Sustainability Policy

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­­­­­P Summit Sustainability Initiatives

The 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit Organising Committee is dedicated to further minimising the environmental impact of the Summit and has identified several opportunities for best practice sustainability solutions. In line with the Summit themes, the following principles have been developed to guide the sustainability initiatives for the Summit:
  • sustainable food systems: provide low impact and locally sourced food
  • resource efficiency: aim to minimise our use of resources such as materials, energy and water
  • pollution and waste: minimise waste and aspire to a paperless conference by avoiding using paper for the program, advertising and conference papers
  • sustainable people strategies and global governance: build a community committed to social sustainability

The applied initiatives the Summit has undertaken include:

  Sustainable Food Systems:
  • entirely vegetarian menus for Summit catering – research shows that it takes two to three times less phosphorus to produce a plant based diet than a meat based diet, and where else better to demonstrate this than with the food we serve to the delegates;
  • locally sourced food to reduce food miles and wastage during transport;
  • locally produced organic wine to minimise environmental damage and greenhouse gas emissions; and,
  • a Banquet Dinner menu specifically designed for the P Summit that is locally sourced, ethical, organic, non-GM and seasonal wherever possible.
  Resource Efficiency:
  •  The total phosphorus consumed and excreted by Summit participants will be tracked and measured in support of a ‘P footprint’ analysis (see below for details).
   Pollution and waste:
  • As a part of the UTS Sustainability Strategy, the University of Technology, Sydney is dedicated to increasing recycling rates and using more recycled water, paper and other products. For more information, visit:
  • in addition to food being locally sourced, any food waste will be composted where possible by the catering venues;
  • reducing the paper wastage that often occurs during conferences has been managed with the development of a web-based P Summit app for all delegates to use during the Summit on their smart phones and personal computers -  the app will allow access to the P Summit program and be available through free WiFi;
  • avoid, minimise, re-use and recycle materials like plastic and paper wherever possible - creative reuse of materials for lanyards, and plantable paper name tags impregnated with seeds

  Sustainable people strategies and global governance:

  • to highlight to companies that sustainability matters, caters have been specifically chosen for their very own sustainable food initiatives and recognised for it;
  • a program has been designed that creates an interactive environment that facilitates substantial mutual learning and encourages take home actions; and,
  • to reduce delegate greenhouse emissions and encourage multidimensional sustainability, hotels within walking distance have been chosen and delegates encouraged to use public transport – the Aerial Function centre is located 5 to 10 minutes walk from Central Station and bus stops are located on the main road directly outside of the venue
At the conclusion of the Summit, an evaluation of on how well we maintained our principles and implemented these initiatives will be undertaken.  

Developing a Phosphorus Footprint Framework: A case study of the 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit

An intern from the United States, Sarah Griffith, will be using the P Summit as a case study for her research into developing a phosphorus footprint framework. 

Developing and applying carbon footprints for events, buildings, and cities is becoming nearly second nature with the global concerns around climate change and energy scarcity now in the main stream. Phosphorus scarcity on the other hand is still only a blip on the radar of public consciousness. However, concerns are increasing and there is now a need to similarly understand 'phosphorus footprints'. This project will use the event, the 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, Sydney, Australia, as a case study to develop a phosphorus footprint framework. This framework will be applied to the Summit to determine:
  • the total phosphorus consumed by participants of the Summit via food and beverages;
  • the total amount of phosphorus generated (and hence potentially recoverable) by the Summit participants in a) excreta, b) food waste; and,
  • the total phosphorus demand associated with the Summit (including up the chain to phosphate rock and the food production chain)

The project will involve an eight-week internship with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative in Sydney, under the supervision of Dr Dana Cordell. The developed framework will be applied to the Summit to determine the phosphorus demand and consumption of participants, as well as the total generated, thus potentially recoverable. A final report including methodology, analysis and conclusions will be delivered and made publicly available via the Sustainable P Summit website, Global Phosphorus Network and other possible platforms.