There’s no doubt that green meetings and events are becoming mainstream. As proof of that pretty much all of the major meetings and events associations have adopted green meeting guidelines. Apart from the fact that this is indicative of an industry embracing sustainability, these associations are also a great resource that you can use to make your meetings a little (or a lot) greener.
A Green Meeting Toolkit Can Include Checklists As Well As Resources
At industry conventions or networking events I often talk with my colleagues about going green. And quite often a lot of the meeting planners in the room will tell me that, while they want green events, they are often faced with the challenge of how to go green within their budgets. Well, thanks to many of the associations, the ability to go green is becoming easier and easier.
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Has an Excellent Green Meetings Toolkit
Prepared by Sandra Wood (CMP with the Canadian Medical Association), in conjunction with PCMA’s Canada East chapter, the green meetings toolkit is available for download from PCMA’s website. In the toolkit you’ll find information to get you started on green meetings including; checklists, a green directory, standards and regulations, as well as a wish list and future trends to watch.
The toolkit also provides some interesting statistics and facts, such as:
- 51% of business travelers would be willing to add a percentage of their room cost to the hotel bill if it meant their stay would be more environmentally friendly
- 75% of all hotel guests stated that they are willing to participate in eco-programs
- 67% of meeting and event planners have taken green considerations into account when planning an event
- 27% of all food reduced in North America is wasted
- by changing towels only on request, a hotel can save upwards of 200 barrels of oil (which is enough to run a family car 180,000 miles)
- a venue can save 520 gallons of water just by not pre-filling water glasses at a banquet table
- if every passenger pack 1 pound less in their luggage, that would save enough fuel to fly a Boeing 737 around the world 474 times
Green Meetings Can Actually Save You Money
Going green can actually save you money. From the report we learn that a conference of 1300 delegates can save money by going green as follows; using online registration instead of printing and postage can save roughly $3900, eliminating conference bags can save upwards of $12,000, not providing a printed handout can save around $2000, providing pitchers of water instead of plastic bottles can save upwards of $12,000, using closer venues for off-site functions will eliminate transportation costs that can range anywhere from $30-$40,000 (for an average three-day conference).
It’s hard to believe that we still live in a world where many people are in denial regarding climate change. The old line that we used to hear as an excuse was that going green would cost way too much money and negatively affect the meetings and events industry. Regardless of your position on climate change, we can all agree that by going green we are helping our planet and future generations. I’m also very happy that the meetings and events industry is taking the lead in this area. And by doing so, the meetings and events industry is showing that there are many benefits by providing green meetings.
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