Revisiting Green in 2012
Posted by Ron Springer | 4/5/12
About five years ago, event planners noticed that customers were becoming interested in taking steps to make their conferences more environmentally friendly. There are and were many opportunities at conferences and meetings to take steps to save energy and be less wasteful, but it’s also a great chance to showcase to your audience that you are aware of the issues facing our planet and that your company is environmentally and socially responsible.
Over the years, this blog featured tips to help make your conference green. From the recyclable EcoDisc, to ImprintPlus’s reusable name badges, to highlighting Denver as the go-to city for your environmentally friendly event, Esprit has kept you in the loop about the latest trends. So as Earth Day 2012 fast approaches, let’s examine what resources are available to today’s meeting planner who is trying to reduce their event’s carbon footprint.
The Green Hotels Association is in its 19th year, and remains a great resource for companies looking for hotels that are committed to conserving water and energy and reducing solid waste. Additionally, it provides its members incredibly useful information to help them in their efforts to stay on the forefront of environmentally friendly business travel.
The Blue and Green Meetings web tool has a goal of “fostering a meetings industry that integrates environmental responsibility with sound business practices.” Their website has a fantastic array of resources for meeting planners, including such gems as a guide to green meeting planning produced by the EPA, information for green purchasing, and the National Recycling Association’s Green Meeting Policy.
The Green Meeting Industry Council is another terrific resource for event planners. The GMIC not only provides information and education, but also is the global leader in research, policy, and standards for sustainability at meetings. Their website features a resource library and a green supplier directory.
Given that “going green” is the responsible AND fashionable thing to do, many businesses and vendors will often highlight their efforts to be environmentally friendly. These additional resources will help you find vendors, as well as innovative ideas you can use conference and bring back to implement in your office.
Meetings get greener with each passing year. It all started with simply with recycling receptacles outside of the event for paper, plastic, and glass. As technology took over, and all facets of a conference went electronic and the need for paper decreased. But some facilities really go the extra mile in terms of innovation and sustainability. The Marriott Tampa Waterside, where we produced a management meeting last December, has gotten creative with some extra land they have by starting their own farm. The hotel saves about $1000 a month with this farm that is producing 75-100 heads of lettuce a week! They even have a tomato garden on the roof. Their guests get incredibly fresh, local food, and the hotel saves money. Everyone wins!