by Lisa Grimaldi | August 01, 2006

The following checklist is based on the Green Meetings Report, which was created by the Green Meetings Task Force of the Washington, D.C.-based Convention Industry Council;

Site Selection

  • Consider destinations with facilities compatible with the event’s purpose and the group’s environmental policy.
  • Contact the local convention and visitors bureau and/or destination management companies to assist in sourcing venues and suppliers that have environmental practices in place.
  • Consider cities with mass-transit systems that connect major venues with each other and with key transportation hubs (i.e., airports, train stations).
  • Venue Selection

  • Ask hotels about their environmental practices. Let potential properties know the group’s environmental policy and goals for the event; ask them how they can help you achieve them.
  • When drawing up the contract, include a clause requiring the property to comply with the meeting sponsor’s environmental requests.
  • Consider properties that offer:
    1. A recycling program for paper, metal, glass and plastic;
    2. Guest rooms with dispensers for soaps and shampoos;
    3. A linen and towel reuse program.

    Food and Beverage

  • Inform the catering manager of your environmental goals; ask about the venue’s environmental practices.
  • Include a clause in the contract that requires the caterer/F&B department to comply with the host organization’s environmental requests.
  • Trade Shows

  • Inform all the exhibiting organizations of the event’s environmental strategies.
  • Include a clause in the exhibitor agreement that confirms their commitment to comply with the event’s environmental requests. Ask them to:
  • Minimize use of collateral materials;
  • Minimize packaging;
  • Use recyclable booth materials;
  • Try to use recycled or edible products as giveaways.
  • Provide press kits and communication materials via PDA downloads.
  • Inform facilities and decorators of the environmental strategies the event is considering, and ask about their environmental practices.
  • Include a clause in the agreement with the facility and/or decorator to:
    1. Provide recycling for cardboard, pallets, paper, cans, plastic, glass and other recyclable materials;
    2. Ensure cleanup crews are trained to keep recyclable and reusable items out of the garbage;
    3. Choose decorations and display materials that can be reused or recycled.

    Ground Transportation Selection

  • When choosing a ground transportation firm for your event, consider companies that have responsible environment policies. Look for firms that:
    1. Recycle their used oil, vehicle batteries, antifreeze and tires;
    2. Follow environmentally responsible maintenance and operation practices, including minimizing idling by drivers through raised awareness and incentives; performing regular maintenance and emissions testing of vehicles; using re-refined oils, and using vehicle air conditioners judiciously.