ASAE Joins with American Forests to Plant One Tree Per Annual Meeting Attendee

July 30, 2012

The world is about to get a little bit greener with a major commitment by the American Society of Association Executives through a partnership with American Forests to plant one tree per attendee to ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition.

The meeting, on tap Aug. 11-14 at the Dallas Convention Center, typically attracts approximately 5,000 attendees.

This effort, part of American Forests’ new Meeting ReLeaf program, will offset the carbon footprint of the meeting and augment ASAE’s broader sustainability efforts, according to ASAE officials.

All the trees will be planted in Texas in honor of the host state for this year’s annual meeting.  

“In the past five years, ASAE has made major strides in our efforts to make conferences and events more environmentally friendly and socially beneficial,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE.

He added, “Our collaboration with American Forests provides us with a great opportunity to help the local climate by planting trees and reducing our carbon footprint. I urge other associations to consider ways they can reduce their carbon emissions when possible.”

As part of the Meeting ReLeaf program, associations can work with American Forests to calculate and offset their carbon emissions.

People attending the 2012 Annual Meeting & Exposition can learn more about this initiative at American Forests “Green Lounge.”

“Organizations can make a real difference in the health of our planet by planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of their meetings and conventions,” said Scott Steen, FASAE, CAE, CEO and president at American Forests. “Planting trees in carefully chosen forest restoration projects is one of the most cost effective ways to sequester carbon, plus it has all sorts of added benefits for the environment.”

He added, “Forest trees not only remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also provide the majority of our clean water, enriching soil, provide wildlife habitat, and soak up air pollutants. It is also just a wonderful thing to be able to say that you planted a tree for every person attending a meeting or convention.”

The partnership is a next step in ASAE’s efforts to address meetings-related carbon emissions. Here are some of their other actions:

ASAE works with host hotels to serve local food and beverages to diminish transportation-related emissions.  

ASAE’s preferred travel agency, ATC Travel Management, offsets air travel emissions for ASAE attendees who book online through its Web site.

Some host hotels offer attendees the chance to offset guestroom-related emissions. Marriott International Inc., for example, offers offsets through continued protection of it Brazilian rainforest preserve.

“We especially want to thank the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Forests, our host hotels, and our vendors and exhibitors who are all critical partners in our sustainability efforts,” Graham said.

He added, “A lighter footprint would be much harder to achieve without their infrastructure, expertise, and enthusiasm.”

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