SOLAR 2023 will be a net-zero emissions event! ASES will be achieving this by minimizing direct conference emissions in every area possible. For the remaining emissions, ASES will purchase carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs). Along with this, we are providing an opportunity for attendees to offset their carbon emissions for an additional $25 when they register for the conference.
ASES encourages attendees to reduce their personal carbon footprint as much as reasonably possible. We’ve also put together some suggestions below to assist you.
ASES Net Zero Emissions Definition
ASES is thrilled to announce that SOLAR 2023 will be a net zero emissions event! According to the EPA, net zero is about consuming only as much energy as is produced. ASES is taking all reasonable steps to minimize the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released from producing electricity, food, and other resources used during this event. While it is so important to conserve, it is also critical that energy demands are met with renewable energy. Therefore, whenever we cannot utilize carbon-neutral sources, we will offset the GHGs resulting from the conference by purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) and carbon offsets, which in turn will fund local mitigation projects. The RECs and offsets are needed to reduce the emissions associated with energy sourced from fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources. In addition to achieving net zero emissions, we are taking steps to minimize our use of resources such as water, paper, land, and extracted materials. When we must use these resources, we will do so responsibly and sustainably.
The ASES Sustainability Committee has teamed up with Sustainable Engineering LLC for the SOLAR 2023 Net Zero Emissions Initiative. More information is coming soon! Be sure to check back as we will add our final report to this page, including our GHG calculations, EPA emissions approach, and the Carbon Offsets and REC’s ASES has purchased to accomplish Net Zero Emissions.
We encourage you to join us in making this conference a net zero event by offsetting your travel-related emissions and using carpooling or public transit whenever possible. For some suggestions on how to become more sustainable during SOLAR 2023, please see below.
If one has to take a flight, suggest taking a direct flight instead of multiple flights with layovers. ASES recommends flying with an airline that offers carbon offsetting. You can also offset your travel emissions using Sustainable Travel International (a Treehugger Best Carbon Offset Programs of 2023 pick).
United Airlines – Eco Skies Alliance
United Airlines believes in improving the future of flight sustainability and has invested in becoming 100% green energy by 2050. In 2021 they launched their Eco Skies Alliance program to help fund the use of SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) and bring global partners together to lower emissions. They have since been able to operate a flight only using SAF. United is also part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Net Zero Business Alliance (NZBA) which helps industries fight climate change.
JetBlue has partnered with Carbonfund.org, which works on offsetting carbon emissions through projects all over the world. To date, this has saved over 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions.
Southwest has a good incentive program for carbon offsets. They will match every dollar you spend, offsetting carbon emissions, and will also give you ten rapid reward points per $1 spent up to 500. Southwest offsets its carbon emissions through a variety of projects fighting climate change, such as The Guatemalan Conservation Coast, which works on nature conservancy and deforestation with the local population, and the Parque Eolico Maldonado Project, which is a wind farm in Uruguay.
American Airlines partnered with Cool Effect in 2020. Cool Effect is a non-profit organization that works to provide consumers options for offsetting carbon emissions through projects that are verified to be reducing global emissions.
Carbon Offsetting Program – Terrapass
Denver International Airport to/from Boulder
If you will be flying into Denver, the public transportation agency (RTD) operates an hourly bus (the AB1) from the airport to Boulder. The bus takes approximately an hour to reach downtown Boulder (which is only 10-15 minutes longer than driving). We recommend purchasing the Regional Day Pass, which is the same cost as a one-way fare from the airport but also gives you bus access for the rest of the day. You can find the bus schedule here.
We will have the RideShare app through Whova for people to coordinate carpooling to and from the airport with other attendees. More information on this will be released closer to the conference!
ASES encourages taking public transportation, carpooling with fellow conference attendees, and also taking a bike to and from the conference at CU Boulder.
RTD operates several buses within Boulder, all of which can be found using Google Maps. If you are staying downtown, the Hop bus (map) will take you from downtown to the CU Boulder campus for $3. Day passes can also be purchased for $6.
The Whova app that we will be using for the event will have a Ride Share discussion form so that attendees will have the ability to coordinate carpooling with other attendees. More information on this will be released as we get closer to the conference.
ASES encourages everyone to bring their own reusable water bottles and that there will be water fountains at the UMC at CU Boulder for people to refill! Each year, 50 billion single use water bottles are sold in the U.S., and unfortunately a large percentage of them end up either in landfills or added to the 5.25 trillion plastic items that are already in our oceans.
Get caffeinated in a sustainable way! We encourage you to bring a reusable coffee cup to the conference as we do not want to increase our waste with single use coffee cups. By having a reusable coffee cup, you are reducing the amount of trees being cut down, energy wasted, along with gallons of water wasted.