COESCA is committed to improving the sustainability of our Congress and our objective is to collaborate with our supply chain and our partners to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we can. As we enter the second decade of the COESCA Congress, we are ever more committed to delivering high quality teaching content and providing a memorable Congress experience in the most sustainable way possible.
This is something of great importance to us. As a region, Africa contributes to just 4% of greenhouse gas emissions but is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and
nature loss. However, we also have the unique opportunity for decarbonization, digital transformation as well as utilizing our natural environment.
On that note, the 11th COESCA Congress, Co-hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Association of Optometry, represents a pertinent opportunity due to the proximity next to the Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall that also, thanks to the benefits of the hydroelectric power station, provides the area with green energy.
With a big focus on digitalization of services, we have also made considerable efforts to reduce the amount of printed materials we use and digitalize elements of the congress including:
- Downloadable app, containing all congress information and digital signage
- Digital evaluation forms, accessible through the congress app
- No paper handouts
- No symposia printed booklets
Venue selection and sustainability
To further support our mission to deliver a sustainable congress experience, we have taken steps to ensure sustainability at every corner. We are proud to share that our venue located in Victoria Falls benefits from the hydroelectric energy production that is currently being harnessed from the majestic waters of the Victoria Falls.
Other sustainable initiatives we have taken to help reduce emissions:
- We will provide delegates bags created locally to support the community
- All on the ground congress organisers live and work locally
- All materials used for the congress have been carefully selected to maintain high recycling standards
- We offer the “Borrow a Bike” scheme to get around the congress and town. Offered on a first come, first serve basis
- Limited or removing all single use plastics and packaging
- Offering sustainable menus, by choosing local ingredients
- Working with local NGO’s to ensure any left over food benefits local shelters
- Reducing the need to hire furniture by selecting a venue with the majority of inventory requirements and in doing so reducing emissions from transportation
- Importing critical surgical machinery to the region from the nearest possible location using a single mode of transport to reduce transportation emissions