Sustainability at SGIM23

Our Commitment to Planetary Health:  As we prepare to “Meet the Promise of Tomorrow”, 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
  • Educating members on climate change through meeting events – Dr. Howard Frumkin will be the plenary speaker on May 11, 2023
  • Partnered with Gaylord Rockies – an EPA Energy Star Certified Hotel
  • 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 Hotel 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 resort provides such options as biodegradable paper straws and sugarcane stirrers
  • Gaylord Rockies offers large amenity bottles in all guest bathrooms that are replaced when empty. The bottles are made of PET which is #1 on the recycling scale, so bottles purchased by guests from the Spa can be recycled at home
  • Gaylord Rockies has also implemented the following efforts to reduce water and paper waste:
    • Low flow faucets (less than 2.5 gal/min) and toilets (less than 1.6 gal/flush) in guest rooms
    • Automatic water conservation toilets and faucets in public restrooms
    • Water efficient landscaping
    • “Smart” irrigation system that communicates with rain meters to water landscaping only if needed
    • Cardboard and plastic recycling programs
    • Purchasing post-consumer recycled content for targeted paper products
    • Utilizing a pulper waste reduction solution for food waste from all restaurants and banquets, reducing food waste at an 8:1 ratio
    • Offering standard plates and silverware in addition to compostable to-go containers at banquets

    What You Can Do

    • Only request housekeeping for your guestroom when needed to save energy and water.
      • Plus earn bonus points if you are a member of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program
    • Request a mobile key instead of a plastic key card for your guestroom
    • Bring a reusable water bottle/coffee mug with you, reducing plastic and paper waste of traditional water stations. Avoid plastic utensils and unnecessary food waste
    • If presenting a poster, printing on a 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*
    • If feasible, carpool or use mass transit to travel to/from the meeting or airport. Denver International Airport is located 9 miles from the hotel and there are several mass transit options including Uber Rideshare. To access Denver Rapid Transit (DRT) after arriving at the airport, attendees should follow airport signs to the DRT train, then purchase a regional ticket ($10.95 standard one-way; discounted fare for seniors – as of February 2, 2023). Only one train (A) leaves from DIA, in one direction. Get off at 61st and Pena (first stop), There is a complimentary shuttle run by the Gaylord resort that stops near the canopy at every hour and half-hour from 5am to 11pm. RTD train runs from ~3am until after midnight.

    * 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.