Environmental Commitment Statement | AIChE

Environmental Commitment Statement

Kicking off with the 2012 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, AIChE is undertaking a number of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact and improve the economic sustainability of AIChE’s Annual Meeting.

Our Commitment to a Greener Meeting.

Decreasing the amount of solid waste produced by the event. 

  • AIChE is working with Divisions, Forums, and Operating Councils to implement AIChE’s Food Procurement Guidelines and Best Practices, which aid AIChE entities in ordering the appropriate amount of food for their meetings, to reduce food waste.  These guidelines also encourage the procurement of local, organic items and have been approved by the Grocer’s Manufacturers Association.  Also, AIChE will promote recycling and composting to divert waste to landfill by conducting outreach at the Annual Meeting through a “Green Booth” and through Green Ambassadors.
  • AIChE is exploring mobile alternatives to the large, paper-based Program Book issued at each meeting.

Reducing energy and water consumption at the event.

  • The Pittsburgh Convention Center, the location of this year’s Annual Meeting, has a number of programs which reduce energy and water consumption of the site.  The following are some actions the convention center takes to operate green (from the convention center's GreenFirst website):

“To operate green: we recycle, we compost, we reduce toxic emissions, we reduce energy use, we operate a grey water reclamation plant, we use natural cool air, we grow vegetables & herbs, we use natural resources, we purchase green, we donate unwanted supplies, we think green first in everything we do!”

  • AIChE can take advantage of the efficiency and sustainability of this facility and will hope to look for other progressive facilities in the future that help AIChE meet these goals.

Minimizing harmful emissions resulting from transportation, travel and other energy consumption associated with the event or attendance at the event.

  • AIChE encourages attendees to consider the means of transportation to, from and at the Annual Meeting from respective origin cities and consider alternatives to driving alone. These alternatives could include carpooling, walking in the city, taking public transportation or biking where possible. Other options include individual offsets of carbon emissions associated with personal travel itineraries.

Responsibly purchasing materials or retaining vendors that offer a lower environmental impact when presented with alternatives.

  • AIChE will actively seek reputable green certifications for materials associated with the Annual Meeting, such as FSC-certified wood or paper, or durable goods sources from recycled materials.
  • AIChE has developed a series of Best Practices for Trade Show Exhibitors to adhere to in order to contribute to less waste and resource consumption at the Annual Meeting.

Educating Meeting attendees on green or sustainable practices employed at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.

  • The Environmental Division is sponsoring a session on “Achieving Sustainable Buildings through Chemical Engineering” to meet the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge to Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure. This session will feature a discussion on the measures the convention center has pursued to achieve LEED Platinum certification of the facility as issued by the US Green Building Council.

Disposing of solid and liquid waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

  • AIChE is working in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Convention Center to ensure recycling and composting bins are accessible by all attendees as alternatives to solid waste disposal to landfills.

Tracking and measuring environmental impacts associated with the event.

  • AIChE will benchmark various key event performance indicators in order to assess the environmental and economic impact of measures implemented to green the meeting.

Eliminating the use of harmful chemicals at or for the event.

Table X.

AIChE Conference Sustainability Benchmarking Metrics Summary

 AIChE 2012 Annual Performance Measurements


Total Event Cost


Gross Event Revenue


Net Event Revenue


# of Attendees


Purchased Water Use (gal)


Water Use per attendee


Water-related Emissions (MTCO2-e)




Total Energy Use (kBtu)


Energy-related Emissions (MTCO2-e)


Energy Cost


Solid Waste Generated (lbs)


Solid Waste (lb) per occupant


Quantity Recycled (tons)


% Recycle of Total Waste Generation


Waste-related Emissions (MTCO2-e)


Total number of room nights


Number of attendees using sustainability program


% Attendees using sustainability program


Hotel-related Emissions (MTCO2-e)


Transportation Miles per occ (avg)


# of Occupants using mass transit/walk/bike on site


Transportation emissions per attendee (MTCO2e)


AIChE Sustainability Metrics for Meetings

Starting with the 2012 Annual Conference, AIChE seeks to benchmark the environmental, economic, and social impacts of its conferences to determine the overall impact, the largest contributing categories, and prioritize future initiatives to reduce our conference footprint. 

For this initial benchmarking, AIChE is focusing on metrics which provide an adequate representation of AIChE’s sustainability impact and for which data are available.  These initial metric categories consist of:

  • U.S. Dollars
  • Number of Attendees
  • Emissions of carbon dioxide equivalents
  • Waste generation and waste diverted
  • Water consumption
  • Energy consumption

In the future, AIChE may incorporate additional metrics, as necessary, to ensure the set of metrics are comprehensive in tracking AIChE’s sustainability impacts during the Annual and Spring Meetings. 

This effort is led and administered by AIChE’s Green Task Force for the sustainable and environmentally-conscious planning of the Annual Meeting, and is sponsored by AIChE’s Environment Division. For more information, contact Darlene Schuster at darls@aiche.org.  Also, please let us know if you have ideas, suggestions, or would like to get involved with AIChE’s Sustainable Meetings Initiative by becoming a Green Ambassador.