Events have significant environmental impacts and WEF is committed to minimizing WEFTEC’s impacts both globally and locally. We are taking steps to better measure our climate footprint; taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible; and compensating for unavoidable emissions.

EIC Foundations Certificate.pngIn 2023, WEF started the process of certifying WEFTEC as a sustainable event using the Events Industry Council (EIC) Sustainable Event Standards. The eight (8) EIC Sustainable Event Standards assess events and event suppliers on a wide range of criteria in support of environmental and social responsibility.

The first step on this journey was to earn the EIC Foundations Certificate. The Foundations certificate is awarded to organizations that have established Sustainability and Social Impact Policies, a Code of Conduct /Ethics Policy, and a Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Stay tuned for updates as we take steps toward certification.

Contribute to Climate Conservation

You can join WEFTEC 2023 conservation efforts by offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions generated by your travel to and from Chicago.

Select your contribution amount when you register for WEFTEC.

Your contribution will be applied to purchasing Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) from the United Nations' (UN’s) carbon offset platform.

The CERs are generated from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in developing countries. A carbon offset icon on your conference badge will acknowledge your contribution.

Ways You Can Reduce Environmental Impacts

Attending conferences can be a great way to learn new skills, network with colleagues, and stay up to date with industry trends. However, conferences can also have a significant impact on the environment, with participants traveling from all over the world and generating large amounts of waste. Here are some ways that you can reduce the environmental impact of participation:

  • Travel sustainably: Take advantage of the WEFTEC Shuttle or consider taking public transportation or walking to the conference venue. If you need to fly, try to offset your carbon footprint by donating to a carbon offset program.
  • Bring reusable items: Bring a refillable water bottle, a reusable coffee cup, and a tote bag to avoid using disposable items.
  • Reduce paper waste: Instead of printing out conference materials, use your phone or tablet to access them digitally. If you do need to print something, print double-sided and recycle the paper afterward.
  • Be mindful of energy use: Turn off lights and electronics when not in use and unplug chargers when they're not in use.
  • Choose eco-friendly accommodations: Stay at hotels that offer linen and towel reuse programs and have a sustainability policy in place, or take advantage of limited housekeeping services.

By making these small changes, you can help reduce the environmental impact of participating in conferences and contribute to a more sustainable future.



Take the WEFTEC 2023 Sustainability Pledge

The Water Environment Federation aspires to contribute to the communities where we host WEFTEC and are committed to providing the best experience possible for all WEFTEC participants.

Below are a few things you can do to help us reduce our impact while participating in WEFTEC. Please pledge to as many tasks as you’d like, but we hope you will commit to at least two best practices during the event!

Take the
Sustainability Pledge