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5 Sound Strategies to Go Green at Your Next Meeting

May 8, 2015

According to Meetings Focus Trends, 25% of meeting planners are planning or expect to plan a green meeting sometime in 2014.

When asked how they plan to implement eco-friendly practices, the following five strategies came forward as being important to the 600+ planners that were surveyed. Here are the five, in the order of most important to least, and a checklist of how to implement them.

RECYCLING

55% of Planners have Implemented Recycling into their Meetings

Here are some easy ways to do this:

 Set up recycling stations all around the conference to recycle paper, glass and cans.

 Eliminate plastic water bottles; have pitchers of water with glasses.

 Find a charitable organization that can take and use leftover conference bags and giveaways.

 Recycle all name badge plastic holders for the next meeting.

 If you have sensitive or confidential materials at your meeting that needs to be printed, consider renting a shredder and then recycling the shredded materials.

PAPERLESS MEETINGS

34% of Planners have eliminated all Paper at their Conferences

Consider doing the following:

 Replace all printed materials with electronic versions that can be viewed and/or manipulated on tablet rentals.

 Get rid of all printed signage and go to digital signage.

 Survey attendees with Audience Response Systems.

 Ask speakers to put all presentations on SlideShare.

FOOD DONATION and SUSTAINABLE CUSINE

24% of Survey Participants have incorporated this into their Meetings

In order to reduce food losses, the following actions can be used:

 Have an accurate headcount. If you know how many individuals are coming to your meeting, you can eliminate food loss at the supply chain level to reduce waste.

 Identify a local charity to donate your leftover food. If the food is in the kitchen and has not been plated, it can be donated. But to be on the safe side, check with local health regulations.

 Try to source food locally from a farmer’s market or other local entities. The closer the food source, the less impact it has on the environment.

GREEN VENUE SITE SELECTION

20% of Planners Incorporated Green Site Selection Practices into their Programs

Here are two sources to consider:

 The Convention Industry Council, through their partnership with APEX and ASTM International, has comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings. These nine standards are available for purchase on an individual basis and the AV standard is located here: http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2745.htm

 The UN has a sustainable meetings guide. Even though it is a few years old, the data is still relevant as you plan a meeting.

CARBON OFFSETS

6% of Planners have incorporated this into their Green Meeting Practice

A carbon offset is a financial donation or other act that aims to remove a certain amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to compensate for another carbon dioxide emitting activity.

As you probably already know, air travel is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions. Here are some ways to keep these emissions to a minimal level:

 Consider holding a virtual or regional meeting where it makes sense, especially if attendees are traveling from far distances.

 Offer a host of other alternatives to plane travel for your attendees: train, bus or carpooling are great choices.

 Hold a series of regional meetings rather than one large meeting.

ABOUT US

 

Hartford Technology Rentals is committed to being green in everything we do from recycling used toner cartridges to reusing AV equipment over and over again. 

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