American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534
comments@apha.org • http://www.apha.org

Environmental Initiatives

APHA is committed to reducing the environmental impact of the Annual Meeting and finding ways to be more environmentally responsible. Here are some simple steps you can take to help minimize the impact of the Annual Meeting on the environment.

  1. Use public transit - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority can help you get around Boston and get to and from the airport.
  2. Use refillable water bottles - Water coolers are available in every room at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
  3. Eat Local - If you are responsible for any catered events at the Annual Meeting, don't forget to ask for organic, locally grown produce and if you are ordering meat, fish or poultry request sustainably raised, free-range or "wild" and antibiotic-free foods whenever possible. Visit the Eat Well Guide to find sustainable restaurants in Boston.
  4. Sleep Green - View our Survey of Hotel Green Programs to determine which hotels are the most environmentally friendly. All APHA hotels in Boston are smoke free.

APHA Environmental Health Programs
Learn more about APHA's
Environmental Public Health Program and strategies to highlight the connection between health communities and healthy people.

APHA Annual Meeting Environmental Initiatives:
Look below to see what APHA is doing and what some of our partners are doing to respond to environmental concerns.

  • Increased focus on digital marketing and email communication to eliminate print quantity of letters, preliminary programs and marketing pieces.
  • Preliminary Program is printed by a Forest Stewardship Council certified print shop.
  • Preliminary Program is printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper & is FSC certified.
  • Preliminary Program is printed with soy-based inks. 
  • Web based Registration and Housing are offered and encouraged to reduce use of paper (more than 80% of registrant register online--let's see if we can make it 100%!).
  • Program and Abstracts can be accessed online. Printed abstract book has been eliminated saving over 8,096,000 pages of paper.
  • Final Program is printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks.
  • Attendees can opt-out of receiving the Final Program and use the Mobile App instead.
  • APHA is working with all hotels to articulate their environmental policies and to encourage them to make a more aggressive push toward sustainability.
  • APHA is working with the Shuttle bus company and the Moscone Convention Center to prevent buses from idling while waiting for passengers to help reduce the amount of harmful particulate matter from diesel buses.
  • Online Housing information identifies which hotels currently have linen re-use programs in place to reduce use of water and electricity.
  • Left over Annual Meeting tote bags are donated to local charities.
  • Meeting room signs are reused year after year to reduce waste and cost.
  • APHA Exhibitors are encouraged to bring small quantities of printed materials on site.
  • Exhibitor service kit is available on line and orders can be placed on line. 

APHA Headquarters Initiatives:

  • All office paper has 100% recycled content.
  • The Nations Health is printed on 100% recycled newsprint.
  • Styrofoam cups in break areas and for meetings have been eliminated.
  • Office paper, cans and bottles are recycled.
  • Toner cartridges are recycled.
  • All lights in the building except for emergency lights are on a timer system to save energy.
  • Open work space allows natural light to enter each floor on 3 sides reducing need for spot lighting.
  • Headquarters is located close to Metro stop minimizing vehicular emissions.
  • APHA participates in Metrocard program to encourage use of mass transit system.
  • Bathroom and kitchen paper products are made from recycled paper (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.).
  • APHA’s cleaning company uses only environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and products.
  • "Take the stairs" program encourages staff awareness, saves energy and promotes exercise. 
  • "Green Team" committee has been established to brainstorm ideas, raise awareness and help APHA become greener.
  • Brown bag screening of Enviro-films are organized by Green Team.
  • Battery and cell phone recycling programs have been established.

General Services Contractor (GES) Waste Reduction Programs

  • Current carpet inventory is made of 20% recycled material (up from 7% in 2005).
  • Aisle carpet is recycled to booth carpet, Booth carpet is recycled to cover piano dollies and line inside of shipping crates.
  • Pallets are re-used and recycled.
  • Carpet waste is provided to companies that make flooring for third world countries.
  • Exhibitor service kits are available online.
  • Aqueous (water-based) coatings are used instead of UV or varnish coatings.
  • Biodegradable waste basket liners & wastebaskets are made of recycled material.
  • Vegetable-based and water-based inks are used in graphic department printers.
  • Initiated foam core recycling program has been established with community schools.
  • GES is a member of Green Meeting Industry Council.

Massachusettes Convention Center Authority
The MCCA recognizes the importance of operating an
environmentally sound business within the community. They have established a systematic recycling program that allows employees, contractors, exhibitors and patrons to recycle the following:

  • Cardboard
  • Mixed paper
  • Commingled materials
  • Plastic wrap
  • Carpet & Carpet padding
  • Pallets
  • Low voltage cabling
  • Kitchen cooking oils and grease
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • E-Waste
  • Food waste

The MCCA also launched CONVENTIONS C.A.R.E., a donation program that encourages event planners to leave unused materials at designated locations during the conclusion of an event. This program not only helped the MCCA divert over 73,000 lbs from the waste stream in 2010 but it also serves as a resource for charitable organizations that are in need of unused products.


The MCCA uses only Green cleaning products. All restroom paper products are made of 100% recycled content (25–35% post consumer). Our vacuums have a “Hepa” filter which doesn’t allow dust particles back into the air.

Find out more about the MCCA's corporate social responsibilities at http://massconvention.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibilities.