Ten easy tips for making your event more sustainable

  1. Put it in writing. Establish an environmental statement or policy for the meeting, and get buy-in for it from the meeting host organization’s management. Share the policy with suppliers, delegates and speakers. You’ll be amazed at how far they’ll go to help you make your event sustainable.
  2. Use paperless technology. Use new media and electronic technology to cut down your paper use. Create a conference web site; offer electronic registration and confirmation; and advertise using the web and/or email.
  3. Meet close. Reduce distances traveled by speakers and delegates. Choose a host city that’s close to as many delegates as possible, and within the city choose a venue and hotel that are close to the airport and within walking distance of each other.
  4. Practice the 3Rs. Ask your hotel and meeting venue to provide visible and accessible reduction, reuse and recycling services for paper, metal, plastic and glass.
  5. Bulk up. Have your food and beverage service provider use bulk dispensers for sugar, salt, pepper, cream and other condiments.
  6. Lighten your Stay. Choose a hotel that offers a linen reuse program and bulk dispensers for shampoos and soaps in guest suites.
  7. Eat green. Include vegetarian meals, and have meals planned using local, seasonal produce.
  8. Close the recycling loop. Have all printed materials published on recycled paper, using vegetable-based inks, and on both sides of the page.
  9. Save energy. Coordinate with the meeting venue to ensure that energy lights and air conditioning will be turned off when rooms are not in use.
  10. Spread the word! Tell delegates, speakers and the media about your success. You’ll be surprised sustainable efforts are contagious.

Source: Green Meeting Industry Council, www.gmicglobal.org.

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