Monday, November 26, 2012

SMG & SAVOR Understand the Importance of Being Green

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 98th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, held November 25 - 30 at McCormick Place in Chicago, has several "green" initiatives in place to minimize the environmental impact of the world's largest radiology forum.

RSNA has joined with McCormick Place, Savor Catering Services and Chicago hotels and restaurants in implementing more than two dozen recycling and conservation efforts throughout the 2012 RSNA annual meeting.

"A green meeting means we're planning and practicing ways that will minimize the impact our meeting may have on the environment," said Janet Cooper, C.M.P., director of Convention Operations for RSNA.

Noting that interest in sustainable meeting practices has been growing over the last five years, Cooper cited the aim of the Green Meeting Industry Council.

"Our capacity as planners and suppliers to act in partnership to minimize waste, purchase responsibly and educate delegates has the potential to benefit the environment, our economic bottom line, ourselves and generations that will come after us," she said.

Green initiatives at McCormick Place at RSNA 2011 led to an environmental waste diversion rate of 64 percent, up 1 percent from 2010. RSNA diverted more than 244 tons of materials from the landfill. Conservation initiatives saved 3,803 trees, 85,015 gallons of oil, 917,719 kilowatts of electricity, 733 yards of landfill space and 1,566,073 gallons of water. In addition, the food service company, SAVOR, donated 2,100 pounds of food to a Chicago-area food bank.
"RSNA will serve as a role model for other medical conventions both here in the U.S. and internationally," said Elizabeth Holland, M.D., of River Forest, Ill., one of several physicians who worked with RSNA to develop new green meeting initiatives this year.
RSNA 2012 green initiatives include:

* Increasing use of electronic documentation including the Exhibitor Service Kit, CME certificates, registration, Meeting Program and the Subspecialty Content brochures.
* Using QR codes, which attendees can scan for more information online, as an alternative to printed materials.
* Offering an extensive collection of apps and mobile-optimized tools.
* Printing on recycled paper with soy-based ink.
* Serving drinking water from large dispensers and recyclable cups instead of plastic bottles.
* Offering recycling receptacles for paper, badges, lanyards, meeting bags and programs.

McCormick Place
* Minimizing energy use by reducing lights, power, escalators and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) during move-in/move-out in the exhibit halls and meeting rooms when not in use.
* Using compact fluorescent lights in place of incandescent lamps throughout the convention center.
* Offering recycling receptacles throughout the convention center for paper, bottles, cans and general waste.
* Using Green Seal-certified cleaning products and restroom products that are 100 percent post-consumer recycled content paper.
* Reserving 5 percent of Lot A parking for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles.

SAVOR Catering Services
* Eliminating the use of Styrofoam and polystyrene plastic products.
* Using biodegradable flatware, straws, serving dishes and cups in the food courts.
* Donating all excess food to a local food bank.
* Meeting Marine Stewardship Council sourcing guidelines for 100 percent of seafood purchases.
* Growing fresh herbs and vegetables seasonally on the West Building Roof Top Garden--herbs are dehydrated and utilized in year-round cooking production.
* Converting 100 percent of used cooking grease to bio-fuel.
* Recycling and composting in post-consumer locations, including in the South Food Court.
Chicago Hotels and Restaurants
* Offering more Green Seal-certified hotels than any other city in the nation--these hotels adhere to stringent standards of energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, and environmentally-conscious practices.
* Supporting the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op's "Guaranteed Green" program, helping Chicago-area diners identify and support local restaurants that take significant steps toward protecting the environment.

What Attendees Can Do
* Dispose used paper and other recyclable material properly in clearly marked bins.
* Deposit unwanted bags, programs, lanyards and badges in specially marked bins at the end of the meeting.
* Access the RSNA Meeting Program and Subspecialty Content Brochures electronically at
* Ride the Metra Electric trains, use the complimentary RSNA shuttle or share a cab with fellow registrants.
* Turn off hotel room lights, electronics and heat when room is unoccupied.
* Bring a refillable mug or purchase one in the RSNA Store and receive 25 cents off any fresh-brewed drip coffee or fountain beverage purchase at any of food outlets at McCormick Place (excluding Connie's Pizza and McDonald's).
* Bring a refillable water bottle or purchase one in the RSNA Store to fill up during the week at water stations located throughout McCormick Place.