“Sustainability Policy of ESEE 2017” Conference
The Local Organizing Committee is strongly committed to make the 12th Conference of the European Society of Ecological Economics (ESEE 2017) as sustainable as possible in environmental and social sense. We are openly devoted to the values of social and environmental justice, we pay special attention to diversity, gender equality and participation.
Our sustainability policy aims to adopt, apply and promote principles that can contribute to make the event more sustainable and to encourage participants to be environmentally and socially conscious. We are committed to engage an ongoing discussion with the major stakeholders, such as participants, suppliers, catering providers, conference committees, track chairs, volunteers, local community groups, etc. in order to be able to integrate the sustainability principles into the organization and management of the event.
Our sustainability strategy aims to cover the following principles:
- Minimizing the environmental load of the conference package and information materials.
- Offering accommodation options committed to greener principles and are in walking distance from the venue.
- Reducing waste quantity and promoting recycling at the venue.
- Selecting subcontractors and other service providers (e.g. catering) based on environmental and social merit.
- Giving attention to intergenerational relationships and to involve socially disadvantaged people (NGOs and civic organizations dealing with intergenerational relationships, homeless, and marginalized people).
- Prioritizing gender balance in composition of the speakers and the program.
- Using participative decision-making strategies during the planning, inviting all organizers to express their opinion and thoughts, and making decisions together on the basis of consensus.
Concrete measures taken are the followings:
Catering providers were selected based on multiple criteria related to sustainability. We compiled a guideline for caterers and we used a multi-step selection process in order to choose the most appropriate catering companies. According to our guidelines, our caterers guarantee that various menu options are offered at the main meals and vegan/vegetarian food is more widely available than meat.
We preferred short supply chains, thus meals that prepared with local, seasonal products will be provided. If some products cannot be local (e.g. coffee), these will have a fair trade label. We ensured that the catering companies know the number of participants as accurate as possible in time to avoid food waste.
We also preferred small enterprises against big providers. With this principle our goal was twofold. First, we wanted to support small, local and environmentally conscious catering providers, who are usually less competitive in the global market against big, multinational rivals. We are convinced that with this event, we will provide an opportunity for them to network and cooperate with similar entrepreneurs. Second, with choosing several small providers instead of one, our goal was to promote the great variety of local gastronomy and create the atmosphere of a real Hungarian food fest in the conference.
Our caterer providers are the following:
Bistro No Waste
Bistro No Waste takes eco-friendly eating to a new level!
Zsuzsa Keve decided to create a Budapest bistro that is almost entirely waste-free – made possible by serving food on edible plates, which is provided with biodegradable cutlery, too.
The plates are made in industrial environments with press machines, and their inner surface is shiny because of a heat treatment that allows them to retain liquid for 15-20 minutes. We can bake bread in them, and put them in the freezer or the microwave – although at Bistro No Waste, there’s no microwave, deep fryer, or palm oil to be found. Their cleaning products are environmentally friendly. The entire place produces only 3-4 liters of trash each day, excluding what can be composted.
The plates are also a great composting material, as they break down completely in just 30 days. The wheat bran and PLA-based knives and forks, while not edible, take about the same amount of time to decompose. The spoons are made from sugar cane to better withstand the hot soups, but are also biodegradable.
Házikó connects the city and the countryside
Házikó produces and delivers fresh, healthy and natural foods for conscious city consumers who would like to know from where the pure ingredients are coming from. All packaging is biodegradable and the production is environmental friendly, also products are made without any preservatives and additives. Thus choosing Házikó means a socially responsible decision and a direct contribution to the development of the countryside.
Why is Házikó unique?
Rural development and sustainability principles stand behind the impeccable quality of our soups, sandwiches, salads, party platters, fruit and vegetable filled rolls and desserts, providing particularly valuable meals. Very often it takes only a couple of hours for the lettuce or zucchini to make the journey from the gardens to your table. Sweet-scented apples hanging on the tree today will be in your pie tomorrow. However, what is truly outstanding is what comes next. If you wish to check out where the pears, paprika and the buffalo originate from, you can. Reading information on the packaging will put you on the right track.
Our ingredients are obtained exclusively from small-scale farms, with a strong preference for organic farmers. In this way the work of producers in the rural areas acquire value and meaning. All our suppliers farm in a plant-, animal, land- and human-friendly way. The place of origin of all ingredients of our products are indicated so you will know what you are eating and you can even look up farms personally. Preservatives, additives and food colouring is not used at all throughout processing of the pure-source ingredients. The environmentally friendly operation of our workshop and the biodegradable packaging of our products make our concept complete.
