Learn more about what you can do to minimize environmental impacts from meetings:
Meeting Service Supplier
Meeting service suppliers provide any of the following services related to meetings:
- Convention and Visitors Bureaus,
- Food and Beverage,
- Communications and Marketing,
- Meeting and Event Venues.
As the one ultimately responsible for calling for and/or funding a meeting, you are likely to act as a major decision maker over certain large aspects of the meeting, including whether a meeting is planned with the environment in mind or not. Whether you instruct or coordinate with internal meeting planners or you contract out to external meeting planners, makes a difference in your strategy for proceeding here.
Internal Meeting Planners - Here you may point your meeting planners in the direction of the Oceans Blue Foundation Green Meetings Web Tool and encourage or instruct them to make use of it in the planning process. Depending on your position in your organization, you may have to seek senior management support to go beyond encouraging the consideration of the environment in the planning of the meeting. An internal Meeting Green Policy could be sought to make your organization's commitment to green meetings more official.
External Meeting Planners - Here you are likely to be contracting with an individual or company external to your own through some sort of contract agreement. If work is competed, "green" language can be inserted in the solicitation. Whether it is competed or not, the final contract agreement signed between your organization and that of the meeting planners, can include "green" language requiring or giving preference to any and all attempts to green the meeting. Sample Green Contract Language used very successfully in pilot tests of the concept.
Many people may think or assume that the only ones who can green a meeting are those responsible for a meeting as a meeting host is, or those responsible for planning the meeting or supplying any of its services. Luckily this isn't the case and there are plenty of things someone who attends meetings as a speaker or participant can do to promote and expand the benefits of green meetings.
- If you are attending a green meeting, look for and take advantage
of any opportunity presented to "do the green thing." The
full environmental potential of a meeting depends on cooperative attendees!
- If you are attending a meeting that doesn't appear to be green and
doesn't mention the environment anywhere, approach the meeting hosts
and organizers and politely express your preference to attend green
meetings. Refer them to the following two web sites to get started: Green Meetings and BlueGreen Meetings .
- Each of the services used in conducting a meeting could take the initiative to be green whether a given meeting hosts requested it or not. Seek employees and managers within hotels, rental car companies, airlines, convention and exhibition centers, food and beverage providers, etc. and ask them if they have any policies or practices in place related to the environment. Again, politely express your preference to reward greener businesses with your business. If you want to be more specific with your requests, review the opportunities listed in the green meetings tool at BlueGreen Meetings under both the planners and suppliers buttons.
- Promote the concept of greening meetings within your organization whether a current meeting is being planned or not. Possibly seek establishing an organizational commitment to the concept that will apply to all future meetings. Request that in-planning or future meetings be "greened" and promoted as such.
By keeping the concept and content of green meetings in mind when you plan a meeting, you can help these green practices become standard practices!