ASTMH Cares About Reducing Its Carbon Footprint

Posted 13 November 2019

As a scientific society, ASTMH recognizes that climate change is a real and present danger. Carbon emissions are one factor contributing to this change. 

“A meeting like TropMed19 is an important opportunity for people working in tropical medicine and global health to get together, and the unintended consequence is the substantial carbon footprint, particularly due to the travel involved,” said ASTMH President Chandy C. John, MD, MS, FASTMH. 

What can attendees do? We encourage everyone to visit reputable websites where you can learn more about carbon footprints and how you can offset your emissions. 

You can visit sites like Gold Standard, United Nations Carbon Offset Platform, Terrapass, and The Nature Conservancy to get you started, but the Society recommends that you research this issue in order to make your own informed decisions. 

“Carbon offsets are not a magical solution, but if done with a reputable group they can be a part of reducing the meeting’s carbon footprint,” says Dr. John. “I’ve made my donation to offset the carbon footprint of my travel. Please consider making yours, and use the hashtag #TropMed19CO to let others know on Twitter.” 

Over the last several years, the Society has implemented a number of green efforts:
  • Printing our ~350 signs on recyclable materials 
  • Reducing by more than half the number of programs printed
  • Decreasing the amount of printed materials included in the registration bag
  • Cutting back on box lunches, which reduces the hotel personnel needed to assemble lunches, trucks to deliver food items and packaging from the items. 
This year’s Annual Meeting is taking place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland (adjacent to Washington, DC). A few of the Gaylord’s sustainability efforts include: 
  • Replacing plastic straws with paper straws
  • Cultivating own herbs on the convention center’s rooftop
  • Hosting eight beehives, which produces enough honey to service the entire Gaylord operation