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Posts Tagged ‘ways to have green meetings’

How to Successfully Place CSR in Your Meetings

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Photo Credit: WEBN-TV

CSR, the common acronym for Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a popular trend in the meetings and events industry as more people from Generation Y enter the workforce (also known as a generation of “can-doers”) and the value of outside training seems to need a CSR component to it.

What are ways you can successfully adopt CSR initiatives into your meetings and conferences?

  1. Eco-friendly products - Purchase lanyards, USBs or other items that are made in the US and eco-friendly. It’s a small aspect of a meeting but attendees appreciate the value of eco-friendly items, if you choose to share this with them.
  2. Food miles play a role  – Choose suppliers such as caterers that use local ingredients. At NCC for instance, we often blog about how we grow our own herbs, established a farm to table program and did you know we recycle our canola oil? It’s used for tractors who harvest the corn for our canola oil – talk about a cyclical relationship.
  3. Venues – Is the venue going to have an impact on your organization’s reputation and/or corporate social responsibility? Choose a venue that can tell you about their green efforts and how they meet your objectives and uphold the reputation of your corporate social responsibility.
  4. Apps and Gaming – After Green Meetings Industry Council received overwhelming praise for their 2011 conference app Game On!, we can most likely expect to see a rise in conferences and meetings using apps for agendas, games, networking and more. It’s not only innovative but exhibits initiative in the future of green meetings.
  5. Donating in new ways  – Is it possible for you to arrange leftover banquet entrees to be donated to local charities? Worried about the legality and logistics of donating food to charitable organizations? Find out about the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act on the Feeding America website. Some donations could be as simple as reception centerpieces with fruit in vases – produce like oranges, grapefruits and avocados make ideal items that can easily be donated.
  6. Community service projects – Planners can implement community service projects in their meetings which educates attendees, creates last bonding experiences and many memories. Work with local chapters of a charitable organization where you’ll be meeting and volunteer in groups of teams.

What are some of your corporate social responsibility initatives when hosting meetings and/or conferences? Is it well-received by those attending? What’s your opinion on the subject?

Why Green Meetings Are More Affordable Than You Think

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

How will you embrace green meetings?

We couldn’t find a more appropriate time to blog about this than during the 2011 GMIC conference in Portland, Oregon. A common misconception with going green is that it requires more green ($) which is not always the case.

10 Affordable Ways to Green Your Meetings

  1. Choose water glasses or plastic keepsake bottles. Bottled water uses 2,000 more energy than pouring a glass of water from a pitcher or faucet. America comes in 1st place in number of yearly bottled waters (Water Facts).
  2. Seek sponsorship on give-away items. If it’s a green item, you’ll find that organizations are more likely to want to place their names on eco-friendly products and won’t mind pitching in the extra money.
  3. Ask for privately catered meals. Most likely a hotel producing large meal quantities can’t produce everything locally for an affordable CMP price, but if you request your meals (or some) to be privately catered with farm-to-table items, you’ll enjoy every bite knowing the meal has low food miles (how far it’s traveled to be with you).
  4. Double-check the green credentials. Hosting a meeting at a green hotel? Unless they’re LEED certified or have the Green Seal, verify exactly what about their property is green. Properties have been known to claim sustainability with no actual green initiatives in place.
  5. Refrain from putting the year on materials and lanyards. If you think you may use the same folders, lanyards, and more next year, help your items become reusable by not imprinting the year.
  6. Use QR codes. Instead of printing agenda and more which will be tossed, use QR codes. If the information changes, you’ll be able to update the link with out printing new copies. QR codes can be used in various ways, including a paperless registration – read how NCC is using QR codes in our Green Tour.
  7. Apps. Technology like Conference CO2 Calculator is helpful in measuring the carbon footprint associated with travel to  and from the event venue. Moonshadow Mobile, Assemble, & meetingapps.com are all great resources.
  8. Track your green travel. Using NuRide, you can be rewarded for how you travel. If you choose to walk, metro, carpool, or bike to your destination you’ll receive points for traveling “green” and also receive incentives in the meantime. You’ll also save money, too!
  9. CSR + Green. The two are very much intertwined with one another. CSR is not about publicity, but about giving back to the planet. Is your corporate social responsibility to host green meetings and/or ensure your travel is green? Make sure your CSR has a green component.
  10. Recycling. The simplest concept of all. If you absolutely must host your meeting at a venue that isn’t green, request for recycling bins from your conference manager on-site. Your group will do their part and possibly inspire the hotel or conference center to go green.