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Top 2020 Environmental Conferences You Need to Know About

Hey there, ecoSPEARS readers! As we reflect on all the happenings of the 2010s and the last twelve months that have gotten us to this point, we here at ecoSPEARS hope that you’ve been able to take and share some pearls of wisdom from our posts. Was there anything in particular that stood out for you? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Today we wanted to share an informational blog to help scratch that conference itch some of you may be feeling for 2020. So today, we’re going to be listing the top environmental conferences and trade shows you need to know about for 2020, and why they made our choice picks.

As a quick aside, for simplicity’s sake we are only going to be listing environmental conferences being hosted in the United States. We do not mean to discredit the validity of any international conferences, but since a lot of you – like us – may not possess the time or budget to hop around the eastern hemisphere as much as you’d like, this list will focus strictly on domestic conferences.

Cleantech Forum San Francisco: January 27th – 29th, 2020 – San Francisco, CA

While not specifically branded as an “environmental” conference, Cleantech Forum San Francisco (CFSF) is a 3-day event where innovators, business leaders, and investors from around the world to collaborate on all matters related to transformation and evolution of the global industry. The Forum’s theme for 2020 is “Urgent Actions, Unusual Strategies, Unexpected Allies” which is apt considering some of the 2030 goals agencies such as the United Nations have put in place on climate action and fostering green innovation.

With talks and presentations centered around worldwide cleantech, entrepreneurial coaching sessions, and multiple hours’ worth of networking opportunities for hundreds of participants from every corner of the industry, CFSF is a must for anyone with a stake in the future of cleantech innovation and implementation.

2020 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference: March 9th – 11th, 2020 – Penn Stater – State College, PA

Planned in collaboration by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), this one is more of your “traditional” environmental conference with an exhibition hall and workshops focused on the redevelopment and reuse of once-contaminated sites (i.e., Brownfields sites). While more focused on the technical details of environmental remediation practices and regulations, this conference will offer attendees a more interactive experience with environmental stakeholders from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey and is a strong recommendation for anyone with interest in the redevelopment or reuse of remediated properties in and around the Northeast United States.

30th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air (AEHS-West): March 16th – 19th, 2020 – San Diego, CA

First things first: if you are currently in (or interested in) a career related to the environmental regulation/remediation industry, do yourself a favor and become a member of the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation (AEHS). The AEHS Foundation provides its members with an international forum to collaborate and cooperate on all matters related to sustainable and safe environmental practices and their associated challenges. This conference is one of two that AEHS hosts each year, and both are remarkable events with programs filled to the brim of guest speakers offering insight to their industry expertise, interactive workshops, poster presentations, networking receptions and more.

The AEHS-West conference will be held in San Diego this March, so in case you need an excuse to visit the Pacific Coast for a few days, we have your back. While you don’t need to be an AEHS member to attend, you are offered some pretty nice discounts on your attendance package, as well as journals, books, and other literature published by (or in partnership with AEHS).

Water Innovation Week: March 24th – 26th, 2020 – San Francisco, CA

Presented by the Imagine H2O innovation accelerator for water-focused startups, Water Innovation Week (WIW) will be a 3-day event bringing more than 500 attendees to the Bay Area to raise and answer some of the most critical questions related to clean water looking towards 2030. The morning of March 25th will also showcase the cohort companies for the Imagine H2O accelerator in a company demo day. 2019’s demo day sold out before the event’s kickoff, so book your tickets ASAP if you’re interested in witnessing a dozen or so pitches from some up-and-coming leaders of the clean water industry!

WIW boasts guest speakers and sponsors from some giants of water, energy, and utility industry, and tickets for the 3-day event will likely be sold out weeks before it kicks off. If you or your company are thinking about getting your feet wet (pun 100% intended) with innovation in clean water or energy, make sure you get registered sooner rather than later.

National Associated of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Conference: May 18th – 22nd, 2020 – Fort Lauderdale, FL

While at the time of this post’s publication the program for the NAEP 2020 conference is not yet finalized, this is another “must” for anyone with a career – or career interest – in the more technical aspects of environmental regulation and remediation. If you’re in any way, shape, or form an environmental consultant or part of a firm that offers environmental consulting services, this conference is right up there (along with our next selection) for ones that should be at the top of your list for 2020.

