10 ways to plan ‘green meetings‘

Every little thing you do impact the future of our wonderful earth, and directly or indirectly can help its environmental health for future generations. One such step is ‘going green’ in your professional role and MICE planners can do that by planning green meetings. So much progress has been made in this area, but we need to remain vigilant – being ‘green‘ is not a passing fad, it’s a continued commitment to do what is right for our fragile environment by eliminating and reducing waste during our events.

Our industry generates a lot of waste, unfortunately, and we still see a big percentage of that waste not being renewable, recyclable, or reusable. We should never take our eye off the ball when it comes to being green and marrying the goal of being green with corporate social responsibilities (CSR) in the cities and communities in which we work and host meetings and events.

If you are a parent and are part of the meetings/events industry, you owe it to your children and future generations to leave them the world where they can grow up, enjoy the environment and have a good quality of life.

So, here are 10 quick tips how to make your meetings greener:

1. Read Cvent’s white paper – Green Meetings Made Easy – to learn how you can contribute to ‘green events ‘.
2. Create branded signage that is reusable – adding dates and cities makes that signage useless the following year. Signs kill trees and introduce paint toxins – try not go crazy with signage.
3. Cater your food locally and create a menu containing sustainable food products.
4. Make sure you have instructions for venues to contribute all unused food to rescue programmes, shelters, etc. It’s a great Corporate Social Responsibility practice, and food can be enjoyed by people who are less fortunate.
5. Recycle everything you can (even attendee badges!)
6. Site selection should always include attendee transportation requirements. By selecting a site where you don’t need to have buses waiting and burning fuel, you make a huge impact on the environment for everyone. Reward business to sites where you can walk, which is also a health benefit for delegates. Is the hotel and/or conference facility in walking distance of restaurants, bars, shops, etc.? If so, they should be prioritised in your planning, as they not only help the environment but also contribute to attendee health and well-being.
7. Make sure you check venue green certification – most companies use BREEAM certification (any other certification should be researched). Note: Just because a venue says they are ‘green‘ doesn’t mean that they are.
8. ‘Green‘ questions should be part of every eRFP.
9. Use green calculators like The Green Guide Calculator by BRE Global; you can then promote your contribution towards being green to all your stakeholders and delegates.
10. Read and research green meetings and events – there are a lot of great articles, books and white papers on “green” and CSR topics.

Click here to get more insights into how you can plan green meetings while reducing your event costs. ‘Going green‘ is a relatively small investment, but what you learn and incorporate becomes exponentially more powerful when your ‘green‘ and CSR programmes become part of your meeting and event DNA.

Written by Mansi Soni