Welcome to a Greener SC Conference
Portland has a well-deserved reputation for being green, from its parks and open spaces to its philosophy toward protecting and preserving the environment. In keeping with our host city's green perspective, the SC09 organizing committee is also committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the conference and setting a course for a more sustainable approach for SC conferences to come.
Of course we can't eliminate all of our environmental impacts when it comes to attending SC – after all, most attendees will be flying to Portland – but once you arrive at the airport you can start taking steps in a green direction. And in many cases, you may enjoy another "green" benefit – saving money!
Portland has an excellent light rail system, known locally as MAX and the Red Line can take you from the airport to the Oregon Convention Center and most central and downtown areas. Trains run every 5-15 minutes. To help you make the most of MAX, the SC Your Way page will have a special section devoted to public transit in Portland.
Most SC09 conference hotels are also served by the light rail system – with most rides to and from the convention center occurring within the Fareless Square. It's free – and you won't get stuck in traffic.
Because MAX is free, less polluting and more reliable, SC09 will cut back on conference busing to many conference hotels. Check the SC Your Way hotel page for more information on which hotels are close to MAX and which will be served by conference buses.
To help you find the nearest MAX station, directions will be posted in conference hotel lobbies and hotel staff are also on hand to give directions.
A number of hotels are clustered within easy walking distance of the convention center. Wherever you go, Portland's short blocks and street-level attractions make the city a pedestrian's delight. Voted one of "America's Best Walking Towns" by Walking Magazine, the downtown area is full of architectural landmarks both old and new.
At the conference
Water, water everywhere
Water sold in small plastic bottles is ubiquitous at large meetings, including SC, but that's about to change at SC09 in Portland. Those small plastic bottles are expensive and waste resources. This year at SC, the Oregon Convention Center will be well stocked with water dispensers where attendees can easily refill reusable water bottles distributed at the conference. Hydrating this way will save you money too – with free and unlimited refills.
Although the SC conference has made strides to reduce the amount of material printed on paper for attendees, sometimes a book or fact sheet is indispensible – for now. But when you're done with that paper document, take a moment to put it back to work by disposing of it in a marked recycling bin instead of a trash can. And do the same with empty bottles, cans and other recyclables – the Portland Convention Center will be putting out extra bins for your recycling convenience.
And it all adds up. Oregon Convention Center's aggressive recycling and waste management efforts are credited with diverting 266 tons of materials from landfills in fiscal year 2007-08, with an overall diversion rate of 43.6 percent (up by about 12 percent over the previous fiscal year).The center hopes to achieve a 50 percent or better overall diversion rate in the coming years. Help them out!
As you attend the various tech program sessions and exhibits at SC09, you can lighten the load on your backpack and the environment by only picking up items you really want or need. Attendees of past conferences have noted that some cute giveaway that seems supremely cool at SC quickly becomes a discarded souvenir back home. Exhibitors are also being encouraged to select giveaways that are truly useful.
Speaking of useful, exhibitors will be encouraged to hand out reusable giveaways such as refillable water bottles, sturdy tote bags and the like. Such items are great to reuse, like getting a water refill at the airport for your flight home. Tote bags can be folded and kept in your suitcase, car or office for those times when you need a bag for carrying a stack of reports, books, groceries, whatever.
Green All Over
As a footnote, the convention center itself is designed to be friendly both to attendees and the environment -- the Oregon Convention Center was the first convention center in the nation to receive the U.S.Green Building Council's LEED-EB certification.
Read more about the convention center's green practices, as well as those of the city of Portland and some of its hotels.
SC09. Going Strong – and Going Green.