Sustainable Meeting Guide
Created by: Cody Buchholz, Caleb Clapp, & Jesee Elhardt
Being able to conceptualize, design, coordinate, and execute a sustainable meeting or event will highlight your name as an event planner in this day and age. Understanding the detailed logistics behind implementing a zero waste and sustainable event are the key aspects that will be focused on in this guide to creating sustainable events.
“Problems can not be solved at the same level of awareness that created them” ~Albert Einstein
Transformation of green meetings Value’s of stakeholders and why Important Definitions Leaders in Sustainability
Significance to meeting and event planning: An event has the capability of serving tens to hundreds of thousands of individuals. When working with such numbers it is important to understand your environmental impact. Understanding the significance of sustainability and how to efficiently and effectively utilize all available resources is necessary to reduce the environmental footprint of a meeting or event. E.g. The Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco. “The innovative Orchard Garden Hotel, was the first of its kind in the state (and third in the country) to receive the prestigious LEED certification. With a pleasant palette of pale yellow and seafoam green, light wood furnishings and marble bathrooms, the hotel affords all high-end perks (plush robes, flat-screen TV, CD and DVD players, minibar, iPod dock), while implementing environmentallyfriendly programs like an energy-control key card system, soy-based ink, chemical-free cleaning products and recycled stationary to preserve the environment.” ~Forbes Travler
Sustainability: 1: capable of being Sustained 2 a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable Social Responsibility: is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization, or individual has a responsibility to society. Green Meeting: Purposefully reducing the amount of waste created by an event. Corporate Social Responsibility: Economic, social, environmental. (CSR), is a voluntary commitment to behave ethically in corporate citizenship, to honor responsibilities in economic, business capital, human capital, and natural capital. Today businesses that imbed CSR as a value into their organization make decisions that end up in a triple bottom line. Sustainable Development:Organizations that imbed CSR into their core culture provide a structure for SD. Meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.
CSR Proven Possible
Company: Better Energy Systems Purpose: A leading manufacturer of portable renewable energy products, committed to using the most effective
means to develop and distribute environmentally conscious products to the global economy.
Priorities: “Our focus is to stimulate the imagination of the modern consumer by developing products and
methodologies that we hope will broaden our sphere of influence with the mobile consumer; broadening their perception of renewable technology and making Better Energy a way of life for everyone. founder and CEO, Christopher Hornor, the Director of R&D David Fowler, the operations and Finance Director Ian Leader, and the Director of Sustainable Technologies Lorenzo Falzarano MSc. After reading about each of the listed personnel, I have determined that in the management structure of the company, they have strong retention in employees. Each employee has multiple years of experience in the field that they are in and came to B.E.S. to help change the world. There is not information on the inner workings of the firm located on their website. development firm and they are not a direct retail outlet they work primarily with distribution to retailers. “We support our partners with, sales and marketing support, training, technical support, and more.” It considers its distributors as partners, and works to compliment the business structure. the market.
Internal Practices: B.E.S. has the following employees and organizational structure listed on their website. The
External Practices: Overall B.E.S. is a business, and they are trying to make money. Because the company is a
Projections: The name is Better Energy Systems, in the name it indicates what the firm is trying to do within
Green Meetings and Implications
A Green Meeting: Is a premeditated effort to reduce the environmental impact of a meeting or event. Business sense: Businesses gain an advantage by implementing environmentally responsible events. By striving to minimize an event’s ecological footprint you create goodwill and a good reputation for your company as a socially responsible organization.
BS-8901 -First Event Standard Comprehensible format designed to identify and target ideas to work on to create more sustainable events Incorporates the financial, environmental, and social aspects of a green meeting or sustainable event. Based off of three phases: Planning Implementation Monitor Check Review
The First Steps
What are the steps to getting started in incorporating and implementing green meeting practices?
Step 1: Establishing your organization’s commitment to greening is crucial to how successful your efforts will be. Step 2: Develop minimum guidelines to incorporate in your meetings. Criteria should be created for all vendors used. Step 3: Emphasizing communications. Expectations for your meeting can only happen when there is clear communication, especially if greening practices are new. Step 4: Negotiating green practices.
