Think Green

Think GREEN!
FOR MEETINGS AND EVENTS
A Guide from CRI Global, LLC

Meeting professionals have moved beyond the days of printing brochures on recycled-content paper or collecting soda cans for recycling.  In today’s Green marketplace, event organizers have developed a myriad of ways in which we can THINK GREEN! for our meetings and events in order to conserve energy, reduce waste, and preserve our natural resources.

Why GREEN Meetings?

Bringing people together for meetings for multiple days at a time can create a host of environmental impacts — from the smog and greenhouse gas emissions associated with air and ground travel to the paper, plastic, and food waste associated with feeding attendees.

What are GREEN Meetings?

Green Meetings are gatherings of people for the purpose of the exchange of information where, through careful planning, negative impact on the environment is minimized.  Today the opportunities to green meetings and events are almost limitless, often offering ways to save money and increase efficiency in the process.

What can you do?

We encourage you to ask hotels, conference centers, and other key suppliers for GREEN processes.  This is the key!  Asking is the first step in showing there is a demand for reduced environmental impacts associated with a meeting.  Below are some tips you can use to further Green meetings.  We also encourage you to use  suppliers who have been certified Green by the American Consumer Council.  Visit www.americanconsumercouncil.org/green for more information.

Simple steps to green meetings and events:

Location:

  • Select locations that minimize the distance the attendees have to travel.

Accommodations:

  • Choose a hotel that has energy and water conservation programs.
  • Make certain that there are recycling and waste minimization programs in place.
  • Donate used amenities (soap, bottles, etc.) to charitable organizations.
  • Give hotel guests the option to reuse towels and sheets.
  • Utilize paperless check-in, checkout, and billing procedures to minimize use of paper.

Transportation:

  • Locate meetings within walking distance of area restaurants and attractions

Food and Beverage:

  • Use cloth instead of paper napkins, and reusable plates, cups, and silverware.
  • Serve sugar, creamers, and condiments in reusable dishes rather than packets.
  • Provide drinking water in pitchers or large reusable containers instead of small plastic bottles.
  • Donate surplus food when possible to local shelters and food banks.
  • Look for meeting rooms with recycling bins and put recycling containers in visible locations, posted with a list of all items that can be recycled.
  • Use generic directional signage that can be reused.

General Office Practices and Communications:

  • Use electronic communications over paper whenever possible.
    • online registration
    • e-mail confirmations
    • electronic agenda and presentations
    • disk or USB handouts after the meeting
    • exhibit floor plans and exhibitor service kit items on your website
    • post minutes and other handouts via web access
  • Recycle plastic name badge holders.
  • Use double-sided copies.

Additional Ideas:

  • Organize an environmentally friendly activity such as cleaning up a park or planting trees.

By incorporating these recycling and conservation tips into your meetings, you and your organization can contribute to a healthier planet.  CRI Global and its meeting partners strongly encourage you to go GREEN!