Greening your meeting

A green event is one designed, organised and implemented in a way that minimises negative environmental impacts. There can be many positives form doing this [1,2], including:

  • Cost savings – energy conservation, reduction of waste, purchasing local food products, and consuming less, can save money;
  • Positive reputation – a green meeting is a visible demonstration of commitment to environmental sustainability;
  • Awareness raising – organising an environmentally friendly meeting can be a good opportunity to raise awareness among participants, meeting organisers, and service providers, about the benefits of greener products and choices.

Steps that can be taken by workshops organisers include:

  • Choosing locations and venues to minimise local and long distance transportation needs for participants and products;
  • Where feasible, reducing paper use during the meeting;
  • Re-using as much material as possible from other meetings and/or future ones e.g. name badges, promotional material.
  • Encouraging participants to make more sustainable travel choices;
  • Avoiding the use of disposable items, use pre-used/recycled and reusable/recyclable products and reduce packaging needs. For example, avoid bottled water and plastic cups – instead use jugs of water, and glass or paper/recyclable cups.

References

[1] Green Meeting Guide 2009: Roll out the green carpet for your participants. UNEP DTIE & ICLEI (2009), pp72

[2] A nearly carbon-neutral conference model: white paper/practical guide.

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