6 Tips for Carbon Reduction at Events

Suppliers such as Carbonfund provide carbon offsetting and greenhouse gas reduction options.
Suppliers such as Carbonfund provide carbon offsetting and greenhouse gas reduction options.

While so much attention is focused on cutting down the waste produced at a meeting, there are many other contributors to an event’s carbon footprint. The sustainable meeting experts at Green Meeting Ninjas offer these 6 tips for carbon reduction:

  1. The carbon emissions from rail travel are significantly less than air travel. When applicable, why not offer to pay  for the value of a train ticket only, leaving it up to the attendee to pay for the difference if they choose to fly?

2. Choosing a hotel that has a respectable “greening” program in place will help you reduce your event’s impact. Look to the Green Key Eco-Rating Program or Bookdifferent.com, which report on the carbon footprints of thousands of hotels worldwide.

3. Try to source local fruit and vegetables that are in season. It may cost a little bit more, but it will definitely taste better. Also consider sourcing your beer, wine and spirits locally from one of the many craft breweries, wineries and distilleries popping up everywhere.

4. Different types of meat have different carbon footprints, too. Beef is the worst culprit in terms of carbon. Chicken would be a better choice. Better still would be MSC Certified Sustainable Seafood, such as oysters.

5. Include carbon offsets for attendees. There are many suppliers, such as Carbonfund, a nonprofit organization that provides carbon offsetting and greenhouse gas reduction options.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.