For years, ICA has produced both a smaller, “schedule at a glance” version of our print program and a much larger, heavier, phone-book-sized print program that includes descriptions for all sessions. ICA has been charging extra for this larger version of the program for some time now in an effort to cut back on the number of people who request it and thus cut back on the paper used for such an undertaking, and as of the DC conference those who buy the larger print program constitute only about 10% of the overall attendance of the conference. Approximately 90% of attendees opt to use the conference app in conjunction with the smaller schedule-at-a-glance version to navigate their options.
In acknowledgment of the carbon footprint both of printing such a bulky program and of shipping multiple pallets of large programs to the conference location each year, ICA’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to discontinue the production of the larger version of the program. Anyone who has already purchased the program will be refunded immediately, and the option has now been removed from the registration website. The smaller version of the program will be retained, and it will absorb a few advertising and informational pages from the discontinued version.
For those who still wish to refer to the larger program for in-depth information on individual sessions and papers, you will have two choices:
The conference website will, once it goes live, have all of that information in a searchable format, online.
The ICA headquarters staff will continue to produce the content of the large printed program and make it available as a downloadable PDF on the conference website, as before.
There are numerous challenges associated with global climate change that affect the way academic conferences conduct themselves; in the past we have eliminated bottled water, plastic souvenir “freebies” at registration, tote bags, and numerous other items that simply get tossed out after the conference is over by the majority of participants. We give preference in contracting to LEED-certified (and equivalent) venues, we work with our venue partners to donate unused food and flowers, and we have just implemented a carbon offset option for attendees with an environmental nonprofit provider. While there is more to be done, we hope that eliminating this one substantial element will begin to make a difference in the carbon footprint of the ICA conference. Thank you for your support!