© Hokkaido District Transport Bureau and Hokkaido Tourism Organization


ATTA Events Sustainability Strategy

The ATTA’s mission is to empower a global travel community to deliver experiences that protect natural and cultural capital while creating shared economic value. Our events, which bring together our vibrant, diverse community periodically throughout the year, are important to achieving our mission. As part of our commitment to sustainable tourism, our Events Sustainability Policy includes the following key objectives:

  • Maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts
  • Maximize benefits to cultural heritage and minimize negative impacts
  • Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts
  • In our agreements with event host partners, we collaborate to align the ATTA community’s values and goals with those of the destination in order to purchase locally, conserve water, reduce plastic use, avoid food waste, and limit energy consumption and transport within the context of each event.

As an organization committed to realizing and expanding the positive benefits of travel for local communities and conservation, ATTA extends this commitment to climate. We measure the carbon emissions associated with our events, and budget for a combination of carbon offsetting and removal to help address these emissions. 

We take a continuous improvement approach to Sustainability and work in different ways to improve our positive impact and decrease our emissions. 

ATTA helps mobilize the broader industry as well to support climate through education and practical tools. Alongside emissions reduction and conventional carbon offsetting, ATTA is incubating Tomorrow’s Air, which provides an easy way for individuals and businesses to support a cutting-edge portfolio of climate saving technologies.

For questions or suggestions to support our events sustainability team, please send an email to [email protected] subject line: Events Sustainability

Hokkaido's Sustainability Strategy

As an island nation, dependent upon the health of the land and of the waters that surround us, Hokkaido has made sustainability a core focus. In looking forward we also look back at the way the indigenous communities of our island, including the Ainu people, have lived in harmony with this place in stewardship of the land and the sea. Major initiatives underway in Hokkaido include developing environmentally friendly agricultural fertilizers, smart agriculture which is a new agriculture that utilizes robot technology and ICT to achieve labor-saving and high-quality production, and "ZERO carbon Hokkaido" project which promotes the use of renewable energy such as solar power, wind power, geothermal power, and snow-and-ice cryogenic energy.

In coordination with these major areas of environmental sustainability is our focus on economic sustainability. According to research in 2021, about 8% of Hokkaido’s GDP comes from tourism and we are focused on building a sustainable travel sector. Key to this goal is to promote a type of travel that values land and its people and cultures: Adventure Travel. In developing the adventure travel opportunities in Hokkaido, we are inviting people to learn about and appreciate the people and cultures of this place and to eliminate the negative impacts of other types of tourism.

The Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations (JSTS-D) which is based on the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, was developed by Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism during 2019. JSTS-D consists of 47 criteria with added Japan-specific features.  Also, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) introduces “Sustainable Travel Experiences” available in Japan on their website and suggests “10 ways to travel responsibly in Japan”.

“We, Hokkaido, have just started working on Adventure Travel, hoping that we could achieve sustainable tourism which makes both visitors and locals happy. Looking back, we sometimes see that the life of our ancestors might be far more sustainable than now.  It seems that hints for the future are hidden in the Japanese traditional culture, and the culture of the Ainu, who have lived in harmony with nature.  We would be more than happy to work with adventure travelers visiting Japan to find such hope for the future.”

Sustainability Practices at ATWS 2023

  • Our Hokkaido hosts are generously providing Kitaca metro cards to all conference delegates at the registration desk. These cards will be pre-loaded with funds to enable all delegates to utilize the all-electric Sapporo Municipal Subway system to get to and from the Sapporo Convention Center each day as well as to their Day of Adventure.
  • Hokkaido has sought to prioritize Day of Adventure opportunities that utilize human-powered or railway travel. 
  • Delegates and booking agents are encouraged to choose airlines like ANA or JAL who have made commitments to improving the sustainability of air travel.
  • Delegates who are planning to fly to ATWS on Japan Airlines should be sure to check out “Any Wear, Anywhere”, a pilot program studying the environmental impact of flying with less luggage by renting fashionable clothing locally and having it delivered to your hotel in Sapporo.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
  • ATTA has moved to eliminate single-use polypropylene banners from our events. All new banners are printed on recycled fabric and are designed to be used over and over again. Banner production has also been reduced in favor of digital projection where possible. Exhibitors are encouraged to do the same. 
  • ATTA prioritizes the digital distribution of information over paper handouts wherever possible. There is no printed agenda, for example. Exhibitors are encouraged to do the same.
  • If printing is necessary, recycled and sustainably certified paper is used.
  • In partnership with the Japanese company Kaneka, our Hokkaido hosts have procured a custom biodegradable badge holder. Delegates are encouraged to return their lanyards to the registration desk at the end of the conference so that they may be reused.
  • Water stations are available onsite at the Sapporo Convention Center (SCC) and delegates are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle and eliminate the use of disposable plastic. 
  • Food waste is reduced by providing the optimal quantity of food for the calculated number of registered delegates. Dishes and cutlery are reusable, and any plastic used is biodegradable. 
  • The event caterer, Sapporo Park Hotel, composts food waste using a bio-based food waste processor. 
  • Equipment at SCC is rented or reused. Rental items are provided from nearby sources as much as possible.
  • SCC’s mainstage decor features recyclable cardboard panels. 
  • SCC recycles aluminum and steel cans into building steel materials, PET bottles into textile products, and glass bottles into civil engineering materials.

