The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA)

May 20, 2009 14:44 ET

Alberta HR Conference Proves It's Not so Difficult Being Green.

Eco-conscious planning and meeting facilities help conference goers to significantly cut waste.

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2009) - For the second year in a row, The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) proved it is possible to host a more eco-friendly professional conference. Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle during the two-day conference - which coincidentally kicked off on April 22, Earth Day 2009 - resulted in more than 1,000kg of paper, cardboard, plastic, kitchen waste and other materials being recycled or composted rather than ending up in the landfill.

"HRIA members across Alberta have truly embraced the idea of reducing the environmental impact of our annual conference," said Conference Chair and HRIA Past President David Knudson. "From the initial planning stages, right through to the food and beverage service and conference delegate bags - we tried to make eco-friendly choices. It's amazing the difference even small choices can make when you multiply the effect by over a thousand conference attendees."

Edmonton's Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) was a logical venue for the event. SCC is a BOMA Go Green Certified building with a stringent recycling program and many energy-saving features.

Efforts yielded the following tallies for items that were either recycled or composted:

  • 172 kg of paper
  • 697 kg of cardboard and 8 kg of plastic shrink wrap from the tradeshow
  • 37 kg of compostable paper towels from washrooms
  • 84 kg of compostable kitchen waste (food production and coffee grounds)
  • approx. 780 water/juice/pop bottles and cans
  • 5 wooden pallets recycled

Other efforts included increased use of email and online marketing tactics. A redesigned conference website ( provided a one-stop source for all conference information. Online delegate and exhibitor registration, along with online collection of speaker abstracts, helped reduce paper, saved time and improved record keeping. When printing was necessary for items such as the conference program, conference organizers chose 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper and encouraged attendees to recycle the program after use. Attendees received a reusable tote bag made with 25 per cent recycled material, as well as BPA-free water bottles to refill at water stations throughout the conference venue.

The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) is the professional voice of human resources practitioners in Alberta. With more than 3,600 members throughout the province, the HRIA is the not-for-profit professional association dedicated to "Advancing Excellence in Human Resources". The HRIA promotes and encourages maintenance of professional standards in the field of human resources management and works with the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) to define the standards and processes for certification as a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).

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