Conference Sustainability

AASHE is committed to modeling sustainability in all of our activities, including the conference. We implement a variety of practices to neutralize or minimize the conference’s environmental footprint and maximize our positive impact or “handprint”.

Food & Dining

To support the creation of ecologically sound, fair, humane and resilient food systems and promote healthy, plant-based diets:

  • NEW THIS YEAR: We will not be serving any meat throughout the conference. After the great success with Meatless Monday in 2016, and thanks to attendee feedback, we are going to serve a vegetarian diet for the entirety of the conference.
  • All meals will include substantive and clearly labeled vegan and gluten-free options.
  • We are working with this year's in-house catering company to use environmentally and socially preferable food products (i.e., those that are Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Certified Humane or sourced from local, community-based producers) to the greatest extent practical.


To help preserve and restore water:

  • Cupanion, this year's water bottle sponsor, will be providing reusable cups for all attendees to use throughout the conference. These bottles help prevent waste from disposal of single-use cups. 
  • AASHE seeks a partner to support with the purchase of Water Restoration Certificates to cover the estimated water usage of conference attendees over the course of the conference. 

Air & Climate

To help address the carbon emissions associated with the conference:


To help create a sustainable economy:

  • AASHE selects Sustainability Award winner plaques made with sustainable materials. 
  • Volunteer T-shirts are made with sustainable materials and are provided by Eco Promotional Products, Inc., which is a woman-owned Certified BCorp and Green America Gold certified company.
  • Badge holders are made with recycled content and name badges are printed on recycled content paper.


To facilitate and encourage the use of more sustainable transportation options:

  • San Antonio is easy to get around with use of its public transportation.
  • All conference hotels are selected in close proximity to where the conference will be held.


To minimize resource use and waste generated by the conference:

  • Max-R, this year’s waste diversion sponsor, is providing customized, easy to use waste and recycle bins of 97% HDPE.
  • No printed program will be available again this year. Instead, we encourage attendees to download the conference mobile app, available Fall 2017, to access program content and other pertinent details of the conference including schedules, session descriptions and maps.
  • Conference meals will be served buffet style with reusable or compostable plates and utensils. 
  • Leftover food will be donated to San Antonio Food Bank. 
  • All materials produced for the meeting (such as banners, posters, signs, place cards) are designed for reuse at future conferences and are recycled at the end of their usable life.
  • Presenters have been asked to minimize physical handouts.

Partner Selection

Many different entities are involved in putting together a conference. We strive to work with partners that share our commitment to sustainability.

  • Stetson Convention Services, our show decorator, works to minimize on-site material waste and uses a variety of recycled-content and biodegradable materials. 

How You Can Help

All attendees have a role to play in improving the sustainability of the conference. You can help by:

  • Take advantage of public transportation options while in San Antonio.
  • If you choose to print the schedule of sessions or other materials, print double-sided on 100% post consumer recycled, agricultural residue and/or FSC certified content paper.
  • Bring and use your own water bottle.
  • Place any the materials you wish to discard in the appropriate collection receptacle.
  • Return name badges to the registration desk after the conference so we can reuse the plastic holders at future events.


Thank You to Our 2017 Sponsors