Battelle International Chlorinated Conference: May 31st – June 4th, 2020 – Portland, OR

Even though our list is only halfway over, THIS is the big environmental conference you do not want to miss for 2020. Battelle, a private nonprofit organization with a 90-year legacy in the development of technologies and scientific advancements, is one of the most prestigious names in the environmental remediation world and its chlorinated conference is one of the most well-known in the industry. 2020’s conference will consist of more than 1,000 poster presentations, nearly 100 breakout sessions, and five huge panel discussions on the current and emerging innovations on the market to address recalcitrant compounds and emerging environmental contaminants.

We’re still waiting for the full conference program to be released, but this conference is bound to be five days chock full of discussions, networking, and expertise relatable to all matters of the environmental remediation industry and the regulatory bodies who help shape its framework. If you don’t attend any other environmental conference in 2020, make sure you get registered for Battelle!

Fate of PFAS, From Groundwater to Tap Water Conference: August 5th – 6th, 2020 – Durham, NH

Ah, PFAS. Although regulations surrounding this chemical are still relatively new (compared to PCBs, DDT, and other contaminants) it is no less hazardous to human health. This conference will consist of panelists and discussions from regulators, managers, and toxicologists in their professional research and experience in addressing issues related to PFAS in water supplies and how studies on PFAS are still helping to shape regulations surrounding the contaminant. Scientists and engineers who work with groundwater, as well as Remedial Project Managers, environmental regulators and industry professionals, as well as public health officials, are encouraged to attend.

If you’re looking to get your PFAS-related abstract in front of a crowd, this conference’s call for abstracts is still open until January 10th, so get those edits in and submit it here before the deadline.

Georgia Environmental Conference (GEC) 2020: August 26th – 28th, 2020 – Jekyll Island, GA

GEC isn’t your “typical” environmental conference. Yes, it’s loaded with two days of workshops and speaking sessions on all matters of environmental contamination, remediation procedures, and more, but this all takes place over the course of a few days at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Jekyll Island is a 7-mile-long nature preserve with centuries of years of local history. The Jekyll Island Foundation helps to preserve the natural wildlife of the island, including its sea turtle nests and habitats, and the Jekyll Island Club Resort is an amazing 5-star hotel that – during the early 20th-century – was a regular summer home to some unique and imposing faces of America’s financial and environmental history.

If you’re the type who enjoys a little R&R while you’re working or on a travel excursion for work, GEC is one conference you’re going to be telling tales about for months after it ends.

36th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy (AEHS-East): October 19th – 22nd, 2020 – Amherst, MA

The second annual conference hosted the AEHS Foundation, the AEHS-East conference takes place each year at the University of Amherst in Massachusetts. Since this one is still a little way away, a call for abstracts is still open with applicable topics available here. The program for the conference is not yet fully fleshed out at the time of this post going live, but AEHS allows you to peek through the program from its 2019 East Coast Conference. That – combined with the topic areas in its current call for abstracts – should give you a pretty good idea of what this coming year’s workshops and panel discussions might cover.

Remember: just as with AEHS-West, exhibitor booths are offered at a discount to AEHS members, so join up soon so you can be one of the first in line when discounted booths and registrations start going on sale later in the year!

California Land Recycling Conference (CCLR): September 22nd – 24th, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA

California’s Center for Creative Land Recycling, or CCLR, is one of the state’s most premiere leaders in brownfields initiatives and education. In hosting the California Land Recycling Conference, CCLR and its partners throughout California (as well as federal partners including EPA) is able to host a nonstop, 3-day conference and exhibition on brownfields policy updates, technological advancements, community leadership and stewardship, and networking opportunities to further brownfield initiatives within the state of California. Register early, and you can even join the CCLR team and its partners to tour several brownfield sites around the great Los Angeles area!

This event also boasts the “one and only CCL Brownfields Sing-Along” event at its conclusion, so brush off your pipes and get your singing voice ready to go for September in 2020!

And that’s all for 2019, folks! Have a fun and safe New Year’s holiday and we’ll see you all in 2020.

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