Elevating Powerful Ideas and Practices: Sustainability at ComNet19 

ComNet is on a journey to create a sustainable conference from top to bottom.

Conferences create lots of waste. We want to help halt that. We'll be bringing more sustainable practices to ComNet19.  By “sustainable” we mean  preserving our natural environment, promoting a healthy and inclusive society, and supporting a thriving economy or, in a nutshell, improving the three “P’s” - people, planet, and profit!

According to Terrapass, the average conference attendee has a carbon footprint of 319 pounds per day which is equivalent to burning 3,279,678 pounds of coal burned (EPA).

Our goal is to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of ComNet19.

What can you do?

  • Carpool/rideshare with other ComNet participants from and to the airport

  • Be ready to eat some delicious local, organic, and plant-based foods

  • Compost your leftover food in the containers provided

  • Always carry around and fill up your reusable water bottle

  • Opt out of daily linen and towel replacements in your hotel room

  • Recycle using theTerraCycle boxes

  • Patronize locally-owned business from our Austin Local Guide  

Each action step is easy, free, and collectively makes a big impact!  

Here are some of the actions we’re taking to make ComNet19 more sustainable:

  • Approximately a quarter of our food will be local and organic

    • This cuts down carbon emissions from importing, processing, packaging, and transporting food

  • Our menu will be primarily plant-based foods 

    • According to Food Tank, we conserve 1,799 gallons of water of water for every pound of beef we don’t eat  

  • We will provide reusable water bottles and avoid single-use plastic

    • According to National Geographic, 91% of plastic is not recycled and each plastic water bottle takes up to 1,000 years to decompose 

  • ComNet19 will be powered with LED lights 

    • According to the Department of Energy, LED lights use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer

    • Project Drawdown found that replacing less-efficient lighting with LEDs can help to significantly reduce carbon emissions and lists this action as one of the top 100 solutions to reverse global warming 

  • We’re partnering with TerraCycle to prevent hard-to-recycle items from going into landfills

  • We’ve taken the Healthy Meeting Pledge developed by members of the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA)

    • Water will be the ComNet19 default beverage, while fruits or vegetables will be served with every meal.  We will have standing time and provide a tobacco-free environment.

  • We’re limiting and discouraging the amount of non-reusable swag

    • Instead we’re looking to provide high quality and sustainable products

  • In addition to sustainable practices, we want to ensure we are taking into account social considerations and economic practices. We will do our best to: 

    • Utilize locally-owned businesses when possible

    • Hire local temps and disabled individuals where possible 

We can ALL help make a difference, even with small, daily  actions. 

What is shared at ComNet19 stays at ComNet, but what is learned at ComNet spreads! We hope you’ll consider implementing these sustainable practices at your own events or conferences! 

A special thanks to our sustainability sponsors who have contributed in this process. Thank you Forum One for ComNet19’s sustainable Welly reusable water bottles, Visceral for enabling us to provide water cisterns in lieu of disposable plastic water bottles and partnering with TerraCycle to prevent hard-to-recycle items, and (R)evolve  for advising us on how we can incorporate sustainability in all of our practices!

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For more information: watch our How to Create and Communicate About Sustainable Events webinar replay!


Sustainability at comnet19 is graciously sponsored by our friends at Forum One and Visceral.

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