Our goal as meeting planners is to make our conferences exceptional events for participants. From the type of learning, to the networking activities, to the accommodations—the total experience is taken into account. We have heard a lot about the generational differences of the groups who participate and no where is it more apparent than in the environmental realm.

The younger the participant, the more environmentally savvy they are. Their expectations of environmental considerations throughout the meeting will be much higher. To them, it is a personal commitment. In his Earth Day 2008 Report, Joel Makower shares some important statistics:

“One in ten Americans say that they have looked up their personal or household’s carbon footprint, according to Harris Interactive. Younger Americans are more likely to have done so. Almost one in five (18%) Echo Boomers (aged 18-31) say they have looked up their carbon footprint, compared to 11% of Gen Xers (aged 32-43), 9% of Baby Boomers (aged 44-62), and 6% of Matures (63 and older). “

As new generations move into the role of conference participants, they will be expecting green meeting practices to be incorporated into how we do meetings. Yet another reason to embrace green meetings!