Green Congress

IUCN and the National Host Committee’s Green Team followed through on ambitious goals for making the Congress as sustainable of an event as possible. The goal was to walk the talk for conservation, set an example for other events of its size and leave a lasting legacy of sustainability in Hawaiʻi. The Congress earned ISO20121 sustainable event certification and was the largest conference ever to earn the highest level of Hawaii Green Business certification.

  • 100% of carbon emissions mitigated (Read about the carbon mitigation project in Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru)
  • 100% recyclable exhibitions, and pavilions reused by local schools or composted by local farms
  • 62% of all food (and 90% of vegetarian options) sourced locally
  • 72% of official Congress hotels certified by the Hawaiʻi Green Business Program
  • 50% of waste recycled or composted
  • 0% of food service containers and utensils made from single-use plastic


“We are doing this not only because it is the right thing to do for this Congress. We’re doing it to develop a model that can be carried forward in Hawaiʻi and elsewhere,” says Alexandra Petersen, Congress Logistics Manager. "We want the initiatives we are putting in place to set a new standard for event sustainability and to continue to generate economic, social and environmental benefits for Hawai‘i well beyond the Congress."

Read the IUCN My Green Congress Sustainability Policy for more details on what IUCN and participants did to minimize the environmental impacts of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016.

Read the carbon emission report from Atmosfair for the IUCN Congress 2016.

Recent updates

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 rooftop reception
18 Apr 2017
IUCN has mitigated 100% of the carbon emissions associated with the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 held this past September in Hawaiʻi, USA. 
Pavilion event with cardboard chairs at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016
07 Feb 2017
The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 held in Hawaiʻi, USA received the prestigious ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification for its efforts to minimise the environmental impacts of the event.  
Alexandra Petersen, Congress Logistics Manager
15 Jul 2016
IUCN set out ambitious goals to make the 2016 Congress the greenest yet and to create a lasting legacy for Hawai‘i. Alexandra Petersen, Congress Logistics Manager, explains the how and why.
Sequoia forest
13 Jul 2016
Wondering how to navigate through 1,300 Forum events in five days? The new IUCN Congress app makes it easy. 
Soil compost
13 Jul 2016
“We had an opportunity to think big and create a replicable model,” says Jennifer Milholen, President of Styrophobia, the nonprofit leading a pioneering new food composting project on Oʻahu. 
Kōkua Hawaiʻi founder Jack Johnson sorting waste
13 Jul 2016
Hawaiʻi-born musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim know that single-use plastics are a major source of pollution, especially in our oceans. The IUCN Congress will be part of the solution, not the problem.   
Diamond Head and Waikiki beach at night
13 Jul 2016
The Green Hotels Initiative is spurring sustainability in the Hawaiʻi hotel industry. 
Twin Bridge Farms
13 Jul 2016
“We are taking locally sourced to a whole new level. We are excited and it’s challenging,” says Gary Matsumoto, Director of Operations for Food and Beverage for the Hawai’i Convention Center. 
Cordillera Azul National Park
26 Apr 2016
IUCN will mitigate carbon emissions from Congress air and ground travel, accommodation and on-the-ground logistics through the Cordillera Azul National Park Project in Peru.
rainforest in Borneo
05 Nov 2015
Deadline 22 November to propose projects from which certified carbon offsets may be purchased to offset carbon emissions for the IUCN World Conservation Congress 
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