This week in ClimatePULSE we take a look at some of the best techniques for hosting an environmentally friendly conference or event. Given the current hysteria surrounding corporate sustainability projects, the simple task of promoting your organization’s green goodwill through hosting enviro-friendly events is often overlooked. So just how do you easily conform to environmentally sound behavior? It’s quite simple. Without overlooking the importance of ditching bottled water, there are 5 simple steps your company can take to portray a green image at your next big conference or meeting. Check below for the top solutions.
1. Location, location, location – Choose a venue and destination city that is both easily accessible by public transport and direct flights (if attendees are flying in for the event). Multiple take-offs and landings are particularly bad as far as air travel emissions are concerned. If possible, also choose a venue that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and one that employs energy efficient practices (i.e. heating). The venue should also have plenty of naturally lit meeting spaces.
2. Food and Beverage – At your event, you could take your dedication just a step further than eliminating bottled water, disposable cups, plates, and utensils. One such step would be to request locally produced food and beverage to reduce transportation emissions. You could also meet the high expectations of even the finest green event connoisseurs by establishing a compost program for all food waste. Composting can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and subsequently reduce methane emissions (that nasty smelling and very potent greenhouse gas).
3. Transportation – In addition to providing a convenient and accessible location for your event, offer guests the choice to attend the event via video conferencing. Create a shuttle service for your event from your major accommodation locations and take it a step further by using alternative fuel vehicles. Alternatively, you could offer free public transport passes for your participants.
4. Accommodation – Provide participants with a list of accommodations proven to have sound environmental policies and practices. One of the best options (and most convenient for your participants) would be to establish group deals with hotels that are within walking distance of the venue.
5. Procurement – In lieu of handing participants a 248-page booklet that they will most probably ditch at the end of the day, let participants have the option of receiving all that same material on a USB key (conveniently scribed with your organization’s logo). This is a surprisingly cheap alternative, not to mention excellent marketing opportunity, since participants will likely use the device for months or years to come. Also aim to use Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled paper and printers/photocopiers that are Energy Star compliant.
Holding and promoting a low-carbon event can not only help raise awareness of climate change issues, but promotes a positive image for you, the host. You can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and inspire participants to choose low-carbon options in their own lives.
ClimateCHECK is a greenhouse gas (GHG) management services and solutions company. The firm’s solutions support all facets of the carbon commodities market, including the verification, validation and consultation of GHG inventories and program portfolios, as well as quantification protocols for emissions reduction projects and clean technologies. ClimateCHECK is a sponsor and co-founded, with World Resources Institute and Carbon Disclosure Project, the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (www.ghginstitute.org). Founded in March 2007, the company has locations throughout North America. For more information visit www.climate-check.com