The Green Spaces program helps event planners adopt sustainable practices and earn recognition for their efforts. Any event or conference at the University of Alberta can seek Green Spaces certification. Organizers commit to completing actions over the course of the event and attendees are encouraged to take personal actions that will help reduce the overall impact of the event. Actions include anything from collecting organic waste at lunch, offering inclusive food options, or choosing a venue close to public transit. Event planners can easily peruse the full list of actions, effectively encouraging them to take on a wider range of actions. The event planning team receives an official certificate made from repurposed materials that recognizes their bronze, silver or gold certification. Organizers are also encouraged to borrow a banner to publicize their efforts to event participants.

Below please find a selection of specific actions that are included in the University of Alberta Green Spaces for Events checklist, organized by the specific components selected above.

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS, TELECONFERENCING OPTIONS, AND/OR CARBON OFFSETS

- Inform and encourage attendees to use sustainable transportation to get to the event, such as cycling, walking, public transit, carpooling or using a carshare.
- Encourage out-of-town attendees to take a shuttle or bus to and from the airport.
- Use video teleconferencing tools for meetings, planning sessions, and more to reduce travel.

SUSTAINABLE CATERING

- Provide recycled content or reusable napkins.
- Provide organic, seasonal and/or locally-grown food options.
- Ask attendees what their dietary preferences are (such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free options), and ensure inclusive food options are offered.
- Choose to serve protein foods that have a lower carbon footprint whenever possible.
- Serve coffee, tea, and/or chocolate that are certified for sustainability-related practices by a reputable third party.
- Provide food and drink condiments in bulk. Avoid items that are individually packaged for a single use.
- Make a plan for how to use or where to donate any uneaten or uncooked food (e.g. utilize reusable food containers, encourage attendees and organizers to take leftover food home with them).
- Carefully plan the food service to fit our needs and reduce portion sizes to prevent food waste.
- Compost unused foods and/or food scraps.

PAPER CONSUMPTION

- Provide reusable or compostable plates, cups and utensils if serving food and/or drink.
Use an electronic event invitation and registration process (e.g. email, eSignatures, paperless tickets, Google Forms).
- Distribute documents electronically (e.g. via email, mobile app, handouts given as PDFs, or G Suite).
- Print copies for groups instead of individuals.
- Print name tags on recycled paper, avoiding self-adhesive name tags.
- Print promotional materials and handouts on double-sided paper.
- Print on labelled third-party certified paper containing recycled content.
- Reuse plastic name tag-holders.
- Use erasable boards, blackboards, SMART Board, or projector instead of paper flip charts most of the time.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

- Choose a venue with green building features or green building certification.
- Turn off lights and equipment while not in use

WASTE MINIMIZATION AND DIVERSION

- Ensure bins are present for collecting paper, plastic, beverage containers and other recyclables. Bins must be highly visible and labelled with appropriate signage.
- Review the Zero Waste or other UAlberta-approved recycling system in your event space to refresh all attendees on its proper use.
- Ensure organics bins are present, highly visible and labelled with appropriate signage.
- Ensure staff or volunteers are on-hand to guide proper disposal of organics and recyclables during peak times.
- Make event announcements and provide reminders to participants to use recycling stations in event and meeting areas.

COMMUNICATIONS AND/OR SIGNAGE

- Communicate to our exhibitors and attendees about the sustainable features and Green Spaces certification received for this event and actively encourage their participation.
- Ask attendees to reduce their environmental impacts by bringing their own reusable bag, water bottle or travel mug, dish and cutlery, lanyard, or portable electronic device (to take notes).
- Only provide "thank-you" gifts, giveaway items and door prizes that model the Green Procurement Principles. They should be durable, able to be reused and/or be a prompt for sustainable behaviour.
- Whenever possible, create promotional signs out of materials which can be repurposed or reused at other meetings / events (e.g. avoid dates on banners or sandwich boards so they can be reused in future years).
- Incorporate written or oral acknowledgement of the Traditional Territory on which the event is taking place.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.