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2013 Annual Meetings Sustainability Initiatives PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print

The AAR is once again making it easy for members to purchase Renewable Energy Credits when traveling to the Annual Meeting. By simply clicking a box during the registration process, members can choose to give $15 to NativeEnergy. The AAR’s Sustainability Task Force selected NativeEnergy because of its commitment to reducing greenhouse gases while supporting its sustainability projects. To learn more about NativeEnergy, visit www.nativeenergy.com.

In addition to contributing to NativeEnergy's ongoing projects, the AAR and SBL are delighted to publicize the many ways in which our 2013 Annual Meeting venue, the Baltimore Convention Center, is supporting their own green initiatives. The Baltimore Convention Center's green initiatives are as follows:

Recycling and Energy:

  • Recycle paper, plastic, bottles, and cans.
  • Exterior glass and skylights allow for the use of natural light to reduce electricity cost.
  • Photo sensors in the public lobbies reduce the need of artificial light.
  • Lighting and motion sensors in meeting rooms reduces electrical usage be turning off lights/reducing temperature when the room is not in use.
  • Meeting room tables are made from 30% recycled products.
  • Participation in Constellation Energy’s Cost Avoidance Program, which will reduce energy usage by 21 percent.


  • China service is utilized in meetings rooms and the Ballroom to help reduce waste.
  • Reusable service equipment is used on buffets and break stations.
  • Complimentary Water Coolers are located in all third floor meeting rooms and Ballroom.
  • Use of a sustainable preferential purchasing system increases support of local farmers and the community. Our “Farm-to-Table” program buys locally, whenever possible, thereby conserving energy and creating less pollution as foods travel fewer miles to reach the Convention Center.
  • Eco-friendly items are utilized whenever possible. Coffee stirrers along with coffee cups and sleeves are made of recycled materials, all of which are biodegradable. Plates, spoons, forks, knives, and cold cups are all are made of recycled plastics or biodegradables.
  • Use of a Solid Waste Reduction System (SoMAT), which reduces solid catering waste by 90 percent. SoMAT transforms reduced solid waste into a soil amendment product (compost) that is in turn used for the upkeep of the grounds and flower beds at the Convention Center and around the city. Since 2012, over 80,000 pounds of food and paper waste has been reduced to 28,000 pounds of useable compost materials.
  • Recoverable foods are donated to local food banks and shelters.
  • Fresh herbs are grown in our Outdoor Terrace gardens, which are used by our culinary staff.

Eco-friendly Practices:

  • Currently, 80 percent of cleaning chemicals are now Green Seal eco-friendly certified, including paper products used in the restrooms.
  • An active ion system is currently in use for hard, solid surfaces. This system transforms tap water into a product that removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and is 100 percent chemical-free.
  • The Center has redesigned its outside terrace into a 27,000-square foot certified green roof, half of which is made up of drought-resistant vegetative roofing.

Ongoing Projects:

  • The Convention Center is currently redesigning its water systems for further water conservation efforts.
  • Upcoming restroom renovations will incorporate water reduction fixtures, reducing water usage by 25 percent, and will install energy-efficient hand dryers to reduce paper waste.
  • Solar panels will be replaced to help reduce the amount of carbon, sulfur, nitrogen dioxide, and mercury released into the atmosphere.

This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.