Convene an international Conference, without compromising the environment? This is our aspiration for the COY13 – to perform climate protection and sustainability actively. How we handle it?

The COY13 seems to us like the hike to the top of a high mountain. On our journey we will face a lot of challenges. One of these is to handle the conference as environmental friendly as possible. For that we’ve a pool of different approaches.

Under the following sections we’d like to inform you what we do to reduce emissions and negative environmental impacts as much as possible.

Section 1 – Mobility

COY13 – A journey in the name of our environment?

Climate is important to all of us. The arrival of the participants to the conference as well as the conference itself causes emissions. Is COY therefore more harmful than useful? We don’t think so. The rewards of knowledge exchange and networking will have a sustainable impact, it will act as a synergy and it will result into multiple effects on different layers. Besides the atmosphere of a conference and getting to know each other is hard to get via digital media. A conference opens the chance to draw attention to our ideas and visions and we would like to use that potential.

Participation on Local COYs

Everywhere in the world local COYs take place. Here (Link) you can find a list of local COYs, their location, and how to participate. The idea behind the local COYs is to minimize the traveling distances, and to enable participation and support for COYs vision. In that way, people with limited mobilization can demonstrate their mutual affiliation with COY

Choice of transportation

Different transportations have different emissions. If everyone, within his/her possibilities, chooses the most environmentally-friendly transportation, we can spare a big amount of emissions together. To make it easier to leave the car at home, participants of the COY13 get cheaper tariffs for the train-tickets within Germany. Additionally, you can join the facebook-group “Mobility to and from COY13” in order to form car-sharing groups- more information are available in the Sustainability-Tips (Link).

Compensation of flights

The flights of our international participants will make up  the biggest share of total emissions, caused by COY13. If flying might be an option for you, you can contribute to minimize the negative consequences of the flight. You can find additional information in our Sustainability-Tips.

Mobility within Bonn

All participants of COY13 are encouraged to purchase event-tickets for public transportation in order to move through Bonn in an environmental-friendly way. In the Participant-Guide, that you will receive by email, you will find further information about the public transportation (S-Bahn and busses), as well as the tickets (included in the 3-Day-Conference-Package).

Survey and development

We are interested in the types of transportation you chose to reach and to leave COY13, who takes the opportunity to compensate for flights and how far our suggestions motivate you to take action. Therefore we will be asked to take part in a survey at COY13! Until then have a safe trip!

Section 2 – Event buildings and participants accommodation

Waste Management

Waste is not garbage – in Germany, we differentiate according to different types of waste, such as paper, packaging, residual or biological waste. Separation by type of waste simplifies the recycling of reusable waste. COY13 wants to be a model for waste management. This requires the help of each of us. Please inform yourself in the “Sustainability-Tips”(Link) about how you can keep your personal amount of garbage before, during, and after the COY13 as low as possible, and how to achieve waste disposal as environmentally friendly as possible.

Management of Energy

At COY13, we won’t be able to renounce to electricity for light and electronic devices as well as to heating produced by an oilheating. Due to the temporary use of the venue, we have no influence on the provider of the electricity during our stay and how the heating system is operated. It is only possible for us to consume no unnecessary energy by our behavior. Concrete tips and suggestions for electricity savings as well as information on a thought-out heat regulation in the buildings can be found in the “Sustainability-Tips”(Link) and at info points during the conference.

Water Management

Water is our daily and constant companion. Sometimes in the form of tap water, but usually and less obvious hidden in a variety of production processes. Water is a valuable good/food and, unfortunately, it is not always readily  accessible and available anywhere in the world, as in Germany. We would like to sensitize this issue during the COY13 and promote a more conscious approach to water. You can find more detailed information in our “Sustainability-Tips”(Link) and at info points during the conference.

Management of Toxicants/Pollutants

During the COY13, we can not avoid the usage of certain toxicants. The operation of the heating system, the drive of the emergency generator and the engines of our transport vehicles require hazardous substances. Substances we use in the kitchen and for cleaning might be environmentally harmful too. In order to avoid accidents, we enforce exclusive usage of the mentioned substances for people who were taught how to deal with them.

Accommodation of participants

The accommodation of all participants is one of the biggest challenges within the COY13 organization. Due to the larger number of required sleeping places, the selection of sustainable managed accommodations is not easy to achieve. Hence in most cases the accommodation will be with the most basic comfort. The most crucial criterion for the selection is the distance from the respective accommodation to the COY13. We aimed for a travel time up to 1 hour maximum. Nearby places are preferred in order to keep the driving effort as low as possible. The “Sustainability Tipps”(Link) will help you understand how you can make your stay in the accommodations as environmentally friendly as possible.

Section 3 – communication and public relations

A cheer for digital media! The planning and organisation of COY13, as well as the public relations are organised exclusively without paper. The interconnectedness through the internet has the advantage, that travel- and supply-routes are limited to the most necessary. Most planning processes can be concluded through digital platforms and digital organisation tools. The usage of electronic devices, the internet, as well as the storage of files within clouds requires a certain amount of energy, but this is hard to calculate and relatively small.

Section 4 – Acquisition of products and service

The following criteria were used for decision-making:

  • “We don’t get anything” feat. “We get the least ressources as possible”
  • We borrow before we buy
  • Re-usage of new products
  • Recyclingmaterial
  • Preferably organic products
  • Preferably fair production conditions
  • Preferably transparent productions chains and procedures
  • Can the product be reused?
  • Are the remnants recycable?

Procedure: discussions with votings on the basis of pros and cons

Examples for acquisition:

  • T-Shirts, badges, EDV Hardware, drinking cups, lanyards, print media, office supplies

Section 5 – Catering

Environmental friendly eating is a quiet easy task to achieve. We have, of course, paid attention to this issue during the organization of catering and the catering concept of COY13. The following measures aim to keep the ecological footprint in the food sector as low as possible:

  • vegan food
  • Regional and seasonal production (to avoid long transport distances and cold chains)
  • fair trade products
  • reduction of packaging waste
  • cooperation with “food sharing”

Section 6 – Environmental education during COY

With our “Sustainability Tips”(Link), we provide all participants and stakeholders a guide that helps to shape their personal behavior before, during, and after the COY13 as environmental and climate friendly as possible. In addition, we want to create incentives with impulses and info points during the COY to implement the good intentions directly into action.

Section 7 – the ecological footprint

Following the slogan: “Where wood is chopped, splinters must fall.” we think that we can’t avoid certain environmental degradation, while organising COY13. In order to estimate the emissions of the conference, we decided to measure the ecological footprint. The “Carbon-Footprint-Team” works on a calculation prior to the event divided in the mentioned sections. The result of the analysis is supposed to be published after COY13. These estimations could also be the foundation for compensation measures afterwards.

Call for suggestions

Do you have further ideas how to run COY more environmental friendly? Please share your ideas with us! You can send your ideas via the contact form.

We are looking forward to talking to you in person about your ideas during the conference.