International AIDS Society

AIDS 2012 is Socially Responsible

In an effort to ensure that AIDS 2012 is socially responsible, the Conference Secretariat has taken measures to:

REDUCE the environmental impact of the conference while supporting the local economy by:
  • Using local suppliers who have good social responsibility policies, whenever possible
  • Offsetting carbon emissions and giving conference attendees the opportunity to do so through the registration process or at the carbon offset desk in the registration area in the conference venue
  • Reducing the number of publications printed, and printing on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper
REUSE conference surplus by:
  • Implementing a donation programme You can contribute to this initiative by leaving any items you do not wish to take home (delegate bags, stationary, printed materials, etc.) in one of the donation boxes in the venue.
  • Collecting surplus food and giving it to a local soup kitchen feeding homeless people in Washington D.C.
RECYCLE conference waste by:
  • Giving conference attendees the opportunity to recycle their waste through sorting bins placed throughout the venue.
  1. Our greening efforts by:
    • Communicating these efforts to our staff, suppliers, delegates and exhibitors.
  2. HIV and AIDS issues for non-delegates by:
    • Expanding our online coverage of conference issues
    • Extending outreach by offering grants to key affected populations facing immigration restraints to organize conference hubs
    • Building the infrastructure to globally support the virtual participation of individuals and organizations unable to attend the conference
    • Giving our volunteers access to the sessions and content of the conference.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the Convention Center

The CSR measures are implemented at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:


Using sustainable materials:
  • All offices use double-sided printing and Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative paper,
  • Toilets are equipped with recycled toilet paper and Green Seal Certified GOJO hand soap,
  • All cleaning and kitchen personnel use Ecolab cleaning supplies and kitchen products,
  • Paint, adhesives etc. used in the venue contain low-to-no volatile organic compounds,
  • Kitchen personnel use organic and locally grown food whenever possible.
Energy-saving measures:
  • Exterior walls are made of low-emission glass that reflects natural light and minimizes indoor temperature fluctuations,
  • Meeting rooms with exterior windows are equipped with system-controlled shades for solar heat management,
  • The building is equipped with high-efficiency lighting and sensor systems. The lighting automation system operates at light levels of 10% when halls/public areas are unoccupied, 50% during move-in/move-out and 100% during an event,
  • A computer system controls lights in most areas. It enables daylight control for the public concourses and halls that have outside light,
  • Occupancy sensor systems are in place in all bathrooms.
Water-saving measures:
  • The storm system is practically designed: water is stored in nine large underground tanks, filtered and slowly released into the district’s storm system, reducing peak demand on the city’s storm system and improving the operations of its treatment plant,
  • The water management system of cooling towers reduces the loss and increases the use of potable water,
  • Food service sinks and water fountains provide filtered water,
  • Sidewalks, driveways and parking lots are swept rather than sprayed.
Reducing the carbon footprint:
  • Extensive use is made of local suppliers and partners,
  • The Metro station is located in the building and the shuttle bus station is right outside,
  • All employees receive a transit benefit to encourage the use of public transportation,
  • Bicycle racks are available to all at the entrance of the Convention Center,
  • The Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning system provides natural ventilation and carbon dioxide sensors ensure appropriate levels of fresh air in meeting spaces, exhibition halls and public areas,
  • A tree is planted every time the venue buys a new computer (programme started by Dell),
  • Neighbourhood businesses are promoted through their website,
  • The venue adheres to an environmentally preferable purchasing policy.
  • The venue collaborates with the local community to reuse show materials like pallets, books, bags and giveaways.
  • The Convention Center partners with the D.C. Central Kitchen. All untouched leftover food from the conference venue’s food outlets will be donated to this organization, which will then distribute the food to various homeless individuals throughout the District of Columbia (www.dccentralkitchen.org).
  • A composting system is in place.
  • Colour-coded recycling bins are placed throughout the venue.
  • Glass, aluminium, plastic and cardboard/mixed paper are recycled. Batteries, fluorescent bulbs, toners and ink cartridges are e-cycled. Food is composted, and oil and grease is recycled.
  • Plates, cutlery, cups, napkins etc. are made from various biodegradable materials.
  • Event planners are encouraged to participate in the recycling effort and the venue works closely with them to raise awareness about waste minimization.
  • The “One Footprint at a Time” programme builds management and staff awareness through environmental activities and challenges.

Carbon Offset

At AIDS 2012 delegates will, for the first time, have the opportunity to offset their flights’ carbon emissions directly at the conference venue. Please feel free to stop by the carbon offset desk in the registration area to hear about the various projects we will support this year and how you can contribute.

AIDS 2012 Carbon Offset Programme Selected Projects