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.
Tips and case studies to help in making meetings and events more sustainable can be found at the Green Meetings Council's Best Practices web site.
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 sustainability principles 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 and how you choose to proceed.
Internal Meeting Planners - Here you may point your meeting planners in the direction of the Green Meeting Industry Council web site and encourage or instruct them to make use of the resources and community contained therein while engaging 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 (or "Sustainable Event 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. The final contract agreement signed between your organization and that of the meeting planners, can include environmental performance ("sustainability") language requiring or giving preference to any and all attempts to green the meeting.
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. However, 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 more sustainable meetings.
- If you are attending a green meeting, look for and take advantage
of any opportunity presented to "do the green thing." For example you try to utilize public transportation if available or bring your own water bottle to cut down on waste. 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 sustainability initiatives anywhere, approach the meeting hosts
and organizers and politely express your preference to attend more environmentally responsible
meetings. You might refer them to the following two web sites to get started: GMIC for government meeting planners, or even US General Services Administration (GSA Federal Travel Regulation - Guide to Sustainable Conferences (DOC) (10 pp)).
- 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. For information on starting your own "green team" take a look at GMIC resources on how you can get started.
By keeping the concept and content of green meetings in mind when you attend, plan or support a meeting, you can help these green practices become second nature!