According to a 2011 study by MIT, sustainability is an ongoing agenda item for 70% of companies. Even companies like PepsiCo and Siemens are investing in sustainable solutions and programs in hopes of powering the future. And when corporations place a high value on being green, meeting planners must follow.
As our clients spend more resources than ever before on “going green,” meeting planners have added being green to their own agendas.
Luckily, being environmentally aware doesn’t have to be a burden. There are many little things that meeting planners, meeting facilities and meeting participants can do to make their events more sustainable. First, make sure you’ve established an eco-friendly meeting checklist.
Following this will often ensure that your green meeting is more cost-effective, efficient, and easier to implement than those that are not. In honor of Earth Month, we compiled a list of our favorite simple green meeting tips that you can use at your next green meeting or event.
1. Give Back, Rather than Consume, During Team Building Activities
Turn your next team-building exercise into an opportunity to benefit the greater good. Your team could plant trees in a local park, re-purpose leftover supplies and/or donate food to a local shelter after the activity is over.
2. Buy in Bulk
Instead of offering disposable bottles of water, use cups and pitchers or water filtration stations. As an alternative to buying individual condiment packages, buy bulk condiment containers. These practices eliminate waste and are far better for your wallet too.
3. Use an Online Registration and Check-In System
Forget about paper registration and set up online registration instead. Participants will love being able to register at their leisure, from any device, and will be grateful that they don’t have to stand in a long line on the day of the event. Online registration and ticketing eliminates lots of printed tickets that usually end up getting lost anyways!
4. Make Carpooling Easy for Meeting Attendees
If you can help your attendees set up carpools to get to the meeting destination, you’ll build community and reduce waste before your meeting even begins. Setup a private Facebook group, online forum, or email chain to easily connect riders and drivers. Who knows - attendees may even make a business connection or friendship along the way.
5. Go Local
Use local vendors for food, décor, gift-back items, and rentals whenever possible. Since your client will value your effort to go local, be sure to share where you found notable items in the programming. The local economy will thank you for this one too.
6. Ask the Team
Nominate a group of employees or meeting attendees to serve on a committee…a green committee so to speak. These employees can meet every so often to develop new green initiatives and to improve green initiatives already in place. They can also share news within their organization and online too.
At the end of the day, being green and hosting a green meeting today is not as hard as it used to be, especially with these simple steps. Don’t make your next meeting hazardous to our planet’s health! And be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions on how to make your meeting more green.