Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Building More Sustainable Meetings

From the menu you offer to the impact of air travel on the environment, sustainable meetings are a hot topic these days. Check out this advice to get on the path to an eco-friendly event.

In recent years, the meetings industry has gotten more serious about sustainability, and more attendees are demanding green practices at events. If your organization wants to do its part and you’re not sure where to start, these articles from the ASAE and Associations Now archives can help you develop your eco-friendly strategy:

Sustainability Targets for Your Next Meeting. Sustainability is a big goal, so where should you focus your efforts? This list offers a good starting point, highlighting areas where you can cut back on waste—from plastic water bottles to leftover food to portable lithium batteries as swag items.

A Meeting Strategy for Your Environmentally Conscious Attendees. What if your attendees are worried about the impact of their travel on the environment? Coldplay had that issue in mind in November 2019, when it chose to perform free digital concerts instead of touring the globe. A few months later, the pandemic ushered in a wave of virtual events, but there are other ways you can diversify your conference offerings to appeal to carbon-footprint-conscious attendees.

AMCs Help Associations Green Their Events. This 2014 piece is worth returning to if your association outsources some of its events to association management companies. “You have to understand your members’ needs, focus on their needs, and tailor green initiatives to meet the needs of each individual conference and the members as a whole,” said Phelps Hope, then senior vice president of meetings for Kellen. “Green is not the same for all clients.”

How to Talk With Vendors About Environmental Goals. It’s one thing for your organization to be serious about the environment, but what about your vendors? This piece features conversations with multiple sustainability experts who offer smart insights. “Event organizers, supplier partners, education providers, and participants all have roles to play in achieving the sustainability goals for an event,” said Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, vice president of sustainability and industry advancement for the Events Industry Council.

Should Your Next Conference Have a Plant-Based Menu? Some organizations have started offering plant-based menus at events because of the environmental impact of meat production—the most notable example may be the 2020 Golden Globes. If you’re interested in bringing more vegetarian options to your next conference, this piece will point you in the right direction, whether or not the goal is to benefit the environment.

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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