When nearly 1,200 meeting professionals registered for the Meeting Focus webinar, “Sustainable Meetings: Going Green the Easy Way,” I knew their was a demand for basic information. During my presentation, I took a poll to confirm my suspicions.
Answering the question, “What are you already doing about green meetings?” the respondents replied:
14.88% Have a sustainability policy
23.72% Request the same minimum green practices each time
7.91% Measure and report on their green practices
53.49% Nothing yet, just getting started
Great news! Look how many meeting and event organizers are getting started putting sustainable practices in place.
I urge those of you beginning to learn about green meetings not to be overwhelmed and give up when reading about APEX/ASTM Standards, ISO 20121, GRI Reporting, or the UN Global Compact. The good news is that it is easier than ever before to get started making your events more sustainable. There is now a framework for what to request, vendors who are able to fulfill those requests, templates, forms, forums and an even an organization (Green Meeting Industry Council) devoted to supporting your efforts.
If you haven’t already watched the webinar, it would be a helpful place to start. The information should alleviate your concerns and give you some simple steps and resources to get you going. You might also want to check out the information and local events of GMIC http://www.gmicglobal.org/ . Additionally, please don’t hesitate to post questions to this blog, I will happily answer you.
Remember you are not alone and do not have to reinvent the wheel. If I have learned anything doing this work, it is that we have a strong community of passionate, committed, amazing individuals ready to share what they have learned.
Those of you who have been working with green meeting practices for a while, have a policy, measure and report, look around and find someone to mentor. Share your insights, teaching is the best way to learn.