August 8, 2011
NCSL Turns Green in The Lone Star State
National organization of state legislators from across the country take steps to use more renewable energy and recyclable materials at meeting in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – Reducing the use of paper, encouraging recycling, using bio-degradable materials and utilizing renewable energy certificates. These are some of the steps the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will take to minimize its environmental impact during its 37th annual Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas.
About 4,500 legislators, legislative staff and business professionals will gather at the San Antonio Convention Center for NCSL's Legislative Summit, Aug. 8 – 11. Around 150 sessions will address an array of timely topics—from immigration, pensions and health care to state finances, criminal justice and energy—including renewable energy, energy policy and green jobs. The Energy Policy Summit on Monday, Aug. 8, will give lawmakers an opportunity to learn how to deal with the challenges they may face as they develop energy policies that promote vibrant economies and healthy, sustainable environments.
“NCSL has been dedicated to increasing the amount of green resources we use at each meeting since 2006,” said William Pound, NCSL’s executive director.
NCSL's green initiatives include using a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified printer for all printed materials, using Microsoft’s electronic Tag system to provide an online meeting agenda, producing digital marketing kits for distributors and attendees, and purchasing carpet made from recycled materials for use throughout the convention center.
Several companies are helping NCSL host a greener meeting. Constellation NewEnergy, a subsidiary of Constellation Energy based in Baltimore, is working with the San Antonio Convention Center to match electricity that NCSL uses during the conference with Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs). The company has provided RECs to the Legislative Summit for several years as part of NCSL’s overall greening efforts. RECs represent the clean-air benefits from electricity generated from wind, solar or other renewable power facilities, and help support the development of clean, renewable energy.
“Constellation Energy is pleased to support the NCSL’s continued commitment to clean energy,” said Michael D. Smith, senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy’s retail business. “What better way to demonstrate a commitment to emission-free, renewable energy than through the use of renewable energy certificates.”
The San Antonio Convention Center also is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and services by providing waste reduction and recycling at water stations in public areas. The American Beverage Association, the trade group representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute nonalcoholic beverages, will provide recycling bins at the convention center throughout the Legislative Summit and during the Walk for Wellness on Wed., Aug. 10.
In 2006, in Nashville, NCSL began a five-year effort to adopt green-meeting standards for its Legislative Summit held in different cities across the country. In 2012, Chicago will host NCSL’s meeting
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.