ASCIA has been operating in a environmentally sustainable way over the past 30 years, to meet the needs of ASCIA members and the community, whilst ensuring that ASCIA’s operations are financially viable into the future.
ASCIA continues to improve its sustainability, both environmentally and financially, whilst adapting its operations and priorities, to address issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which are the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for everyone in the world. ASCIA’s daily operations meet many of these SDGs as outlined below.
Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG 3)
ASCIA addresses the growing burden of allergy and other immune diseases and contributes to community awareness, education and training of health professionals and the community, through:
- Accessible, consistent and evidence based ASCIA online resources, education and training,
- Research projects funded by AIFA grants.
- Public health campaigns implemented by the National Allergy Strategy.
- Access to specialist physicians, on the Locate a Specialist link on the ASCIA website.
Promote Quality Education (UN SDG 4)
Since 2010 ASCIA has provided accessible, consistent and evidence based ASCIA online resources, education and training for health professionals, school teachers, early childhood education/care (ECEC), and the community. The main aim of providing inclusive and quality education about allergy, anaphylaxis and immunodeficiency for all is to improve the health and well-being of all Australians and New Zealanders.
Affordable and Clean Energy (UN SDG 7)
Since 2013 the ASCIA office has been located in the Lifestyle Working Building Brookvale, which is a benchmark environmentally sustainable design (ESD), strata office building, the first of its kind to be built in Australia in 2008. The building uses electricity generated from solar panels, tank water captured off the building, and an energy efficient design that results in reduced energy costs (minimising the need for air conditioning). The ASCIA office was already configured in a design that is compliant with physical/social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decent Work and Economic Growth (UN SDG 8)
The ASCIA Annual Conference has been the main source of income for ASCIA since 2006, so we have been reassessing our sustainability practices in order to ensure future welfare.
In doing so, ASCIA is ensuring that staffing is maintained at a sustainable level. ASCIA also contracts specialised services as required, including webmasters, conference organisers and graphic designers. The ASCIA CEO and Directors monitor the use of external contractors to ensure cost effectiveness and efficiency.
Sustainable Cities and Communities (UN SDG 11)
ASCIA is part of the Lifestyle Working Building community, which includes onsite recycling of all paper and plastic waste, composting of its green waste, and communal areas with green spaces.
Responsible Consumption and Production (UN SDG 12)
ASCIA is continuously working on responsible consumption of resources, and examples include:
- Reuse of all office furniture purchased in 2013, in the 2019 office move.
- Minimal use of printing, with increased use of VPN and cloud based software.
- From 2021 onwards the ASCIA Annual Conference Program Book is a living, digital document, which can be kept up to date and will reduce waste associated with printing.
- From 2022 onwards the ASCIA Annual Conference is hybrid, which allows some delegates and speakers to participate virtually, where air travel is not feasible or cost effective.
- From 2022 owards all posters are now online, which reduces production costs and waste associated with printing and transporting of posters.
- From 2023 onwards the ASCIA Annual Conference namebadge will not include a plastic holder and conference bags will be phased out, after the last remaining supplies run out.
Hybrid ASCIA Annual Conferences have many other benefits, including:
- Accees for some delegates or speakers who are unable to travel (due to being on-call, work rosters, illness, disability, costs or other reasons), to register virtually and access all the sessions, as they are live streamed.
- Access for registered delegates to sessions for up to three months after the event, due to all sessions being recorded, therefore increasing opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) beyond the actual event.
Content updated October 2022