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Brittney Skinner Headshot

Brittney Skinner, CITP
Chair, CSR and Sustainability
Owner, Selective Meetings & Incentives
bskinner@selectivemi.com

10 easy sustainability tips to consider when planning a meeting

With just a little bit of thought you might be surprised at how easy it can be to incorporate some of these simple actions in your next event.
Making the decision to make your meeting as green as possible is the first big step. Now the question is where and how to begin. Here are 10 green meeting tips to get you started. You will be on your way to reduce the environmental impact of your event in no time.

Planning a green meeting is simple and cost effective.

Focusing on sustainability is beneficial to your company’s or client’s image Going green provides meeting planners a competitive advantage

  1. Prepare an environmental policy for your meetings
    Prepare an environmental policy for your meetings and share it with all stakeholders involved: management, suppliers, delegates, presenters and exhibitors.
  2. Counteract and compensate C02 emissions
    Establish a carbon-neutral initiative to compensate for the C02 emissions resulting from your meeting. There are numerous C02 compensation initiatives available. Tip: Calculate the C02 emission of your event.
    In addition, you can use low carbon and renewable energy and choose energy-efficient and water-saving appliances.
  3. Host a paperless event
    Eliminate or minimize the use of paper. Think about online invitations, online registration and electronic follow-up after the event. Innovations in new media and electronic technology make this easier than ever!
  4. Select hotels and venues with a Sustainability Certification.
    Select hotels and venues that apply their own green policies and practices. A simple way to find out which hotels and venues work on their sustainability efforts, among other options, is to seach Green Key certificate, LEED Certification, ISO 14000, APEX/ASTM or BOMA BESt (Canada). These organizations are all good places to begin your search.
  5. Use recycled materials, reduce waste & recycle
    Buy meeting supplies from recycled materials and try to avoid as much waste as possible, for example by hosting a paperless event and using real china for all food and beverages. If you can’t avoid creating waste, make sure on-site recycling is provided for all recyclable materials.
  6. Select green catering
    Select local catering suppliers who follow sustainable standards and use organic ingredients. In addition, select buffet style menus and donate all leftovers charity to eliminate waste. Encourage the caterer or venue to use bulk dispensers for food and beverages.
  7. Provide sustainable travel options
    Make it easy for delegates to travel between the airport, hotel and meeting venue. Provide information about local public transportation or arrange carpooling shuttles.
  8. Reduce vehicle emissions
    If vehicular transportation is necessary, look for vehicles with lower emissions. Choose hybrid or even electric vehicles or ones that run on natural gas, propane, methane gas or ethanol. They produce fewer emissions than gas or diesel-fueled vehicles.
  9. Spread the word
    One of the most important things that is easily forgotten is to tell everyone involved about your sustainability efforts. Share your environmental policy and asks for your stakeholders’ ones in return. Get everybody involved in the process of making your meeting green.
  10. Think global, act local
    Make sure to work with as many local suppliers as possible and use as many local products as you possibly can. Get your venue or a service provider like a DMC involved in the process.

Attribution: These sustainability tips and ideas are from 10 green meeting tips – Holland.com

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