ATS News Articles

HomeATS News Articles ▶ Going Green with the ATS
Going Green with the ATS

The health of the environment has always been a major ATS priority, and a key pillar of our advocacy. As air pollution has developed into a significant clinical and worldwide health issue, the ATS has been at the forefront of air pollution research, and has been committed to enhancing public health through support of regulatory and legislative priorities.

But the ATS also recognizes that it’s not enough just to advocate for air pollution reduction at the governmental level; we all need to work as a society to be green global citizens, and to reduce our own environmental impact wherever we can, especially at the ATS International Conference, which brings over 16,000 people together in one space.

The ATS started considering ways to be more green several years ago. We discontinued bottled water and instituted the ATS Hydration Station, which provides ATS-branded refillable water bottles for attendee use throughout the conference. We’ve also tried to continually reduce the amount of paper we use across the board. Our conflict of interest disclosure is all done online, and the calls for input and calls for abstracts for each ATS International Conference are also done electronically. Our journals no longer receive paper bluelines or page proofs, which saves up to 500 pages per month. Not only is the ATS Research Program totally paperless, but the LOI process is even done via teleconference which keeps committee members from having to travel!

We’re excited to continue to build on these successes with additional green initiatives related to the International Conference, with big plans for 2020 and beyond.  This year, attendees will have the option of purchasing a carbon off-set when they register for the meeting.  There will be no printed final program or registration bag. Hard copies of the Exhibit/Session Guide will be reduced by more than 60 percent.   Individual door drops will be limited to one per day and the Medical Bag will be a smaller, fully biodegradable plastic bag.  All printed advertisements will be limited to six per day, and are required to be printed on recycled paper and use environmentally friendly inks.

And while making the ATS International Conference green is important, we don’t want to stop there. At ATS headquarters, we’ve eliminated disposable coffee cups, and made filtered water available to encourage the use of refillable bottles. In that spirit, we ask everyone, from conference attendees and members, to onsite staff, to help us reduce our collective impact. An easy way to help is to select, “I agree to offset the carbon emissions of my ATS travel,” and donating $20 to CoolEffect, while registering for the conference, and don’t forget to pick up a reusable ATS water bottle at the ATS hydration station when you get to the conference. See you in Philadelphia!