In order to respect the integrity of creation the finance & administration department led by Timo Pauler thought of innovative ways to protect the environment by reducing the waste, which is generally produced by conferences of that scale, because every UEM general assembly counts more than one hundred participants during the one week of conference.
As a result of the deliberations the General Assembly, starting on September 24 in Parapat (North Sumatra, Indonesia), follows a paperless conference approach for the first time. All texts necessary for the decision-taking but also the minutes of past meetings, legal texts, liturgies & songs and any other information are provided by the UEM cloud as digital document. There are no printouts neither prior nor during or after the conference. Therefore the delegates are asked to bring their own electronic devices like laptops or tablets to the conference for accessing the cloud. UEM also makes available tablets for those delegates who do not have their own electronic device. This way the UEM cloud allows to save more than 75,000 paper sheets, which had been printed by the past assemblies at the cost of the environment – and of the budget by the way.
Moreover, no plastic bottles are used during the meeting sessions. Instead of serving plastic water bottles on the conference tables, the drinking water is provided in big dispensers by the hotel. The delegates are equipped with a UEM branded metal bottle allowing to refill the water at any time. Taking into account that every participant generally consumes several bottles of mineral water a day during the whole conference week, the amount of plastic waste avoided is enormous.
Beside the saving aspect also the sustainability is taken care of: several hundred trees shall be planted on the premises of the new UEM regional office in Pematangsiantar on September 29.
Last but not least it is a general UEM policy to compensate the CO2emissions produced by flights done on behalf of UEM by donating to the church-owned economical organisation of „Klimakollekte“. Given the new approach UEM takes seriously the integrity of creation.
Dr. Martina Pauly