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Green tips for Meetings and Conferences

 

Meetings are a regular part of the work week for many. Conferences allow professionals to get together and share ideas and form new partnerships. These events can involve a lot of travel and use of energy, and can produce a lot of waste. There are simple things that we can do to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of these events. Here are some tips for greening your meetings and events:

  • Avoid travel by using teleconference and video conference technology when possible.  All government workplaces now have Live Meeting, a simple way to connect with co-workers in other offices.  Get familiar with Live Meeting.
  • Have an environmental guidebook or policy for the event to guide the suppliers, delegates and speakers.
  • Checkout the sustainability practices of the potential venue. Hotel Association of Canada has the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.
  • If printing materials, print on both sides and keep document size as small as practicable. Use 100% post-consumer recycled paper (made from waste paper discarded by end users) when possible.
  • Have your food and beverage suppliers use bulk dispensers for water, sugar, salt, pepper, cream and other condiments. Using water jugs is a Manitoba government policy now!
  • Have visible and accessible services for reduction, reuse and recycling at the meeting or conference venue.
  • Ensure that lights and air conditioners are turned off when not needed and heating is properly set.

Resources

Canadian Evaluation Society – Checklist for planning, executing, and evaluating a "green" conference.  http://comm.eval.org/resources/viewdocument/?DocumentKey=249ac290-8962-4bd6-bf28-3be2294f1d9e

 

Blue Green Meetings – Ten easy tips for green meetings. http://www.bluegreenmeetings.org/HostsAndPlanners/10EasyTips.htm

 

Social Economy Centre, University of Toronto – a checklist on organizing green conference adapted from The Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication Steering Committee Green Conference Guide.  http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/pdfs/greenchecklist.pdf

 

Environment Canada – The Green Meeting Guide of Environment Canada provides extensive guidance and comprehensive check list on planning and organizing green meetings.  http://asi.abelearn.ca/UserFiles/Servers/Server_118790/File/ASI_DataStick_2008/Green_Meeting_Guide_07.pdf

 

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Canada – In line with Greening of Government initiative, DFAIT has developed a Green Planner for Conferences, Large Meetings and Events. http://www.international.gc.ca/enviro/sustainable-durable/green_meetings-ecologisation_des_reunions.aspx?lang=eng&view=d