Katlan Toni is a group passionate about catering. We mix traditional Hungarian kitchen with modern gastronomy trends. We keep local kitchen treasures while creating refreshed versions of old recipes for today’s taste and requirements. Our dishes are made from quality ingredients and lots of love. Katlan offerings are always tailor-made. At outdoor events, catering services, weddings and gourmet festivals our aim is to see satisfied guests and partners. Their reviews are the most important references for us.
Mantra Specialty Coffee is a coffee sanctuary, a little cosy coffee shop in the heart of Budapest.
We serve specialty grade high quality coffees roasted by Rubens Gardelli 4 times Roaster champion of Italy.
You can find coffees from different regions, which are representing the tastes of the micro climates, processing and so on, because they all make a big effect on how the coffee beans will taste.
We offer vegan cakes as well, they are homemade, really delicious and simply perfect on the side of a good cup of joe.
We paid special attention to reduce waste quantity to minimal level. We provide reusable materials throughout the catering: dishes and containers based on ceramic and glass, metal cutlery, glass cups and/or other reusable glasses, cloth napkins. There will be no PET bottles or plastic cutlery.
If it is necessary to use disposable materials, we choose those which are made from recycled or plant-based material, and are recyclable. The paper used should be chlorine-free.
We encourage participants to bring their own reusable drink container (e.g. cup, thermos). For those, who cannot bring their own container, we offer a biodegradable bamboo mug. The mug is reusable and it doesn’t have any logo, thus it can be used on other events (or later at home) too.
We ensure the correct disposal of waste from the catering service, including the separation of recyclable materials. Food waste will be collected by a local NGO, Budapest Bike Maffia. The members of the organization deliver food, toys, or useful things essential to life by bike to the people in need. Their goal is selfless assistance to homeless people and poor large or small families. (for details on their activity, see http://bbm.hu/en/)
No paper policy
We applied a no paper policy in our conference. We decided not to prepare a conventional conference bag with printed programs and other informational material. Instead, we developed a mobile application ‘ESEE 2017’, where you can find all the necessary information including programme, maps, details of other participants etc.
As a hard greening measure, we used 10 EUR from every registration fee to make one of the inner courtyards greener. We installed a green wall of ivy at the courtyard. During the Opening Ceremony there will be an official opening of the place, which can be used throughout the conference and will be maintained after the event too. We hope that later the place will become a green oasis of the building, where students and professors can relax and enjoy the nice atmosphere of a green environment.
One of our goal was to support local social enterprises and provide opportunities for them during the conference. Therefore, we invited social entrepreneurs, whose aim is to maximize social impact and improvements in human and environmental well-being alongside profits. We also ordered products of social enterprises to give as a prize for the Best Student Paper and Best Poster. During the conference, you can find and buy the product of Matyo Design (on Wednesday) and Kabinet Galéria (on Wednesday and Thursday).
One of our main goals is to transfer this two hundred year old piece of Hungarian ethnographic culture onto modern, comfortable clothes and accessories. We would like to keep Matyó culture alive. We work towards boosting Matyóland’s economy, building a bridge between generations, and drawing attention to responsible buying. To achieve all of this, we have been developing our enterprise for the past seven years, we buy most of our material in and around the village of Tard, and we provide job opportunities for the local women. All our products are unique, and are handmade with love.
Kabinet Galéria (1085 Budapest, Kőfaragó u. 15.) is a shop for pleasing products where artifacts created by disadvantaged people are exhibited. These items can also be purchased. The artists are supported by Igazgyöngy Alapítvány, Down Alapítvány, Szigony Útitárs Alapítvány, Kockacsoki and Lámpás 92’ Alapítvány. We can make the purchase more personal because we have a direct connection with the artists, know the professional work at the organizations, the story of each item.
It is our goal to make the artifacts and their creators more popular, to propagate their art and support their exhibitors. The venue is not accidentally Józsefváros. We would like to indicate there is transition between poverty and the district of palaces.
We cooperate with organizations that produce quality art, their professional work is exemplary and where the income of creators taking part in the creation of items is dependent on the products sold. In other words, our consumers directly support the creators.
The gallery is also a venue to provide opportunity for the first exhibitions where monthly variable collections can be seen (e-g- Glass city by Rácz Katinka, Colourful world by Strbik Ágnes) and where minor events are organized (e.g. book exhibitions, conversations with the artists)
By creating and applying a sustainability guidelines, we created a new policy at our university. Our hope with this guidelines is to have an indirect positive impact on scientific events at our university in the future.