Conference Environmental Responsibility

In-person events have their own unique value, but necessarily come with environmental impacts. Here's how SBM is working to reduce the environmental impact of our in-person conferences, and how attendees can join us in this important effort.

What SBM Is Doing

  • Avoiding beef and lamb in all conference food items, and providing plant-based foods as often as possible. New for 2024, we will offer only plant-based foods for one entire day of the conference.
  • Working with our hotel partners to have reusable dishes and other items at banquet functions, and to limit use of table linens.
  • Working with our hotel partners to have unused food composted or donated.
  • Evaluating future conference hotel sites based in part on the property's sustainability efforts.
    • The 2024 Annual Meeting host hotel, the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, is reducing its environmental impact in these specific ways:
      • Reducing water usage by not changing guest room towels or sheets daily.
      • Reducing landfill usage by removing all single-use bathroom amenities (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel) and replacing with bulk-size amenities that come in containers made from recyclable materials.
      • Saving energy by installing automatic thermostats in all guest rooms (these operate only when motion is detected) and installing time-motion sensors in meeting spaces.
      • Using locally-sourced food items when possible, offering plant-based menu options, and investigating composting companies that can handle the hotel’s food volume.
      • Click here for more information on efforts underway from Marriott International.
  • Utilizing a paperless mobile app for the conference program, and requiring attendees to opt-in for a printed program. The programs that are printed are 100% recyclable and the paper used is recycled and/or comes from a responsibly managed, certified forest.
  • Offering digital conference registration confirmations, with no print option.
  • Requiring attendees to opt-in for a registration bag, using recycled bags and lanyards, and donating any leftover bags.
  • Limiting travel and paper use for the Annual Meeting Planning Committee's "program planning meeting" where abstract decisions are made and the final program is built.
  • Featuring prominent speakers on the topic of climate change and health.
  • Offering incentives to attendees for participating in their own eco-friendly activities while at the conference (see more details below).

How You Can Help

SBM encourages 2024 Annual Meeting attendees to take part in eco-friendly activities. Participate in at least one activity from the list below and log your participation in our online form by Friday, March 16 at 6 p.m. for a chance to win. Three winners will be randomly selected and can each choose either a waived 2025 Annual Meeting registration or a $50 Visa gift card.

  • Decline a printed program and use our mobile app instead
  • Bring a re-usable coffee mug/water bottle and use it throughout the meeting
  • Avoid single-use plastics while in Philadelphia
  • Limit water use in your guestroom, for example by turning off the water while brushing your teeth
  • Turn off lights when not in your guestroom
  • Turn off heat/AC when not in your guestroom
  • Book a low-carbon flight or alternative non-flight travel
  • Take public transportation from the airport to the hotel
  • Walk to lunch, dinner, or other activities outside the Annual Meeting hotel
  • Order locally-sourced food and/or drinks while in Philadelphia
  • Participate in plant-based foods day on Thursday, March 14
  • Let others know you are doing your part to help the environment by tweeting and posting using the hashtag #SBM2024


For information on how SBM is working to address climate change beyond conferences, click here.