Meeting planners make countless decisions all day long, from venue and equipment to decorations and team-building activities. Now at the top of their list of considerations is environmental sustainability. For many years we at the venue booker have specialised in booking venues for green & sustainable business, see HERE.
Planning and executing a green meeting is becoming far more commonplace with companies looking to improve their environmental footprint and ultimately cut costs. Meetings produce an exorbitant amount of waste, whether it’s food, energy, water or even paper. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2012, Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons, a 34.5 percent recycling rate.
While we are making great strides in conservation, much more can be done. Meeting and event planners can really make their mark simply by asking the right questions when booking a venue.
Certified Green Business
Does the property hold an any Green Certification, see HERE for more details. Green Key is perhaps the most widely known of such certification schemes. Failing this do they at least publish an environmental statement.
What is the property doing to conserve energy? For example, at Cavendish Venues they use only green electricity, defined as being free of the governments carbon levy. Other common energy saving measures to look out for include only using LED bulbs, smart meters on all major items, energy reduction targets, occupancy sensors etc.
How aggressive is the property with regards to saving water? Are they using water saving toilets, offering delegates tap water rather than bottled water etc. A tip here, many venues use large water bottles as they want to save the labour involved in refilling any bottles with may need it. This in turn means that much water is wasted as it is not consumed.
Meeting planners should inquire about a property’s means of disposal. Are there composting and recycle bins around property and in the rooms? Are the restaurants on property composting? Does the venue have waste reduction targets in place?
Green properties should be using biodegradable and nontoxic cleaning products. Cloths napkins should be used as opposed to paper. Marketing collateral that must be printed should be printed on 100 percent FSC certified and recycled paper stock along with vegetable-based inks. Circular economy practises should be followed as far as possible ie recycled carpet tiles etc.
The restaurant should have a plan in place to offer sustainable meals. This means sourcing ingredients from local farmers and vendors. Is the property participating in local sustainable food initiatives? Do they strive to use local and organic ingredients whenever possible?
Does the venue have a policy of offsetting the carbon generated by its activities or maybe they have gone further and offset the carbon created by delegates travelling to and from the venue. Cavendish Venues invested in a bespoke calculator to assess how much carbon is generated and now a veritable forest to offset its see HERE.
It is the responsibility of all of us to do what we can in the fact of the climate crisis, these simple measures can make a huge difference. If you have any suggestions as to further measures that can be taken, venues which are following these measures etc, please get in touch with at the venue booker.
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