A “green” or sustainable meeting “is one designed, organised and implemented in a way that minimises negative environmental impacts and leaves a positive impact for the host community”, says the Green Meeting Guide, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
A sustainable event should:
- minimise greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, and compensate for unavoidable emissions;
- minimise natural resource consumption and adapt demand to local supply;
- avoid waste generation where possible and reuse/recycle remaining waste;
- protect biodiversity, water, air and soil resources;
- allow the local community to benefit economically, socially and environmentally;
- encourage local sustainable development; and
- increase the awareness of sustainability issues among participants, staff, service providers and the local community.
- Despite pressure on businesses and organisations to cut costs, planners are increasingly being asked to minimise the impact of a meeting or event.
This trend reflects:
- the growing demand by consumers, stakeholders and investors to see more responsible behaviour;
- the rise in government incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon footprints; and
- more organisations finding that green and CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices can save them money and strengthen the bottom line.
Read more at Green Hotelier!