President's Message

HomeATS CommunityPresident's Message ▶ ATS President's Message, “How Members Helped Turn ATS 2020 Green”
ATS President's Message, “How Members Helped Turn ATS 2020 Green”

In last month’s President’s Message, I addressed ATS efforts and activities focused on climate change.  This amonth’s topic is closely related and is specific to our International Conference:  how ATS members have helped, and can continue to help, the ATS get greener.

As often happens with evolving issues, ATS 2019 in Dallas was a tipping point for the Executive Committee and staff. At the Board of Directors meeting that concluded ATS 2019, we heard loudly and clearly that the environmental footprint of the meeting was a concern to the conference attendees. Specifically, there were valid concerns about the carbon cost of air travel, the amount of paper and plastic generated for the meeting, and whether we are doing all we can to recycle responsibly.

Thanks to ideas raised in those conversations, for the first time in 2020, conference attendees have an option to offset the carbon burden of their travel, and to date, 14 percent of our registrants have chosen to do so! If you haven’t yet registered, you can choose to purchase offsets from CoolEffect, a verified provider of carbon offsets that invests in greenhouse gas reduction and sequestration projects across the globe, for $20 at the time of registration. If you’d like to add this option to an existing registration, simply log-in with your badge number and click ‘upgrade.’

In Dallas, we also heard the request to reduce the amount of material dropped off on the hotel room doors of the attendees. Working closely with our industry partners, and with their full cooperation, we worked to balance the benefits of their sponsorship with environmental concerns. The bag containing our sponsors’ program information and announcements about the meeting will be smaller and biodegradable. Printed advertisements will be limited, and we are requiring them to be printed on recyclable paper and with environmentally-friendly inks. In the meantime, staff will continue to explore ways to eliminate the bags in the coming years.

For 2020 and beyond, we are discontinuing the printed program and registration bag and will ask attendees to rely on our improved mobile app and website. Printed copies of the Exhibit Resource Guide will be reduced by over 60 percent, which, in addition to the paper savings, we’ll see substantial reductions in the energy required to print and transport these materials. Conference publications, including the ATS Daily Newspaper and Resource Guide will use 10 percent post-consumer waste paper and soy inks, and we work with print vendors that are Forest Stewardship Council or Pure Power-certified as part of our ongoing environmental awareness initiatives.

As you can see, member feedback has helped us make huge changes to our environmental impact, and we only want to continue to improve. Please send suggestions to

Everyone can participate in reducing paper, plastic and other waste, recycling, and offsetting carbon emissions.

We’re looking forward to seeing you for a great (and greener) International Conference in May!