We are the Green Team, aka Kim Walker and Karen Truesdale, members of the organizing committee for the 2010 Conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society. Our role is to encourage practices that optimize the environmental impact of this large conference.
Why worry about being “green”? …. during a typical five day conference, 500 attendees will use 62,500 plates, 87,500 napkins, 75,000 cups or glasses and 90,000 cans or bottles. Plus there are all the greenhouse emissions from people traveling to and from the conference and paper and plastic waste from conference handouts. (www.meetgreen.com)
There are many online resources that can help and specialists who can offer estimates in advance and both quantitative and qualitative assessments after the event. Here is just one company that provided this service for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC (www.offsetters.ca).
Rad Resource: Optimizing the environmental impact of a project such as this large conference involves assessing the potential for both negative and positive impacts. We developed a green conference checklist to help us identify where we can make environmentally friendly choices with our venue, programming and other conference activities. We also considered offsite activities, or secondary effects related to the conference – and have given delegates information on what they can do personally to reduce their carbon footprint and support environmentally sustainable practices during their visit (http://www.vanaqua.org/oceanwise/sustainable-seafood.html).
Our environmental evaluation will include input from the attendees via a post-conference survey, interviews with other members of the organizing committee, and observations made during the conference. Our checklist provides the framework for survey questions and observations.
Including an environmental evaluation component to this year’s conference is particularly apt, given focus of our conference – Going Green, Gold and Global: New Horizons for Evaluation (http://c2010.evaluationcanada.ca). What could be more appropriate than to plan for, and then evaluate green initiatives for our conference!
Rad Resource: One of our keynote speakers is Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. Simon was noted as one of Time Magazine’s 60 Heroes of the Planet and he will be speaking on “The Power of One”. We also have a great lineup of workshops and presentations on evaluation in an environmental context, including:
- Water management system in Costa Rica and its impact of water
- Trends in environmental evaluation in Canada, United States and internationally
- Evaluation of the federal leadership in environmental and energy performance for sustainability
- Water and development and the World Bank support
- Impact oriented evaluations system and the environment
- Participants’ motives and means in environmental evaluations
- Bio-economic models of evaluation of fisheries related programs
Hot Tip: We are expecting an inspiring conference. Join us in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada from May 2 to May 5 to Go Green, Gold, and Global!