Green Meetings

How Green are your meetings? What are the latest practices in the area? Planners need to be ready to demonstrate how they are making their meetings "greener". Check out the articles below for some ideas and best practices.

Resources for Planning a Green Meeting

Events Industry Council Sustainable Event Standards: More than 100 of the industry's leading practitioners contributed to the development of the new standards, which have ben purposefully designed to increase sustainable practices across the events industry.

Want to benchmark your green initiatives against other industry events? Visit www.meetgreen.com, where you can use an online calculator to see how your meeting fares. (There is a cost to use this tool).

The Convene Green Alliance is a grassroots environmental organization initiated by the association and meetings communities. It was formed in 2007 because “there was no place for associations to get together and develop environmental policies,” says Director of Development Scott Lindley. “It is also a forum for vendors to promote environmental programs to the association community.” Check it out at www.convenegreen.com.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ promotes sustainable green building and development practices. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Check it out at www.usgbc.org.

Want to know what a “carbon offset” is and how it can help the environment? Find out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset.

Green Seal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. It certifies a wide range of products. Visit www.greenseal.org.

Looking for green vendors? Search the National Green Pages to find green, healhty, and ethically produced products for home or work. The businesses featured here have earned Green America's Green Business Certification, so you can be sure they are dedicated to building an economy that works for people and the planet. Find it at greenamerica.org“Simple Steps to Green Meetings and Events,” authored by Amy Spatrisano, CMP, and Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, and published in 2007.

The green meetings area is a rapidly evolving field. But the Convention Industry Council Green Meetings Report, published in 2004, still contains valuable information and guidance. Find it at .

A sustainable meeting is defined as a "meeting that incorporates environmental considerations throughout all stages of the meeting in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment." Find case studies, sustainable event tools and a calculator to determin your Event Footprint at
Green Meetings.

Resources for Resourceful Hospitality Firms

Here's just a sampling of the hundreds of resources available for use in environmentally sustainable projects.

U.S. Green Building Council offers rating systems including LEED-EB for Existing Buildings and LEED-NC for new construction. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemT is the national benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. http://www.usgbc.org

Green Hotels Association. This Houston-based GHA offers members guidance in energy conservation, refurbishing and new construction. Resources include instructive member case studies, such as that about the 33-story W Dallas Hotel. The property generated energy even before it opened by using wind-farm energy during construction - reducing costs and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 674,000 pounds. http://www.greenhotels.com

Global Stewards Practical steps for going green. http://www.globalstewards.org/hotel.htm

Green Globe Environmental reports, benchmarking and certification programs responsible behavior across the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental management. greenglobe.com

The International Hotels Environment Initiative source of international news, case studies, cost saving techniques. http://www.ihei.org

Luna Textiles designs fashion-forward sustainable upholstery, curtains and other textiles. http://www.lunatextiles.com

Project Planet linen and towel reuse program. With estimate average guest participation rates between 68 and 72 percent, hotels save money in reduced water, energy, labor, detergent and deferred sheet/towel replacement. The program, whose members include New York's chic Park Central Hotel, claims to save 6,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent monthly for an average-sized 100-room hotel. http://www.projectplanetcorp.com

Sun-filtering film on windows and low e-coated windows. .3M Prestige spectrally selective, nanotechnology window films cut heat radiation from the sun, eliminate most damaging UV radiation, remain nearly clear to normal daylight, and disguise interior clutter and non-uniform drapery. Energy savings is equivalent to about one ton of air conditioning for every 100 square feet of glass exposed to sunlight. Another choice with payback potential within 14 or so months is Panorama architectural window films from Bekaert https://solargard.com/panorama/

Material ConneXion. Global knowledge of new and innovative materials for design and architecture. http://www.materialconnexion.com

Occu-Smart motion sensor-controlled bi-level lighting. Recently enhanced, it offers energy savings of up to 85 percent. http://www.lamarlighting.com

Some of the above articles and links were submitted and posted as a resource for meeting professionals with the permission of Robin Tierney and the HSMAI Marketing Review Magazine.

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