There is an old saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” and this old proverb is often true in the sustainability world. Making a difference, one event at a time has us focused on improving the social and environmental impact of our client’s events. We work with venues to increase their recycling rates. We work with caterers to serve more local, organic food. We work with hotels to provide low flow fixtures to save water. We ask participants to take public transportation.

So, recently, when the tables were turned and the City of Portland was asking us about our recycling, water use, renewable energy and community giving programs for the Sustainability at Work Certification, we were nervous about passing the test. After an application process, the auditor came to the Corporate Office for a site inspection and interview. It quickly became apparent that if sustainability wasn’t inextricably woven into our daily work lives, mission and corporate sustainability directive, we would have never passed. Just ticking off the easy boxes or giving up half way would not have resulted in the certification. It is really the culmination of years of the efforts of the entire team which lead to a Gold Certification.

Our reason for sharing this isn’t to build MeetGreen’s credibility but a more a personal reflection on what it takes to create, manage and evolve as a sustainable organization. If we had to pinpoint one essential component to our success it would be consistency. Consistency, the hardest part of any mastery as any athlete, scientist or artist will tell you. To show up every single day and do the routine tasks that in the long run will make a difference, even if it would be easier to toss instead of recycle that bottle or leave the computer on or use a paper towel instead of cloth. Consistency.

Like the cobbler in the old saying, after a day of helping others, it would be easy to overlook what is happening at home. So for us, this Gold Certification is solid proof we walk the talk and have the shoes to prove it!