Sunday, 9 October 2011

Oracle OpenWorld: Event Sustainability Photo Essay

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so rather than talk about event sustainability how about show and tell? Since 2007 Oracle has been working hard to improve event sustainability at OpenWorld. A lot has been accomplished and there are still many opportunities to improve. This past week I had the fortune to travel to the event and snapped a few images that paint a picture of some ways the event is working to reduce its footprint and contribute positively to the host destination: San Francisco.

For more information on Oracle's Event Sustainability program check out their event web site. Watch for outcomes from the 2011 event sustainability program later this year.


A "Show Your Badge" program helps get attendee money circulating in the local economy. Sometimes for purchasing local organic wines, even!


Depending on their registration package, OpenWorld and JavaOne attendees may be provided with materials at registration: a bag, notebook, pen and/or t-shirt. Most of these are taken by attendees but if not, registration staff are prepared to receive and divert extra materials to local charities, such as RAFT.


The event operates a 3-stream front of house waste management program for recyclables, trash and compost. Waste and donations are measured across 9 different venues in San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2010 OpenWorld has diverted enough material from landfill to fill 21 garbage trucks.


Compostable cups featuring sponsor logos are sourced by event organizers to ensure they are acceptable by local waste management facilities. Plus, check out that organic coffee!


Fully compostable boxed lunches are provided at all venues. As above, all packaging materials must be sourced to be compliant with local waste hauler requirements. Compostables need special green labels to differentiate from clear recyclable plastic.


Event branding takes advantage of existing infrastructure, such as digital displays, where possible, including here at the Marriott, one of 7 primary hotel meeting venues.


Since 2008 Oracle OpenWorld has made steady reductions in paper use: from 112 tons of paper printed in 2007 to 31 tons in 2010. Efforts first began by reducing the number of pages in printed guides and dailies. Then by increasing grades of post-consumer recycled content paper used. Following this printed programs were eliminated entirely. Exhibit guides and a small show daily are still printed, but - as seen above - take sustainability considerations into account. Paper use is expected to have dropped an additional 20% or more this year. Left over quantities of print materials are tracked to enable future reductions as mobile technology becomes more commonly used.


Special paper and badge bins are made available at key exit points. While paper is recycled, only certain parts of the current name badge system can be reused, such as the holder and lanyard. This year thousands of lanyards were reused thanks to the fact last year's sponsor was retained. Lanyards will be kept and reused if possible next year, and donated to RAFT as a fall-back position if sponsors change.


One of the biggest sustainability challenges for OpenWorld is creating a distinctive look and feel while reducing footprint. Banner signage is designed for re-use, eliminating dates and event locations. Event brands typically have a three-year life cycle and are carried over into global events held in Latin America and Asia, so many banners will be seen again at other events, not just San Francisco. Kiosks bear generic Oracle logos so they can be reused event to event. This year 150 sintra panels bore dated information and are being re-purposed as art canvas by an event subcontractor.


All informational signage - including easel, aisle and railroad signs - are made of cardboard. Not that you'd notice! 2011 is the first year OpenWorld has completely eliminated foamcore and duraplast in favour of informational signage that is made from renewable and fully recyclable materials.


Live plants are used throughout the event site: in the exhibit hall, temporary venues and pre-function areas. For special function spaces LED lighting is employed to create distinctive looks.


You're doing it RIGHT! A bin of beautiful, uncontaminated compost at Moscone West.


With 30% of attendees coming from international destinations, it is critically important to clearly communicate recycling procedures. Internationally understood images, colours and shapes help foreign delegates learn about how to recycle properly when Green Angels may not be on-hand.


With 40,000 participants it can be tough just to find a place to relax at OpenWorld for a few minutes. Oracle provides sponsored bean-bag seating which is donated to RAFT post-event.


Shuttle miles have dropped by about 13,000 miles since 2008. This has been possible by expanding walking route designated hotels and introducing two routes that shuttle attendees to transit nodes from remote hotels rather than taking attendees all the way into downtown San Francisco. 100% of shuttles are sourced within 2 hours of the city and priority is given to newer, lower emitting, fuel efficient technology. Fuel use dropped by 6,300 gallons between 2009 and 2010.


All host hotels (such as the Intercontinental San Francisco) are required to comply with and report against sustainable practices every second year in order to measure adoption of things like recycling, linen reuse and environmental purchasing.


Water stations come in different shapes and sizes at OpenWorld. Bottled water was eliminated in 2008, helping to save both water and money. Compostable cups are offered.


Salesforce Foundation's exhibit booth engaged attendees in preparing support kits for local charities, such as World Vision.


More signage, white and red and cardboard all over!


The OpenWorld Keynote hall features LED lighting, efficient projectors and paper-light rehearsals that take advantage of iPads. LED lighting is estimated to reduce power use by 150,000 kWh over the duration of the event. Screens are in their fourth year of re-use.


Oracle's CSROpenWorld. Oracle is a significant financial supporter of National Geographic's ocean conservation programs, including this large Pacific Ocean map that is used for interpretive school programs throughout North America.


Tesla's fully electric, zero-emissions Roadster, on display in Retail Row.


Paul Salinger leads 45 event professionals through an orientation to the event's sustainability strategy during a special tour for members of the Green Meeting Industry Council.


Savor Chef Jeff Hall talks to GMIC tour participants about how his team integrates local, seasonal ingredients into menus. The event acquires approximately 65% of ingredients within 250 miles of San Francisco.


Moscone Recycling Manager Hector Quiles talks to GMIC tour attendees about how the convention center sorts, donates and recycles large piece of debris, such as carpet, wood and signage.


Yet another great example of using San Francisco tap water to refresh attendees. New reusable Global Tap stations were installed at the Mason Street Cafe, one of the event's temporary venues.


Transportation information for attendees gives detailed, simple instructions for local transit. Transit use was promoted through a pre-purchased BART pass program.



Green Angels are on-hand during meal and break times to help attendees to properly sort waste. Event diversion has held steady at approximately 61%. Stay tuned for updates on the 2011 diversion rate!


Yet another cool tap-water station!


Pedicabs line up to shuttle attendees to nearby Caltrain transit nodes near the end of another busy day at OpenWorld.


Event sustainability at OpenWorld is made possible by a committed group of Oracle staff and vendors, including Hartmann Studios, Moscone Center, InVision Communications, Savor, Freeman, San Francisco Travel and local host hotels.

1 comment:

The Green-Eyed Event Planner said...

I love the bean bag chairs :) Very cool

Judy Kucharuk