This Wednesday, on April 22nd, marked the 50th celebration of Earth Day. Events are held in more than 192 countries in order to highlight conservationism efforts and support for environmental protection. Due to COVID-19, some parts of the world have already seen/felt/smelled a difference. Of course, the future of meetings is virtual and sustainable as the use of technology in conducting business has seen an increase in demand. At the same time, face-to-face meetings are still important, and more meeting planners are now looking to spaces with high standards/grading for Green meetings.
As you prepare for your next sustainable meeting, here are some recommendations I’ve encountered from attending meetings:
- Choose an event venue that has flexibility, abundant natural light, and has implemented energy saving tools. Not only is this good for the environment but it helps your budget and the overall morale of your delegates.
- Go paperless: By using apps, delegates can have access to event program, destination information, and other useful resources.
- Healthy food options: by offering healthy snacks and/or contracting food vendors that make use of biodegradable packaging, your meeting’s carbon footprint will surely leave a lasting impact and a positive impression on your delegates.
- BYOB: Provide and/or encourage your delegates to bring their own bottles for water refills. Not only does this reduce plastic waste in the landfills, this reduces one more item to supply during coffee breaks.
- Recycling & reducing waste: Keeping recycle bins near exit signs, use of biodegradable products (paper straws and cups), and labeling reusable coffee cups, you can successfully reduce waste.
- Outdoor activities: Taking in a nature walk will disrupt the usual flow of back to back meetings.
There are more ways to encourage delegate participation with your Green meeting initiatives! As simply put, it is good for the environment. Our clients, Berlin, Dubai, and Vienna, Panama, and South Korea have all embarked on strategic goals with venues committed to sustainability. As our world continues to adapt to the ever-growing demand, it is up to you to make a difference.
Photo source: Global Destination Sustainability Index (another worthy read on the future of meetings!)