Green at Oracle Customer Experience Summit
Oracle Event Sustainability
From September 30 to October 4, 2012, close to 50,000 participants will flock to San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld, JavaOne, and other Oracle technology and networking events. Oracle is very conscious of the impact that our conferences have on the environment; our sustainable event program─now in its fifth year─aims to maximize positive benefits and minimize negative impacts in a variety of ways.
- Water towers. The conference stopped distributing bottled water in 2007. Instead, we installed water stations and now take advantage of new GLOBALTAP outlets that provide fresh San Francisco tap water. The result? Less water wasted—enough to make over one-quarter million cups of coffee. That’s twice as much coffee as we serve all week long at the conferences.
- California grown. Did you know that over 80 percent of the ingredients in conference box lunches is sourced within 250 miles of San Francisco? Caterers are required to report where food is sourced and make adjustments to maximize seasonal, local, and organic content. With 60,000 box lunches to prepare, that means your food is fresher, healthier, and its purchase supports local Bay area farmers and growers.
- Waste not. Oracle works hard to reduce waste. In fact, in 2011 we shipped five fewer tons of freight onsite than in 2010. We also try to reduce waste going into landfills. Green Angels—a local group that educates people on recycling—spent over 750 hours educating attendees about how to recycle and compost last year. In 2011 the Oracle Appreciation Event at Treasure Island achieved a record 87 percent diversion of waste from landfill. Our goal is to reach a 75 percent diversion rate across all venues in 2012.
- Reducing signs of the times. During this week of conferences, Oracle uses enough signage to cover 82 volleyball courts. Last year we kept 27 courts-worth of signs for reuse; 13 courts-worth was donated to local art groups; and 29 courts-worth was recycled. Only 13 court equivalents—16 percent of signage—was sent to landfill, and we plan to better that in 2012.
What Oracle Is Doing
These are some highlights of what we’ve been able to achieve over several years. You can read more about our progress in our Sustainable Event Report. We know we still have a lot of work to do and look forward to updating you on our progress.
Oracle is also working to extend sustainability to all of our events globally:
- Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne events in Asia and Latin America have dedicated green initiatives.
- In the last 12 months, more than 110 Oracle event planners worldwide have been actively reducing the environmental impact of more than 1,400 of our smaller events.
What You Can Do
Although we’re working hard to make more sustainable choices, it’s your help that will continue to help us improve our success rates.
Consider these ten ways you can reduce your personal conference footprint.
- Reuse a drink container. Every time you use and reuse your own bottle or cup you help conserve by avoiding disposable containers. Need a reusable container? Stop by and pick one up at the Oracle or JavaOne stores.
- Get the conference mobile application. In 2007 Oracle used over 100 tons of paper on site—equivalent to the weight of 50 cars—for conference guides, handouts, and the like. Since then we’ve cut back to a mere six tons by greatly reducing what gets printed, and making most everything available online. Take advantage of the conference mobile app and help us continue to reduce paper usage at the conferences.
- Be a green hotel guest. Refusing daily laundry service in your hotel room conserves an estimated 14 gallons of water per washing avoided. So hang up your towels and take a pass on changing your bed linens. And, don’t forget to turn off the lights, air conditioning, and television when you leave your room.
- Walk, don’t ride. Forty-four percent of Oracle conference hotels are within walking distance of the conferences. By choosing to walk instead of take the bus you’re helping Oracle reduce shuttle miles traveled by 15,000 since 2007, and reducing carbon emissions by 26 metric tons.
- Use a pedi-cab if you don’t feel like walking. Conveniently located in front of Moscone West, people-powered pedi-cabs are a great way to get where you need to be without the carbon footprint of a taxi.
- Visit our transportation page to find other low-impact ways to get around San Francisco. Every trip to and from the airport on BART prevents 21 pounds of emissions from spewing into the atmosphere.
- Sort what’s left of your lunch. Your lunch box is compostable, but your beverage container and snack packages may not be. So bring your lunch box to a recycling station and talk to one of our Green Angels about what gets sorted into which bin.
- Don’t want to take conference materials like your backpack, notebook, or pen home? Bring them back to the Registration area so we can donate them to a deserving local non-profit organization, RAFT, the Resource Area for Teachers.
- Recycle your name badge. Look for our badge drop-off bins as you leave.
- Offset your carbon footprint. Oracle estimates each event attendee produces approximately 1,800 lbs of carbon emissions, primarily through air travel, but also through hotel stays, venue power consumption, and food and ground transportation. If you were to capture that, it would fill over 78,000 balloons. Oracle has included an option for you to purchase an offset as you go through the registration process. The offset fee supports projects administered through Terra Pass.