SCB Sustainable Event Policy

1    Objective and Scope

Sustainability is at the core of the Society for Conservation Biology’s (SCB) mission to help create a world where people understand, value, and conserve Earth’s biological diversity.

This policy has been formulated with reference to the events and meetings (“Events”) organized by the SCB, and outlines our commitment towards integrating more sustainable practices into the entire life-cycle of our events. This is a public document and applies to all attendees at our events and activities, including scientists, students, guests, volunteers, staff, suppliers, exhibitors, and other interested parties.  

With this commitment, we are continuing our efforts to solidify our position as a leading sustainable organization, working towards achieving internationally recognized sustainability meeting.

2    Organizational Values
  • There is intrinsic value in the natural diversity of organisms, the complexity of ecological systems, and the resilience created by evolutionary processes.
  • Human-caused extinctions and the destruction and loss of function of natural ecosystems are unacceptable.
  • Maintaining and restoring biological diversity are individual and collective responsibilities of humans.
  • Science is critical for understanding how the natural world operates and how human actions affect nature.
  • Collaboration among scientists, managers, and policy-makers is vital to incorporate high-quality science into policies and management decisions affecting biological diversity.
3    Rationale

SCB recognizes that our events have the potential to deliver significant environmental, economic and social impacts on the destinations and people who host our events.

  • This policy provides a framework and direction on how we manage our events to deliver direct environmental, social and economic benefits.
  • Incorporating sustainable practices into our operations is important to our members, volunteers, employees, shareholders and the local community of our host destinations. With sustainable events, we can improve participant experience, generate additional value for our stakeholders and increase member satisfaction.
  • Standardized and verified processes enable consistent procedures throughout the organization which drive efficiency, quality and service levels.
  • It is critical that SCB Events are consistent with the values and mission of the organisation. We must “walk the walk, not just talk the talk”. Non-compliance to this policy may cause us to miss our environmental, financial and social objectives, potentially leading to reputational issues and conflicts with stakeholders.
4    Risks and Issues

We regularly identify and prioritize the most important sustainability issues affecting and influencing our events and participants. Our key issues and, as a result, our fields of action include:

- Promote congress management respectuous to biodiversity and conservation - Social impact and legacy locally
 - Environmental impacts (water, waste, energy, CO2) - Brand reputation
- Diversity, equity and inclusion - Transparency
- Member satisfaction - Supply chain management
- Stakeholder engagement - Compliance with legislation, regulations, and codes of practice
- Public awareness  
5    SCB Commitment to Sustainable Events

SCB will design impactful event experiences that educate and inspire attendees while delivering economic, environmental and societal value using innovative and responsible event practices through the entire event life-cycle. The sustainability principles of inclusivity, diversity, transparency, integrity and environmental stewardship will be integrated into our planning and decision making. Our events will be organized in diverse places, ensuring that the specifics of the locality are integrated into the event experience and that we leave a positive legacy in the local community.  

6    Sustainable Event Approach

The SCB Sustainable Event Management System approach is developed using core principles and structure of international standards and frameworks including:

7    Objectives

The following overall objectives have been identified to guide the SCB’s global approach to events. Individual events will have additional and specific objectives based on the challenges and opportunities facing that market.


  • Minimize material use and waste while increasing waste diversion
  • Reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, and offset emissions to be carbon neutral


  • Switch to more sustainable materials and design for lower event environmental footprint
  • Engage key stakeholders to improve the sustainability performance of our events
  • Offer healthy, local, culturally appropriate and responsibly sourced food and beverages
  • Support virtual participation and engagement


  • Raise awareness and inspire development and actions that respects biodiversity, conservation and local ecosystem regeneration


  • Ensure a good working environment for the workers involved, ensuring regulatory compliance and appropriate safety conditions
  • Create an environment that is diverse, open and accessible to all participants


  • Assess and transparently report the environmental, social and economic impacts of our events
8    Supplier Code of Conduct

SCB regards our supplier base as a critical and vital extension of our operations and success. To help our suppliers, we created the SCB Supplier Code of Conduct, a statement of integrity with guidelines of acceptable conduct that SCB expects from its contractors, consultants, suppliers, vendors, and all other third-parties that comprise SCB's supply chain ("Suppliers"). We require our contractors, consultants, suppliers, and agents to consider the detailed guidelines and to:

  1. Comply with regional and federal laws, rules, and regulations
  2. Uphold the human rights of workers and to treat them with dignity and respect
  3. Operate with sustainable business practices and mindful, responsible use of environmental resources
  4. Provide a safe and professional work environment that protects SCB's intellectual property
  5. Refrain from any action that may be considered a conflict of interest
9    Attendee Code of Conduct

SCB is committed to providing a safe, collaborative and welcoming environment at its events. We will not tolerate any discrimination, bullying, harassment or unacceptable behaviour directed at our attendees, partners and suppliers. To that end, we created SCB Event Code of Conduct and expect meeting attendees to abide by this Code.

10    Congress Sustainability Report
11    Ownership

Policy Owner: Society for Conservation Biology

Release date April 2017, Review Date April 2019

For more information or to provide feedback please contact SCB Director of Conferences and Events.