Nov. 19: Meeting professionals in Atlanta are getting together to form the first chapter of the Green Meetings Industry Council. President of the group will be Audrey Davies, senior manager of events management for The Home Depot. "We recognized that the meeting leaders in Atlanta were not only aligned with our mission and values, but also wanted to make an ethical commitment to a global movement," said Tamara Kennedy-Hill, the association's executive director. A GMIC chapter in Chicago is on the verge of launching, as well.
Oct. 29: The Green Meeting Industry Council has launched a new website in conjunction with an updated branding initiative. The new look can be found at the old address: www.greenmeetings.info.
Oct. 8: An effort to standardize sustainability practices in the travel and tourism industry was presented Monday at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain. United Nations Foundation founder and chairman Ted Turner, together with the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations World Tourism Organization, presented the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, based on best practices and existing standards. The criteria, which can be found at sustainabletourismcriteria.org, were developed over the past 15 months by a coalition of 27 travel- and tourism-related organizations from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Third-party planning firm Meeting Strategies Worldwide, whose principals, Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, and Amy Spatrisano, CMP, founded the Green Meeting Industry Council, has launched Best Places to MeetGreen (bestplacestomeetgreen.com). This free "green" destination-selection site uses two elements of MSW's MeetGreen Toolbox, the scorecard and the calculator. The scorecard ranks destinations' convention and visitor bureaus, convention centers and hotels with a green score, descriptions and green practices. The calculator allows users to evaluate destinations by entering the number of attendees coming from regions around the world and selecting cities they are interesting in using. A report is generated comparing the attendee travel footprint for each destination.