The American Meteorological Society (AMS) held its 103rd Annual Meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado from January 8th to 12th, 2023. Marking the first in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a two-year hiatus.

The American Meteorological Society’s commitment to environmental stewardship is impressive. We were honored to be involved this year. In 2023, the MeetGreen team was responsible for evaluating the event’s current sustainability practices. We also offered recommendations for enhancing future AMS events. The recommendations were in accordance with the organization’s Green Meetings Initiative guidelines, established by the Committee on Environmental Stewardship.

This snapshot of their sustainable event initiatives is shared to provide a learning opportunity to other organizations making their own commitment to sustainable events.

AMS Sustainability Efforts

American Meteorological Society Pack In Pack Out Policy Signage
Face Mask Recycling
Compostable Coffee Cups
Dessert Tray
  • Outlined the Green Meetings Initiative specific to Denver and its local efforts on sustainable action
  • Encouraged attendees to offset their travel to the Annual Meeting within registration process
    • Offsetting internal staff travel
  • Strong partnership with Freeman to encourage minimized waste via a pack in-pack out model within the Exhibit Hall
  • Created a face mask and name badge/lanyard recycling program in partnership with Terracycle
  • Meals were served with:
    • Compostable serviceware or reusables
    • Details for each menu item, allowing for all attendees to enjoy the options regardless of dietary restrictions

Convention Center Sustainability Practices

Colorado Convention Center Bins
  • Three bin system both FOH & BOH for landfill, mixed recycling, and compost throughout the Convention Center
  • Partner with local organization We Don’t Waste to donate unserved meals and bulk produce
  • Donations are arranged after every event for leftover conference materials to various local nonprofits and Denver Public Schools
  • Currently 99% LED lighting and transitioning to 100%
  • Certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as LEED Gold in 2019
  • Train staff on sustainability efforts – New hire, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, refresher trainings
  • RTD light rail D & H line go right through the Convention Center, allowing attendees easy access to public transit throughout the city

One key observation to note is how large a role the partnership with vendors and the venue plays in the success of the American Meteorological Society’s Green Meetings Initiative. By enrolling key stakeholders early on in the planning phase, everyone works toward a common goal. Truly a Lesson in Leadership!

The MeetGreen team looks forward to contributing to this crucial effort to promote environmentally responsible practices in the meetings and events industry.