Sustainability Committee: Policy and General Recommendations


The Society for Music Theory endorses the principle of sustainability in its use of the earth's resources. The society therefore commits itself to minimizing the environmental impact of its meetings and other activities, by reducing or off-setting travel, and by conserving natural resources insofar as possible.

Recommendations for Individual SMT Members

Meeting Attendees
Please consider the following sustainability recommendations when you attend SMT meetings:
1. Carpool, share taxis, and use public transportation when possible.
2. Purchase carbon offsets for your travel. Information about carbon offsets is available from
3. Bring a travel mug for drinks during your travel and at the meeting.
4. Recycle extra handouts at or after the meeting.
5. Choose restaurants that source their products locally and sustainably.
6. Assist with recycling and other sustainability efforts at the meeting; contact the chair of the committee, Phil Duker, to volunteer.

Recommendations for minimizing paper use have been developed in coordination with recommendations for accessibility. Click here for the sustainability and accessibility recommendations.

SMT Administration Guidelines

Annual Meetings: Venue Choice
The Executive Director will include the following preference clause in our Conference Request for Proposals (RFP):
The Society for Music Theory gives preference to venues that are accessible by public transport from the airport and located within a downtown core or accessible by public transport to it. The Society for Music Theory also gives preference to venues that have active and ongoing sustainability programs and policies. Specifically, preference is given to facilities that have programs for conservation of energy and water, reducing and recycling solid waste, reducing the use of harmful chemicals, and improving indoor air quality.

Annual Meetings: Planning and Implementation
Guidelines for the Executive Director and Local Arrangements Committee:
1. Provide detailed information on public transportation between the local airport and conference site and, if necessary, from popular hotels to the conference site.
2. Provide information about restaurants that source their products locally and sustainably.
3. Provide readily accessible recycling containers for paper and plastic/glass at the meeting venue.
4. Work with Sustainability Coordinator to recycle extra paper handouts, turn off lights, and reduce energy use at the meeting.


Green Meetings
Further information and resources for hosts and planners are available from Bluegreen Meetings.

Scholarship on Music and Ecology
For scholarship on the interaction between music, ecology, and other related fields, see the bibliography maintained by the Ecocriticism Study Group of the American Musicological Society.

Updated May 24, 2011