A “GREEN” conference
The RareX 2016 Conference Secretariat will endeavour to reduce the environmental footprint of the conference through the implementation of a sustainability policy. Listed below are some the actions that will be taken during the planning phase and at the conference.
- Venue: Spier Conference Centre shares the appreciation for the heritage of the farm (which goes as far back as 1692) and are determined to maintaining this as well as making a positive difference towards the environment. Spier recycles 97% of their waste and provides much-needed resources to the local primary school. Click here to see how Spier is making a difference every day.
- Recycling: paper, plastic, glass and tins are recycled. Recycling bins are available throughout the venue. Participants will be encouraged to leave unwanted name pouches and lanyards for re-use. Unwanted stationery and bags can be left for redistribution to, for example, schools in disadvantaged areas.
- Locally-sourced materials: RareX 2016 materials, including conference bags and lanyards, will be produced locally with an emphasis on local job creation.
- Printing: Where possible, recycled or environmentally-responsible paper will be used. Ideally, RareX 2016 proceedings such as the programme and papers will be provided online only.
- The menu: Spier is all about “sustainability, balance, honesty, and back-to-the soil authenticity.” They are about treating the land with kindness and respect, and a respect for what the soil gives. Menus will be designed using local, seasonal produce and where possible, condiments such as sugars and sauces will be served in glassware rather than individual packages.
- Accommodation: The official hotels for RareX 2016 will be encouraged to have eco-friendly policies in place and will be asked to share their Green/Sustainability Policies. Attendees will be encouraged to assist with these policies by infrequently requesting fresh linen and towels, and switching off their lights and air conditioning when they are not in their hotel rooms.
- Bag inserts: Exhibitors and sponsors will be encouraged to provide only sustainable giveaways and limits will be placed on the number of bag inserts. The use of sustainable materials such as soy-based inks and recycled paper will be encouraged, as well as limited packaging.
- Speaker gifts: Promotional and speaker gifts should be made from sustainable materials, use minimal packaging, and be sourced locally.
- Rare Diseases South Africa (RDSA): RDSA holds numerous community projects contributing to the sustainability of South Africa by providing jobs and teaching individuals a skill. In 2015 RDSA introduced the “Rare Bear Project” which has taught a community of woman to crochet while making the life of a child more positive by producing a unique bear for them to cherish. For more information, click here.