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Greening the Meeting. . . Implementing Sustainable Practices in Meeting & Event Planning . Greening the Meeting & Event ... What Does it Mean?.

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Greening the Meeting. . .

Implementing Sustainable Practices in Meeting & Event Planning


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Greening the Meeting & Event ...What Does it Mean?

. . .To implement sustainability into all aspects of the meeting & event planning process: from planning to procurement, organization to management, design to execution.

Sustainability encompasses our efforts to preserve natural resources & support local & global communities. We accomplish this by making changes that result in less damage to the environment & increased awareness of our impacts on various populations.


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Sustainability. . .What Does it Mean?

The Three Ps: People-Planet-Profit. . .The Three Es: Earth-Economics-Ethics. . .The Integrated Bottom line. . . Social & Environmental Responsibility. . .

Meeting Our Needs Without Compromising the Ability of Future Generations to Meet Their Needs. . . Increasing Stakeholder Value. . . Considering Our Actions Seven Generations Hence. . .

Restoring Natural Capital. . .Shrinking our Ecological Footprint. . . Reducing our Carbon Emissions. . .Redefining Prosperity. . .


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Why Should We Be Sustainable?The Economic Imperative. . .

90 percent of the 140 largest American companies indicate enhancing or protecting reputation was their primary reason for adopting environmentally responsible practices.

89 percent believe sustainability will grow in importance as a business issue over the next 5 years.

Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2002


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Why Should We Be Sustainable?The Environmental Imperative. . .

“Climate change is for real. We have a small window of opportunity & it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose. . ..We are risking the ability of the human race to survive.”

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chairman


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Why Should We Green Our Meetings & Events? The Economic Imperative. . .

  • There is a growing market for green meetings & events.

  • Local & regional governments are educating & compelling meeting/events facilities to reduce their waste stream or face steep disposal costs.

  • Corporations & associations are feeling pressure from shareholders & members to demonstrate environmental responsiveness & corporate responsibility in all activities, including events & meetings.

  • Organizations are being increasingly pressured to tighten event planning & meeting spending.


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Why Should We Green Our Meetings & Events? The Environmental Imperative. . .

A typical 5 day conference for 2,500 attendees will use 90,000 cans or bottles, 75,000 cups & 87,500 napkins.

Meeting Strategies Worldwide, 2003

In order to continue to enjoy the quality of life we treasure, we need to reduce our use of resources & the amount of waste that results from meeting activities.


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Why Should We Green Our Meetings & Events? The Sustainability Imperative. . .

75 percent of meeting & incentive travel buyers believed that issues of corporate social responsibility would become progressively more important every year.

In addition, 42 percent said that they already took environmental considerations into account when planning meetings, conferences, or incentive travel programs.

IMEX, 2006


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Measuring What Matters: Ecological Footprints

An Ecological Footprintis a measure of the amount of land and natural resources required to grow our food, sustain our lives, and absorb our waste.

If everyone consumed the ways Americans do, we would need six planets to sustain us.

We only have one.


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Measuring What Matters: Carbon Footprints

A Carbon Footprintis a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

The average persons total carbon footprint in the USA is about 19,000 kg per year. 

The average for all industrial nations is about 11,000 kg per year.

The world-wide average is 4,000kg per year.

To combat climate change, the world-wide average needs to be reduced to 2000kg per year.


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Case Study: Fairmont Hotels“Eco-Meet”

  • Fairmont Hotels pioneered the concept in 1998.

  • It was originally developed at Chateau Lake Louise, a landmark Canadian icon set within the UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site.

  • The goal? To help meeting organizers hold conferences which produced less waste.

  • The program comprises of four key components: Eco-service, Eco-accommodation,

    Eco-cuisine, Eco-programming


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Case Studies:Greening the Meeting & Event

  • San Francisco Hilton

  • National Hardware Show

  • Under One Roof

  • Pacific Asia Travel Association


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How Do We Green Our Meetings & Events?

  • Educate Employees & Supply Chain

  • Confirm Internal Buy-In & Supply Chain Commitment

  • Forge Sustainability Goals

  • Establish Benchmarks

  • Communicate Objectives & Minimum Criteria

  • Measure Results

  • Communicate & Celebrate Results


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Where Do We Green Our Meetings & Events?

  • Management & Organization

  • Communication/ PR

  • Materials, Décor & Landscaping

  • Transportation & Facilities

  • Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment

  • Accommodations

  • Energy & Water Conservation

  • Catering

  • Waste Disposal

  • Community Outreach


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Greening the Meeting & Event:Specifics

Review Handout


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Greening the Meeting & Event:Achieving a Balance

"Our client did not wish to acknowledge the additional workload that china cups created for our catering team. As a result, the client has shifted the financial cost to a human cost, a cost that we, the caterers, have to bear. This does not create an environment conducive to promoting environmental concerns.”

Nick Parker, Caterer


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Greening the Meeting & Event:One Step at a Time. . .

"You can spend years deliberating over something and never do it. We are a long way from being 100% green and there are some things. . . that I am embarrassed by. You cannot be perfect overnight, but it has to be an ongoing commitment to change."

Caroline Bennet, Managing Director, Moshi Moshi


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Greening the Meeting & Event:Questions & Answers

"The biggest challenge is that a lot of people have a huge amount of information on the subject but have to do their own interpretation of what people are telling them."

Professor John Forte,

Principal Consultant, Hospitable Climates


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Live as you wish the world to be. The rest will catch up. . .

“It seems to me a powerful message, worth repeating & repeating. . .

That people want peace, simplicity, beauty, nature, respect, the ability to contribute & create. These things are much cheaper & easier to achieve than war, luxury, ugliness, waste, hate, oppression, manipulation.

Some day, when everyone understands that nearly all of us truly want the same kind of world, it will take surprisingly little time or effort to have it.” Dana Meadows


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