ASAE, American Forests Partner to Plant 5,000 Trees at 2012 Annual Meeting & Exposition

WASHINGTON — For the first time, ASAE is partnering with American Forests to plant a tree for every person who attends the 2012 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 11-14. This effort, part of American Forests’ new Meeting ReLeaf program, will offset the carbon footprint of the meeting and augment ASAE’s broader sustainability efforts. All the trees will be planted in Texas in honor of the host state for this year’s annual meeting.

WASHINGTON — For the first time, ASAE is partnering with American Forests to plant a tree for every person who attends the 2012 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 11-14. This effort, part of American Forests’ new Meeting ReLeaf program, will offset the carbon footprint of the meeting and augment ASAE’s broader sustainability efforts. All the trees will be planted in Texas in honor of the host state for this year’s annual meeting.

“In the past five years, ASAE has made major strides in our efforts to make conferences and events more environmentally friendly and socially beneficial,” says ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “Our collaboration with American Forests provides us with a great opportunity to help the local climate by planting trees and reducing our carbon footprint. I urge other associations to consider ways they can reduce their carbon emissions when possible.”

“Organizations can make a real difference in the health of our planet by planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of their meetings and conventions,” says Scott Steen FASAE, CAE, CEO and president at American Forests. “Planting trees in carefully chosen forest restoration projects is one of the most cost effective ways to sequester carbon, plus it has all sorts of added benefits for the environment. Forest trees not only remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also provide the majority of our clean water, enriching soil, provide wildlife habitat, and soak up air pollutants. It is also just a wonderful thing to be able to say that you planted a tree for every person attending a meeting or convention.”

As part of the Meeting ReLeaf program, associations can work with American Forests to calculate and offset their carbon emissions. People attending the 2012 Annual Meeting & Exposition can learn more about this initiative at American Forests “Green Lounge.”

The term “carbon offset” refers to six main types of greenhouse gases from methane to carbon dioxide. Each carbon offset equals the reduction of one metric ton of “carbon dioxide-equivalent,” and how it is offset depends on the geographic area where the tree is planted, the species, and age. For example, one tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can ‘sequester’—absorb and store—one ton of carbon dioxide in 40 years, according to North Carolina State University. Forests also filter 60 percent of the drinking water in the U.S. and are the principal source of terrestrial biodiversity on the planet.

The partnership is a next step in ASAE’s efforts to address meetings-related carbon emissions. Among its other actions are the following:

  • ASAE works with host hotels to serve local food and beverages to diminish transportation-related emissions.
  • ASAE’s preferred travel agency, ATC Travel Management, offsets air travel emissions for ASAE attendees who book online through its website.
  • Some host hotels offer attendees the chance to offset guestroom-related emissions. Marriott International Inc., for instance, offers offsets through continued protection of it Brazilian rainforest preserve.

ASAE integrates social responsibility into every conference and trade show decision, ranging from sustainable site selection to digitized education and marketing materials to community service “legacy” opportunities. A compilation of green actions taken for the 2012 Annual Meeting can be found at http://www.asaeannualmeeting.org/green_efforts.cfm.

“We especially want to thank the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Forests, our host hotels, and our vendors and exhibitors who are all critical partners in our sustainability efforts,” says Graham. “A lighter footprint would be much harder to achieve without their infrastructure, expertise, and enthusiasm.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, [email protected], 202-326-9505.

About American Forests
American Forests restores and protects urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems and literally thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 40 million trees in forests throughout the U.S. and in 38 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Learn more at www.americanforests.org.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.

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