Region 1: EPA New England
Selecting the Right Site: Location, Location, Location
One of the first tasks in planning any event regardless of size is to select the destination and then a suitable facility or venue. You need to consider travel logistics.
- How easy will it be to get there by plane, train, public transit, etc?
- Is there mass transit or shuttle service nearby so that attendees will readily use it to get to the event and to sightsee, thereby reducing the need to travel individually by car?
The goal should be to reduce the amount of fuel that would be used, and pollution that would be generated, if each individual used a single occupancy vehicle to get to their destinations.
In terms of the event facilities and hotel accommodations, planners should look for green housekeeping policies.
- Do they recycle? And what do they recycle?
- Have they installed energy efficient lighting? Are they Energy Star certified?
- Do they use water conserving devices and environmentally preferable products?
- Do they purchase locally produced food or use suppliers that use local produce?
- What about food wastes, do they work with food donation programs and compost?
There are several on-line tools available to help you make environmentally responsible choices for your event. As a first step, visit EPA's Green Meetings Web site. In addition, EPA recently supported the Oceans Blue Foundation with the development of a Green Meetings Tool that will help you incorporate green principles into every aspect of planning for your event. The Green Meeting Industry Council is likewise working collaboratively to provide information and tools to facilitate the greening of meetings and events.
Additional sources of information include:
- the Convention Industry Council, which provides tips and recommendations in its Green Meetings Report (PDF) (14 pp, 339 K, about PDF) ;
- the National Recycling Coalition's Green Meetings Policy, (22 pp, 648K, about PDF) which presents best practices that were developed and adopted by the National Recycling Coalition in 2001 for its Annual Congress and Exposition;
- the national Green Hotel Initiative run by CERES, which has developed a best practice survey of environmental criteria to assist in making hotel selections;
- Green Seal, which provides a list of certified green hotels;
- the Northeast Recycling Council, which provides information on recycling and purchasing environmentally preferable products and services; and
- the case study, Greening the 2004 Democratic & Republican National Conventions.