Gray's Journal

Friday, April 12, 2013

Meeting Planners, Are You Thinking Green?

So you have decided to plan a green meeting. What does this mean? Where should you start? How do you reconcile the desire to be green with the need to save some green?

We are in an age where there is more concern about the well-being of our environment and how we can prevent pollution and ozone depletion. As the number one contributors to pollution, we have a responsibility to respond to these concerns and there is no better place to start than in the hospitality industry.

As a meeting planner, there are more and more ways to aid in the sustainability movement. Although it seems that planning an entirely green and cost efficient meeting might me be more trouble than it is worth, let's look at 10 ways to go green while planning your meeting. 
  • Select hotels and suppliers with green policies and practices
  • Host all multi-session meetings at a central location to limit transportation needs
  • Minimize paper with web based invites, online event registration and electronic follow-up
  • Utilize double-sided printing for all collateral and meeting related materials
  • Give recycled materials precedence when making meeting supply purchases
  • Decrease the usage of paper and plastic by using real china for all food and beverages
  • Select buffet style menus and donate leftovers to eliminate waste
  • Coordinate with venues to use bulk dispensers for all food and beverage
  • Encourage speakers to use electronic means of presentation
  • Choose a venue with an in-house recycling program and encourage recycling
While this list may seem daunting, if you keep it in the back of your mind you will successfully be creating completely sustainable meetings without the stress or worries. 

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