Sustainability at SGIM24

Our Commitment to Planetary Health:  SGIM is building its strategic approach regarding planetary health education, advocacy, and meeting sustainability. As part of this initiative, SGIM leaders and our Environmental Health Interest group have identified the need for increased program content on climate change and environmental justice at the national conference alongside increased sustainability measures in all that we do onsite.

What SGIM is Doing

  • Approved SGIM Position Statement on Climate Change (2021)
  • Creation of a Sustainability Officer on the SGIM Annual Meeting Program Committee
  • Providing a mobile and desktop app for the conference in place of a large conference program.
  • Using a print-on-demand badge system to lower paper and plastic waste.
  • Using recyclable and/or reusable materials and no volatile organic compounds (VOC) in printing inks for signage throughout the meeting.
  • Reducing the use of single-use products and replacing these items with reusable and recyclable materials.
  • Providing locally sourced food and beverages.

What the Sheraton is Doing

  • Marriott has committed to reduce landfill waste by 45% by 2025.
  • As part of the Marriott initiative to eliminate plastic straws and stirrers from all of its 6,500 hotels and resorts worldwide, the hotel provides such options as biodegradable paper straws and sugarcane stirrers.

What the Hynes is Doing

  • The Hynes has state-of-the-art Lutron Lighting Systems installed throughout the facility and sensor-controlled lighting in all meeting rooms.
  • Up to 75% of the ingredients used in catering come from local farms and producers.
  • Catering offers biodegradable packaging and corn-based compostable cups and utensils.
  • Compost collection bins are available in designated areas around the dining area.
  • The Conventions C.A.R.E. (Community Assistance by Responsible Events) program collects clean, usable, nonperishable donations from exhibitors and event planners after conventions and delivers them to local nonprofits around Boston.

    What You Can Do

    • Only request housekeeping for your guestroom when needed to save energy and water.
    • Bring a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug with you, reducing plastic and paper waste of traditional water stations.
    • If presenting a poster, print on reusable material (fabric) or on non-glossy, recycled paper.
    • Purchase carbon offset credits to offset the carbon toll of your flight/drive to and from the meeting*
    • Carpool or use mass transit to travel to/from the meeting or airport. 

    * Carbon offsets are controversial since they can sometimes distract from the main goal of decarbonization. They are best used temporarily by individuals, businesses, and organizations to address residual emissions until other environmentally sustainable solutions are available. Care must be taken to ensure the carbon offset project follows certain principles since some projects have been known to further damage ecologies or harm Indigenous populations. Practice Greenhealth offers this guidance on how to choose carbon offset projects following principles from the World Resources Institute, and important considerations while offsetting health system emissions.