12th International Coral Reef Symposium

What's New

ICRS 2012 continues to Go Green

A Symposium like ICRS 2012 can be far-reaching in its impact on the environment because our actions as participants touch many diverse product and service providers. These include obvious direct partners such as hotels, transport suppliers, venues and caterers but also less-obvious producers that feed the supply chain including farmers, retail, technology, information and communications providers, audio-visual companies and many more.

ICRS 2012 intends to build on the sustainable initiatives adopted at the 11th ICRS in Florida in 2008 and support actions that are environmentally and socially responsible as well as economically viable.

Green Objectives for ICRS 2012 are:

  1. To encourage the reduction of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution;
  2. To promote water conservation;
  3. To reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by reducing materials used, reusing materials, and recycling;
  4. To purchase products and services that support socially and environmentally responsible practices;
  5. To provide positive contributions to the local community impacted by ICRS 2012 through volunteerism, education and donating locally; and
  6. Cultivate a culture of continuous improvement on Objectives 1-5 for future ICRS.

Proposed Initiatives to Promote Greater Environmental Responsibility at ICRS 2012


Actions to meet Objectives


  • Use and recommend hotels within walking distance of the venue, preferably with proactive waste, water and energy management practices
  • Hotels to provide shuttle buses from the airport to their hotel where possible


  • Encourage delegates to use airlines:
    - with offset programs that offset emissions by investing in renewable energy;
    - that have direct flights;
    - that have new aircraft which are more fuel efficient; and
    - that are active in implementing their green policy.
  • Fly economy class (business class has higher emissions per seat)
  • Hire hybrid vehicles or vehicles that use alternative fuels


  • Use local, fresh and in-season food, where possible, that requires minimum transport to the venue
  • Include vegetarian options and ask delegates at registration if they want vegetarian meals
  • Avoid unnecessary packaging and plastic bags by serving food from buffets
  • Use reusable table cloths, crockery, cutlery and cloth serviettes where possible
  • Use water glasses and jugs, not bottled or unnecessarily imported water
  • Use bowls for sugar, salt, condiments and sauces - avoid individually wrapped sweets, salt and sugar sachets
  • Catering numbers will be carefully considered to reduce food wastage.
  • Suitable un-used food will be given to the Salvation Army.

General Services Contractors

  • Contractors to submit proposals and quotes electronically
  • Favour suppliers that use modern, energy-efficient technology
  • Request that waste and packaging be reduced when delivering services


  • Reduce site inspections by using a Professional Conference Organiser that knows the venue, and by combining inspections with other meetings that need to be held in Cairns
  • All equipment to be turned off at night
  • Limit air conditioning during the set-up and pack-down phase
  • Ensure lights and air conditioning is switched off when not in use
  • Use natural light to reduce power consumption
  • The venues (Cairns Convention Centre, The Sebel Cairns and Fogarty Park) are easily accessible by foot which reduces the need to travel by vehicle
  • Ensure non-toxic cleaning materials are used at the venues

Marketing /
Delegate materials /
Printers /
Signage Manufacturers

  • Use new media and electronic technology to reduce paper use, including electronic registration and electronic newsletters to promote the Symposium
  • Collect and reuse name badge holders to make hoses
  • Only use 100% recycled paper where possible
  • Print double sided
  • Book of Abstracts and the Proceedings Publication will be available electronically
  • Delegate satchel to be made from a recycled material
  • Reuse signage from previous events wherever possible
  • Print signage on biodegradable materials
  • Electronic signage to be used wherever possible
  • Limit the number of inserts in the Delegate Satchels and no promotional material from sponsors in the Delegate Satchels
  • Unwanted Delegate Satchels will be donated to a ‘Satchel for School Project’

Cairns Convention Centre Environmental Credentials

The Cairns Convention Centre is Australia's first environmentally designed major public building and has won many awards for its energy and resource conservation features. The Centre, unlike previous public buildings at the time was formed from a combination of steel and laminated plantation timber, producing a more crafted architecture that responds to environmental issues. The Cairns Convention Centre's latest accreditation is a Bronze Benchmark in 2011 by Earth Check. The list of environmental features of the Centre includes:

  • Rain Water Storage - 50% Saving
    Cairns Convention Centre's double layer pleated plate roof is designed to capture the seasonal tropical downpours, and channel rainwater directly into storage tanks. This feature provides half of the Centre's grounds and garden watering needs, reducing its call on treated town water.
  • Flow Restrictors - 25% Water Saving
    The Centre's water usage is modified further by the installation of water flow restrictors on all outlets. The expected water saving is between 25% and 30% of total water needs.
  • Solar Hot Water - 30% Energy Saving
    Solar hot water heaters provide between 30% and 35% of the Centre's hot water needs, producing a significant saving on electricity usage and costs.
  • Shading Devices - 5% Energy Saving
    Shading devices are installed along the eastern side of the structure, reducing the level of air conditioning needed to keep the building cool. The shading devices save approximately 5% of the energy required to air condition this section of the building.
  • Air Conditioning
    R134a Refrigeration Machines have been installed throughout the Convention Centre's air conditioning system. This model machine does not use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as its refrigeration agent. This ensures that no damage would be caused to the ozone layer if a refrigerant leak were to occur.





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ARC Centre of Excellence International Society for Coral Reef Studies James Cook University International Society for Coral Reef Studies