Green Mission

AZA is committed to using as many environmentally responsible practices as possible and feasible for the Annual Conference.  The below measures are in place and AZA is committed to carrying out these practices and encouraging all participants and attendees of the conference to do the same.


Conference Promotional Materials

  • AZA prints all promotional materials on Forest Stewardship Council certified, recycled, double-sided paper, printed with vegetable oil-based inks when available.
  • In all promotional pre-conference materials, AZA strongly encourages attendees to register online, rather than mailing a hardcopy registration form. 

Conference Registration Materials
  • All registration confirmation materials and badge previews will be emailed to attendees.  Emailing a badge preview prevents the printing of multiple, incorrect badges.
  • Registration bags will be produced from eco-friendly materials.  Attendees are encouraged to reuse bags in the future.
  • Recycling receptacles for attendee registration badges will be located at the registration desk and at Zoo Day to collect unwanted badge holders for re-use at other conferences and meetings.

Conference Program Materials
  • AZA will be printing the program guide on Forest Stewardship Council certified, recycled, double-sided paper, printed with vegetable oil-based inks.  Attendees are encouraged to only take one copy and dispose of in the recycle bins located throughout the convention center.
  • A mobile app and mobile website will be made available, giving attendees the option to go paper-light.
  • All directional and room signage is reused by AZA from one event to another, whenever possible.
  • AZA encourages all speakers to provide their handouts or presentations to be posted on the website after the conference for Member access.

Exhibit Hall
  • All conference exhibitors and participants are strongly encouraged to use sustainable products for any promotional giveaway items.
  • Exhibitors are encouraged to participate in Lead Retrieval.  Attendees will have a bar code on their registration badges, allowing exhibitors to scan their badge to acquire contact information.  This will cut down on the number of business cards being distributed.
  • Any box lunch in the Exhibit Hall will be offered either without a box, or in recyclable containers or a reusable lunch bag when possible.
  • All carpet, table clothes and signage in the Exhibit Hall will be recycled or reused as much as possible.
  • Low lighting and air conditioning levels will be practiced during Exhibit Hall set up and tear down, and a schedule of conservative lighting use during non-event hours will be established.
  • Attendees are provided or encouraged to bring reusable water bottles.

Sustainability at the Washington State Convention Center
The Washington State Convention Center is committed to supporting and encouraging sustainable practices. Read all about the Convention Center's sustainable business practices.
Sustainability at the Headquarters Hotel
Conserving water, energy and other resources is rewarding for you and great for the environment. Enjoy a $5 voucher at participating food and beverage venues or 500 Starpoints® awarded at check-out for each night you decline housekeeping (except day of departure) with Sheraton's Make A Green Choice Program (which started at the Sheraton Seattle!).  The Sheraton has also been awarded the Silver Green Seal Standard Hotel Award and participates in the local recycling and composting program.

Through collaboration with our hotel associates, owners, franchisees, suppliers, business partners, and guests, we will actively work to reduce the environmental and negative social impact of our business activities related to food and beverage sourcing, production, consumption and disposal and to continually improve and innovate on practices aimed at:
  • increasing procurement of food and beverage grown and produced locally within the communities where our properties are located
  • encouraging buying from farmers who practice certified organic and sustainable farming
  • minimizing the procurement of overharvested or endangered species of both plants and animals
  • supporting Fair Trade practices and the procurement of commodities obtained through global Fair Trade processes and certifications
  • working toward increased transparency and reporting around our procurement practices and disclosing key indicators related to the environmental, community and health impact of our procurement practices
We know that our food and beverage strategy is multifaceted and are committed to being a leader with regard to sustainable seafood and water, acknowledging that our strategy and its implementation not only affect our associates and guests, but also the communities in which these items are sourced/produced, consumed and disposed of. With regard to sustainable seafood, Starwood’s efforts in this area continue to advance with the development of a sustainable seafood position statement.
Sustainability at the Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium’s commitment to operational sustainability is highlighted in several different areas:
  • Waste Management - Three streams: Recycling, Compost, Trash; Additional – hazardous waste (animal care, lab, batteries, lightbulbs)
  • Energy Efficiency & Carbon Offsets: Solar array; Energy upgrades; Carbon offsets
  • Water Conservation; Seawater – our motto, “cleaner out than going in” (below detection limits on everything); Freshwater e.g., low-flow toilets
  • Food Sourcing & Packaging: Café & Events – Sodexo, contractually obligated to divide waste into compost/recycling/trash, only sources sustainable seafood, no single-use plastics, all compostable when necessary (e.g., all sustainable SmartCatch seafood, no plastic straws or lids, no plastic bottles); For animals (e.g., all sustainble seafood); Water fountains & water bottle fill stations; Gift Shop – e.g., reuseable bags
Learn more about the Aquarium's sustainability practices.
Sustainability at the Woodland Park Zoo
As the region’s premier zoo and in keeping with Seattle’s climate charter goals, Woodland Park Zoo aspires to raise the bar of environmental performance and become the community’s most hands-on, living showcase of sustainability.  This commitment is demonstrated every day through a number of initiatives including:
  • Zoomazium’s building and living roof which became the first project among zoos nationally to receive Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • The zoo’s on-site composting program which annually transforms 820 tons of manure from its herbivore animals and animal bedding into Zoo Doo
  • One of the largest community solar projects in Washington, Phinney Ridge Community Solar, which in 2014 funded the installation of 60kW of new solar panels on the roofs of the zoo’s Rain Forest Food Pavilion and Commissary buildings
  • Solar panels on the zoo’s Historic Carousel
  • The award-winning Humboldt penguin exhibit, which reuses all of its water on site through a combination of rainwater capture, mechanical filtration, biofiltration and geothermal heating
  • Public Light & Charge stations for electric vehicles as part of a $1.2 million investment by ReachNow, the mobility branch of the BMW Group.
By inspiring our visitors and communities across our region to meaningfully reduce their own impact on the planet, Woodland Park Zoo is on a mission to do more to save wildlife and wild places.  Visit our website for more information on our approach to sustainability at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Carbon Offsetting with Forterra
Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium have partnered with Forterra and their Evergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) program to help attendees offset their carbon emission traveling to the Conference. Evergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) is a program for those that want to take accountability for their carbon footprint and invest in healthy, resilient forested parks and natural areas for future generations. It began as a partnership with Pearl Jam, who wanted to take responsibility for their carbon emissions produced from their world tour by planting trees in their local community! Since then, the program has grown to include dozens of companies and individuals. Trees are planted as part of Forterra’s comprehensive habitat restoration efforts. ECC plants native evergreen trees on Forterra-stewarded lands and actively managed public and private lands thanks to the help of our Field Partners. Be sure to donate when you register for the Conference!

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