How will you sell or convince your clients to green their meetings?
You need to emphasize the idea that without going green, or at least beginning to implement green practices, your business will be out of date, and will not be part of the newest, most beneficial trend in the industry. Stress the ideas of better business practices, suggest the idea of hiring a going green consultant to help you transition, explain the idea that more money will be spent now on becoming green, but if properly done, the long run returns for monetary and environmentally will be plentiful.
Converting Your Suppliers
What steps will you take to convince suppliers to support the green meeting practices?
Develop supply chain management approaches that will encourage suppliers to improve the environmental quality of their products and services over time. Form working relationships with other public authorities as well as with suppliers to generate better environmental performance over time. Develop markets for sustainable goods and services through market development.
How would you find information on green suppliers?
I checked out the website www.greensuppliers.gov, and found an abundance of information regarding the availability of green suppliers, and even information on how to transition your company to becoming a green supplier.
Green Suppliers Network reviews can help you:
Find customized solutions to your manufacturing challenges Save money and increase capacity See immediate results through hands-on training on the shop floor Achieve additional savings and efficiencies beyond traditional lean techniques Improve supply chain relationships
3 factors to consider in evaluating the environmental aspects of a destination.
-Surrounding amenities (hotels, transportation, food) -Access to products and local services -Surrounding parks, mountains, oceans
Destination Decision Making
What value would you place on whether the destination has existing green practices, or is at least willing to implement green practices for the meeting?
Personally, I would be happy with either: Most likely I would lean towards the idea of a place that is willing to implement green practices. The goal here is to incorporate as many people and businesses as possible with the idea of going green and the use of sustainable practices.
Food & Beverage
Here are just a few examples of what you can do to make an event greener:
Choose not to serve individual water bottles Choose food that is in season Choose seafood from sustainable fisheries Choose food based on the history of attendees’ preferences and attrition Choose china service Purchase organic and or local products if possible Request minimal packaging on all food products Purchase/Use environmentally responsible cleaning products Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
What are two common green requests to make to a hotel?
Linen and towel reuse program, and in-room energy savings program.
Who from the hotel should be included from the beginning when requesting green practices?
Accommodations personnel, housekeeping staff, operations, food and beverage managers.
What should you do to ensure the green practices that the hotel agreed to will be implemented?
Environmental management program or certification.
It is more simplistic than you might think to go green with your hotel First the idea must be accepted from the top down, from the GM all the way to the receptionist Then policies must be put in place for the use of new “green” products and procedures as well as the initiation of employee training Only offer local in season produce and hire locally as well as outsource locally Provide the option of alternate fuel shuttles for guest and employees
Accomplishing a Sustainable Hotel
Discuss your green meeting plans with event coordinators ASAP for the best chance of actually achieving your goals Once the ball is rolling make check ups often to make sure all preparation is moving according to plan, star in the back of the house to make sure all food is being disposed of properly and water is used sparingly
Make alternative fuel transportation available Provide walking distance maps to guests to make walking and biking more appealing Contract with eco-friendly taxies and shuttles to maximize the chances that guests will use them Carbon offset programs are very important in order to neutralize any green house gas emmitions
Green A/V is required in the form of: energy efficient lighting, recycling batteries and paper programs, etc. Green A/V equipment is not only energy efficient it is also very cost effective
Paper and Printing Considerations
Print on recycled paper Design brochures/flyers/paper media to conserve paper Print double sided Avoid printed materials if information can be electronic Use vegetable inks or inks with a lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Let people know that your printing on recycled paper and using vegetable ink or inks with a lower VOC
Renewable energy is energy that is generated from natural resources – such as sunlight, wind, rain, ties, and geothermal heat. Having a renewable energy source provided at a venue is one of the more difficult tasks for an event planner, but as businesses and organizations become increasingly aware of the need to be sustainable, more and more opportunities are becoming available.