We have put together a green meeting checklist with plenty of ideas and suggestions for making your meeting or conference as green as possible.
It doesn't take much to make your meeting or conference greener. Of course it is impossible to go completely green all at once. But it's the little things that count and every effort you make will help the planet.
What’s on the checklist?
On the checklist you’ll find loads of great ideas for making your meeting or conference a green one. Everything from preparation and communication to venue selection, catering and transportation is covered in one convenient overview.
By the way, if you scroll down you can also download the checklist as printerfriendly pdf document!
- Prepare an environmental policy for the meeting, and share it with all those involved: management, suppliers, delegates, presenters, and exhibitors.
- Assign an Environmental Officer to guard the environmental policy and the green compliance of your event.
- Establish a green purchasing policy. Your (potential) suppliers could sign this document in order to comply with your green standards.
- Establish a Carbon-Neutral initiative to counteract the CO2 emissions resulting from your event: www.climateneutralgroup.com.
Consider the possibility of a “paperless event” by using new media and electronic technology, for example:
- Announcements, invitations by e-mail and website
- On-line registration
- Updates during the event by SMS or by use of flat screens
- Seminar/workshop/event feedback on-line on site.
- Make hand-outs available on-line
- Order, if necessary, paper, writing pads and badges complying with the FSC mark requirements. Products bearing this mark guarantee a manufacturing process in which the entire cycle from cutting down trees up to and including the end product has been strictly monitored
- Print your paper, if necessary, on both sides using vegetable inks.
- Create signage that can be reused in future events.
Accommodation and venue selection
- Choose hotels and meeting venues that are connected to the airport by mass transit, and within walking distance of one another.
- Ask potential accommodation suppliers for their in-house environmental policies and a description of programs.
- Give preference to hotels and venues with a Green Key certificate: www.green-key.org
- Perform a site visit to verify that your environmental service requirements can be met.
- Choose a hotel and/or venue that is interested in doing more to become green. A willingness to cooperate will make your task so much easier.
- Travel with companies that are implementing green polices.
- Fly visitors by the shortest route possible, not just the most affordable.
- Make it easy for delegates to travel between the airport and the hotel/meeting venue. Provide information about the local public transit system, or arrange for carpooling shuttles.
- If vehicular transportation is required, look for vehicles that reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses such as CO2. Electric and hybrid powered vehicles, as well as vehicles propelled by natural gas, propane, methane gas, and ethanol, produce less emissions than gas or diesel fuelled vehicles.
- Provide a public transit pass and map in delegates’ packages.
- Minimize the use of disposables.
- Ask that condiments, beverages, and other food items be provided in bulk instead of individually packaged.
- Ensure food and beverage packaging is recyclable, and that it will be recycled.
- Give your delegates reusable coffee mugs at the start of the conference.
- Offer organic meals and snacks which are in season and locally available.
- Request fair trade food suppliers.
- Request organic produce, and free run chicken/eggs/meats.
- Offer vegetarian meal selections; vegetables consume less land base and energy to produce.
- Ask delegates to ‘sign-up’ for meals, by letting you know what meals they will be attending. This will reduce food waste – and your costs.
- Choose booth, displays, decoration materials that can be reused.
- Provide ‘re-use’ collection bins for delegate name tags.
- Tell your exhibitors about your greening plan. Get them involved by asking them to:
- Print their collateral materials on recycled paper stock, using vegetable inks
- Bring onlly what they need to the event, and take away what they don't hand out
- Suggest they give away items that are made from recycled materials, are durable, reusable, etc.
- Promote their own environmental initiatives
- On-site recycling is provided for paper products and other recyclable materials that are generated.
- Clean-up crews be trained to sort out recyclable and reusable items from the garbage.