The two organisers of WCA2024 – WFSA and the SSA – share a commitment to planetary health and an understanding of the impact the practice of anaesthesia has on our natural environment. However, after eight years without a face-to-face World Congress, it is time for the global anaesthesiology community to meet in person once again. This is critical for networking, sharing experiences and learning. We recognise that this will mean carbon emissions from our in-person attendees and encourage you to sign up to relevant schemes to reduce these. We also encourage you to make the most of your airmiles by ensuring you attend all four days of the event to take full advantage of everything WCA2024 offers.
We are delighted to have sustainability as a strong theme across many components of WCA2024; from a dedicated scientific track, through to the use of environmentally friendly and recycled booth-building schemes. WCA2024 will also see the award of the latest round of WFSA – Fresenius Kabi Innovation Awards [link to new page on congress website] which aim to support innovative ideas and game-changing tools in the field of anaesthesia. Priority for this round was given to innovations that reduce the environmental impact of anaesthesia and innovations that are accessible in all resource settings to increase patient safety worldwide.
Exhibitions often lead to high levels of waste and carbon emissions. WFSA is tackling this challenge head-on with a pilot zero-waste WFSA booth in collaboration with sustainability technology firm Miniwiz. Compared to traditional booths, this new design has a 45% lower carbon footprint. The booth is made entirely from upcycled materials, including recycled PET plastic and fabric, recycled textile waste, and recycled aluminium. We encourage all our exhibitors to join us in this sustainable initiative by opting for a zero-waste structure to reduce waste and the carbon footprint of the WCA2024 exhibition.
We are also encouraged by the strong environmental commitments of our congress venue, with Suntec collecting, separating and recycling all waste generated on-site, including cooking oil which is transformed into biodiesel fuel. Suntec has recently undergone an extensive modernisation programme to ensure that the venue design is inherently sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Singapore itself is a clean and green city, with most hotels, eateries and other recreational facilities within walking distance of the congress centre. Walking, cycling and other greener ways to travel are made easier with sheltered walkways, park connectors and other measures for a car-lite city. Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has great advice on how to get around by walking and cycling.
The World Congress of Anaesthesiologists will now take place every two years; the next time in Morrocco in 2026. Building on the great success of our first ever virtual WCA held in 2021, Singapore is offering the chance to participate online. This hybrid congress presents a low-cost chance for colleagues who are not able to travel to engage, learn and connect from the comfort of their homes.