Sustainability: A central focus of EuroPerio10

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Sustainability: A central focus of EuroPerio10

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Through a number of measures, the EFP is aiming to make EuroPerio10 as sustainable a dental event as possible. (Image: Dental Tribune International)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Though it has often been framed as just a trend or an environmental issue, sustainability is undeniably much more than that. It requires businesses and industries across the world to adapt their practices so that we can ensure that a liveable planet will be maintained for future generations. In recognition of this challenge, the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has made sustainability a key part of its mission and even developed a sustainability manifesto in 2021. Here are some of the ways in which sustainability will underpin the EuroPerio10 congress.

“At the EFP, we understand sustainability not only as an environmental issue but also as a broader challenge to the ways in which we operate and think,” Prof. Phoebus Madianos, chairperson of the EFP’s Scientific Affairs Committee, told Dental Tribune International in April. He noted that the event organisers were aiming to halve the total amount of printed materials, would be using recycled paper for all printouts and were encouraging digital alternatives.

The average conference attendee produces more than 2 kg of waste per day. (Image: CatwalkPhotos/Shutterstock)

Implementing sustainable and ecological measures

The sustainability goals of EuroPerio10 broadly include reducing printed materials, decreasing the carbon footprint of event participants and encouraging all involved to reduce waste and recycle when possible. The lanyards being used are made entirely from recycled PET, and many congress signs will be made from easily recycled cardboard. All EuroPerio10 attendees will receive public transportation tickets as part of their registration package, and all speakers who need to take a plane to reach Copenhagen will have the carbon emissions of their flights offset.

In addition, the food options on offer at EuroPerio10 are being sourced as locally as possible. One of the most sustainable cities in the world, Copenhagen has set the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025 and has plenty of world-class restaurants that practise a sustainable and organic approach to food sourcing and production.

The need for sustainability

The current lifestyle and resource consumption practices of humankind are unsustainable in the long term, and professional congresses tend to be particularly wasteful. According to the EFP, an average conference attendee produces more than 2 kg of waste per day, and the typical event wastes 15%–20% of the total food it produces. Many disposable elements—water bottles, brochures, lanyards and the like—are often made from plastic or paper and might not be recycled properly even if that is a possibility.

To make EuroPerio10 as sustainable as it can be, the EFP has asked that attendees make certain small changes—together, these can have a large impact. Instead of printing tickets, attendees will use the ticket confirmation barcode emailed to them to print out a name badge upon arrival. Congress participants are being encouraged to stay in an eco-friendly hotel in Copenhagen and to travel via public transport, bicycle or electric taxi.

For those who need something in which to stash their congress materials and goodies, the EFP has launched a line of sustainable EuroPerio10 backpacks made out of recycled fibres. These stylish bags can be purchased at the event.

Overall, the success of these initiatives at EuroPerio10 will rest largely on buy-in and support from attendees. For this reason, the EFP has asked for the hashtag #EFPlanet to be used on social media so that this message of sustainability can be communicated far and wide.

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