Supporting Local
  • Hokkaido has arranged for student volunteers to give directions and provide local information to delegates at New Chitose Airport and Sapporo Convention Center 
  • Gifts and novelties are locally-sourced and represent Japanese or Ainu culture.
  • Cultural programs are being offered to experience Japanese or Ainu culture.
  • Delegates are encouraged to visit Sapporo Autumn Fest sites following the Welcome Reception.
  • Rental items at the convention center are provided by nearby sources as much as possible. 
  • Meals at the convention center are prepared by Sapporo Park Hotel, using Hokkaido vegetables and produce. Some vegetables include organic seasonal vegetables grown by Sapporo Park Hotel on its own farm.
  • To support The Pink Ribbon Campaign, a portion of vending machine sales at the convention center is donated to the "Hokkaido Cancer Society" to contribute to research on cancer prevention and treatment.

Energy Use at Sapporo Convention Center
  • SCC utilizes electricity from renewable sources.
  • A solar power generation system was installed in 2012, making it one of the leading re-energy introduction facilities in Sapporo.
  • SCC’s energy conservation efforts won the Hokkaido Development Bureau's "Northern Energy Conservation and New Energy Grand Prize" as "an example of a large public facility that created significant energy conservation effects by restoring the functions of existing facilities, improving operations, and making familiar innovations, rather than by large-scale facility renewal or the introduction of new equipment.
  • Use of LED lighting in the main hall and common areas reduces electricity consumption.
  • Thorough cleaning of air conditioning equipment filters restores equipment performance and reduces the burden on heating and cooling systems.
  • Motion-sensitive LED sensor lights in toilets reduces energy use.
  • Water flow control valves in kitchenettes and toilets helps minimize wasted water.  
  • Thermal insulation coating on window glass blocks the sun's radiant heat in summer and reduces the conduction of cold heat in winter.
  • The use of screen doors promotes natural ventilation and reduces the burden of air conditioning during the day, while exhaust ventilation eliminates heat accumulation in the ceiling.
  • Roll curtains in front of the middle hall blocks ultraviolet rays and solar heat from the windows, and a mist generator cools the air flowing into the building.
  • Road and car-park pavement heating (to minimize ice and snow in winter) is optimized to reduce operating time when not needed.
  • Air conditioner operation optimized to normalize air pressure inside the building and prevent cold air inflow.
  • A forced convection system utilizes warm air by lowering heat accumulation in the building.

Exhibiting Partners

Partners are encouraged to:

  • Eliminate single-use banners and consider renting a television screen for their exhibition area instead.
  • Use recyclable materials such as cardboard for signage and avoid foam board and polypropylene.
  • Print locally, if printing is necessary, and source recycled, sustainably certified paper options.
  • Leave no trace behind by shipping out all booth properties and packing materials and donating extra giveaways.
  • Break down all cardboard boxes and gather them together for easy recycling identification by the convention center staff.

A Note on Giveaways

After more than 15 years of events, ATTA has received a lot of feedback about the kinds of giveaways that are appreciated and valued and those that are not, either because of their environmental impact or simply because travel professionals have received so many through the years. If giveaways are utilized, we recommend that our partners

DO consider:

  • Artisan made local crafts tied to your culture
  • Edible treats, cookies, chocolates, tea, coffee
  • Scarves, hats, especially locally made in your region
  • Useful items like branded notebooks, pens, tote bags, hand sanitizers

Please avoid:

  • Reusable water bottles (our delegates say that they have enough of these)
  • Reusable shopping bags (these have been trendy for the past few years and most of us now have enough of them)
  • Luggage tags
  • Items that won’t travel well because they are large or breakable
  • Plastic trinkets, keychains

Sustainability Practices at Local Hotels

  • ANA Crowne Plaza’s commitment to sustainability
  • Hotel Monterey Edelhof’s commitment to SDGs
  • Hotel Resol Trinity reduces A/C use by closing curtains in rooms, has switched to bulk amenities in rooms to reduce single-use plastic, limits room cleaning and replenishing for consecutive-night stays, and reduces the use of plastic. 
  • Keio Plaza Hotel has received the highest rank of three stars as a registered “Sapporo Eco-member” and utilizes lacquered chopsticks instead of disposable wooden chopsticks throughout the hotel.
  • Premier Hotel Tsubaki uses raw materials blended with rice husks for amenities; 40% reduction in plastic use and plastic used onsite is made of 100% recycled materials. A portion of proceeds from the hotel’s purchase of SUNSHINE COFFEE" by Mitsumoto Coffee for guests is given to the World Food Program (WFP).
  • Royal Park Canvas Sapporo Odori Park video about sustainability practices
  • Royton Sapporo: Daiwa Resort, the hotel managing company, is working on reduction of CO2 emissions, reduction of water consumption, reduction of food waste (food waste disposal machines, composting of food residues), development of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, installation of solar power generation equipment, and private farms.
  • Sapporo Grand Hotel’s approach to SDGs.
  • Sapporo Prince Hotel’s sustainability action
  • Sapporo View Hotel Odori Koen practices food waste reduction by analyzing food preferences and serving amounts and supplies water in bulk to reduce single-use plastic bottles.