The past year marked a milestone for the annual Oracle OpenWorld event. For the first time, the technology giant hosted three OpenWorld conferences on three different continents: Beijing, China in Asia, São Paulo, Brazil in South America and San Francisco in the US in North America.
This long-running event, clocking up more than a decade, gathers technology leaders, innovators, developers and corporate IT users for several days of education sessions, trend updates and industry panel discussions as well as an exhibition of the latest Oracle-based solutions and systems by its partner companies.
Last year, Oracle OpenWorld was actually three events rolled into one as the Java One and Oracle Develop were also held simultaneously and bundled together into a single itinerary.
In planning the Beijing event, the company worked with the management team of the China National Convention Center (CNCC) to ensure that the four-day affair did not leave a huge carbon footprint. The US-based green meeting specialist Meet Green was chosen to guide the 63,200sqm venue in adopting sustainable practices that are standard for an Oracle event. Meet Green has been working with Oracle OpenWorld since 2007, helping the event to continually improve its benchmarks for sustainability and environmental protection.
Oracle worked with CNCC in planning and coordinating its environmental efforts. These included reusing signage from previous events, forsaking the use of bottled water, and hiring local staff and agencies to manage the event. The scope of the sustainable endeavours covered housekeeping (cleaning materials and laundry), catering (use of edible food decorations, avoidance of processed food and the use of biodegradable materials in meal presentation where possible), hotels (reuse of towels) and engineering (temperature control and power-saving modes for escalators), to name a few.
Furthermore, the CNCC’s rainwater recycling and natural ventilation system enabled Oracle OpenWorld to conserve electricity and water during the four-day run. As the event progressed, the centre placed collection stations for badge holders and minimised energy consumption by switching the lights off in unoccupied meeting rooms.
Oracle provided an electronic soft copy of conference materials and encouraged the 13,000-strong delegates to use public transportation going to and from the venue. At the end of the conference, participants were also encouraged to drop their printed conference agenda, show dailies and event badges into the recycling stations.
As a post-event follow-up, CNCC produced a Waste Management Report to quantify the consumption and overall impact of the event. In total, 60,000 plastic bottles were eliminated, 71,354 sheets of paper as well as 300 cubic metres of water were saved, 20 percent of waste was recycled and 93 percent of food consumed was organic and locally sourced.
CNCC is now offering all event organisers the option to have this waste management report, on request, after their own function.
EVENT: Oracle OpenWorld Beijing 2010
VENUE: China National Convention Center
DATE: December 13-16, 2010
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 13,000
GREEN MEETING CONSULTANT: Meet Green