As green meetings become the standard, there are always new ways to incorporate sustainability that some planners have yet to consider.
Agnès Canonica, CMP, CMM, HMCC, global account director, corporate meetings and events, for MCI USA, shares some of the actions she’s put into play at recent meetings, as she strives to plan more sustainable meetings in the new year.
- When contracting a venue, integrate your environmental requirements in writing on your addendum
- When doing an incentive at a “beach” destination, provide attendees with sunscreen that does not contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate.
- Eliminate all plastic bottles (water/soda/juices), plastic straws and coffee stirrers. Not only are there a variety of alternatives, but there are a variety of hotel brands that have already made the commitment to go plastic-free making it easy on meeting planners looking for venues with similar values.
- Use name badge holders that are biodegradable.
- When using disposable dinnerware, use new generation products that are made of vegetable starches
- If staff or giveaway t-shirts are needed, opt for an organic cotton, locally made product.
- Cut down animal products (and by-products) for meals and request organic ingredients whenever possible.
- During breaks, try to avoid using pre-packaged, single-portion snacks. Instead, opt for bulk foods like nuts, trail mixes or granola. Nicely chopped fruits and veggies are also easy to provide without the added plastic waste.
- CSR projects make for a better community and can even be sustainable if you offer one that involves attendees working in a community garden or doing some sort of environmental restoration work.