The concept for Sustainability and Diversity for the Model African Union Bayreuth Conferences covers all aspects of the Conference starting with the catering policy to diversity and social aspects. Furthermore, it addresses the transport and accommodation of the participants of the Conference as well as the logistic topics of waste separation and technical aspects such as the Website.
Sustainability in our Catering Policy
We would like to emphasise that we are aware that the participants of our conference come from very diverse backgrounds and have different preferences regarding the food offered during the conference. We value diversity of people as well as of opinions and therefore view all kinds of dietary preferences as equal. However, we are not able to offer a large variety of dishes during each meal. In order to avoid not being able to provide for all dietary preferences, we decided to have exclusively vegan dishes during some meals, except the meals that will be offered in the university canteen and during the Gala Night, as vegan food is a common ground which can be also easily consumed by all other diets. Moreover, we would like to highlight that offering vegan dishes is a part of our sustainability policy. In Germany, most animal products originate from intensive animal husbandry, while such companies do not keep the animals in an appropriate environment. Thus, animals that are kept in such arrangements suffer from inadequate living conditions, resulting in physical and psychological diseases. In order to keep the number of animals that die from diseases as low as possible, the animals are regularly injected with antibiotics, while those antibiotics can have an impact on the immune system of consumers. As the availability of products from local sustainable producers is limited and the consumption of animal products originating from intensive animal husbandry contradicts with our sustainability policy and furthermore because we would like to offer our participants the best possible services, we decided to refrain from offering animal products during some meals.
Furthermore, we aim at a zero food waste. Therefore, we cooperate with the initiative Foodsharing www.foodsharing.de, which is also offering us one workshop during the pre-program. If we have any food rests, people from Foodsharing will come, take them and redistribute them somewhere else. Furthermore, Foodsharing will supply us with some saved food.
By the way, the coffee offered in our breaks will be 100 percent fair trade and organic. Last but not least, we serve you with yummy tap water which is drinkable and has a very good quality in the whole of Germany!
Of course, we try to avoid not necessary garbage like disposable items whilst we prefer reusable items like washable plates and cups. We try our best to reduce unnecessary printings of paper as well as unnecessary plastic items. Where possible we use recycled plastic, recycled paper and sustainable printing colours. There will be a 100 percent elimination of disposable serviceware. Still, if we throw away something, we take care of a strict waste separation in order to facilitate the recycling (separation in paper, plastic, degradable, glass, metals and others).
Diversity and Social Aspects
We highly appreciate a diversity of gender and background in our conference participants. A diverse background means to us to receive people from lots of different countries and different educational backgrounds, including students as well as non-students. Of course, we are also wheelchair accessible and ready to assist you with any other special necessities.
Furthermore, we warmly welcome asylum seekers and refugees to participate. This time, we reached an inclusion at all levels: Refugees are among participants, volunteers, workshop givers and guest speakers. In addition, we are proud to offer four scholarships to participants with a refugee background, so that their conference and transportation fees are completely funded.
We intend to promote African icons with a diverse background of nationality, gender and background via social media. The more diverse you participants are, the more colourful and inspiring our exchange can be.
Usually after food, transport is the second biggest polluter and causer of climate change. Therefore, we recommend you to use public transportation (e.g. train, bus, blablacar) for transportation within Germany (or Europe) in order to reduce your carbon footprint. We are aware that it is quite difficult for people arriving from other continents to avoid flights which always have high greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, we decided that having an as international conference as possible is worth it because our diversity can reinforce the learning process of each participant. During the conference, itself we will have the possibility to explore Bayreuth while walking (or public transport). If you wish to have a bicycle during the conference, we will do our best to provide you the experience of this ecological and in Germany typical mean of transport. Apart from this, we and mother earth would be happy if you offset the CO2 emissions you created through your transport here:
www.atmosfair.de/en/home (recommended by most organizations)
http://climatefund.nf-int.org/en/content/naturefriends-climate-fund-%E2%80%93-my-contribution-climate-justice (to promote climate projects in Africa, e.g. tree planting projects in Senegal and the Gambia)
We accommodate you in private flats or houses so that you easily get a feeling of how people live in Germany. Consequently, you have the possibility to enjoy intercultural exchange 24 hours a day. At the same time, it is more ecologically sustainable to use already existing structures which avoids an unnecessary waste of resources.