The GEF is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the 6th GEF Assembly. These measures include:
- Providing low carbon and locally sourced meals, served with reusable dishware;
- Facilitating recycling and donation of food waste to nearby farms;
- Providing water stations instead of distributing bottled water;
- Minimizing printing and single use packaging;
- Minimizing takeaway items ("gifts");
- Encouraging travel emission offsets;
- Sharing WWF-Viet Nam’s guidance on How to be a Responsible Tourist in Viet Nam; and,
- Calculating the GEF Assembly carbon footprint.
As a part of that commitment, the GEF has developed the following “greening guidelines” for Assembly participants.
Travel to and from the Assembly
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from international air travel represent the greatest environmental impact for conferences and events. The GEF Secretariat and many organizations already offset their travel emissions. For participants whose organization does not, please consider offsetting your emissions via the Carbonfund.org. Offsets cost approximately $35/person.
Travel while at the Assembly
Low carbon transport is an important means of reducing carbon emissions. Assembly attendees are encouraged to use mass transit, bicycles, carpool, or walk wherever possible. For participants not staying at the Furama, shuttle service will be provided throughout the week.
Minimal printing saves on energy use as well as natural resources. Consequently, the GEF Secretariat is committed to minimizing printed materials as much as possible, and encourages participants to do the same.
Exhibiting organizations are asked to bring as few printed materials as possible, while participants are requested to take flyers and brochures only when necessary. Access to documents will be available electronically via the Assembly app, the Assembly website, and the GEF ISSUU account. Participating organizations that would like to share publications on any of those electronic platforms can submit them to Mr. Stephan Hardeman at firstname.lastname@example.org, by June 15.
If printed material must be provided, the following criteria are suggested:
- Use paper that is sustainably sourced, e.g. FSC-certified; or that has at least 30% post-consumer recycled content;
- Ensure that all documents are printed using the duplex (double-sided) feature;
- Encourage recycling of materials after use; and,
- Refrain from using laminated, glossy and coated paper, as they are not typically recyclable.
Exhibitors have a large impact on the success of the Assembly’s greening efforts. To comply with the printed document guidelines above, exhibitors are encouraged to leave no materials behind. In addition to the environmental incentive, Agencies should be aware that the Furama Resort will assess a fee for disposal of any remaining items.
Gifts & Take-away Items
The GEF Secretariat plans to, and is asking its participants to consider, “experiential” activities rather than gifts that may end up as waste.
If giveaways must be provided:
- Source from vendors that actively support sustainable practices and use products made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, and hemp. Where possible, purchase from local vendors and buy products manufactured locally;
- Don’t order more products than necessary, and be prepared to take any leftover items home;
- Provide items that are durable, reusable, and useful. Items that will help participants continue greening their own lifestyles beyond the Assembly (e.g. reusable straws, water bottles or food containers) are encouraged.
- Consider sourcing creative items produced from salvaged and recycled materials.
- Source items that have been produced with concern for equity, fair trade, and fair labor.
- Minimize waste and packaging; and,
- Avoid single-use plastics at all costs.
Food and Drink
Food and drink have a significant impact on the amount of carbon and waste of an event. For the Assembly meal service, which includes lunch and snacks, a low carbon diet and sustainably sourced seafood (based on WWF-Viet Nam recommendations) will be provided. In an effort to reduce the use of plastic bottles, the hotel will provide water stations throughout the Assembly
Sustainable Practices while in Viet Nam
Guidance on How to be a Responsible Tourist in Viet Nam was developed by WWF-Viet Nam and recommends “dos” and don’ts” for visitors.
Thank you for helping to green our Assembly. These efforts will begin a path towards:
- Establishing protocols and standards that will ensure minimal carbon and waste footprints at GEF events, including future Assemblies;
- Promoting sustainable sourcing of food and other materials required for the Assembly;
- Increasing stakeholder education and engagement;
- Positively impacting local communities;
- Establishing a greening model that other organizations can adopt; and,
- Establishing a performance tracking system for GEF greening efforts.