Our corporate clients are on the cutting edge of sustainable events. They know how we meet matters, and their leadership drives the demand for sustainable initiatives. These organizations are changing the sustainable event scene forever through:
Significant buying power
In this post, we concentrate on three food-related “cool things our clients do” sustainable initiatives:
Serve One Plant-based Meal at Every Event
One high-tech software company with over 30,000 events per year mandating at least one plant-based meal is served at each event, and the carbon savings are tracked. The meal will include:
To accomplish this menu change often requires working with the chef to develop a menu that will satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Another positive consequence is the cost per meal should be lower without meat.
Use Reusable Service Ware at All Meal Functions
The Boise Centre has adopted sustainable service ware initiatives and works diligently to provide reusable service ware for events. It is an environmental savings, but it is also a more elegant way to serve guests. Doesn’t china service reflect better on your organization than feeding people on plastic or polystyrene?
In addition, a 4-day event for 400 people saved 236 kg of waste and 726 kg CO2e. That’s like taking a car off the road for 1,825 miles! (Source: EPA)
Eliminate Food Waste
Food waste has become a critical issue in sustainable events and the entire world. The solutions are complex and go beyond donating food from your event to solve the problem. Begin with tracking your history and ordering precisely what will be consumed, selecting food appropriate for your guests, and reducing serving sizes.
In the kitchen, imperfect produce and products are a win-win for reducing food waste. Chefs can also use an entire food product to reduce food waste. An example of this would be using the tops of the carrots as part of a sauce to avoid throwing them away.
The ReFED Food Waste Summit chef plans on using finely ground up eggshells from breakfast for another meal later in the day. The Summit is pioneering ways to eliminate the event’s food waste before ever reaching the compost pile.
These are just three examples of host organizations minimizing the environmental footprint of feeding participants. We would love to hear from you and share your strategies with the MeetGreen Community.
Note: some of the names of the companies have been removed due to NDA agreements.
Nancy J. Zavada, CMP Fellow, President, MeetGreen, is internationally recognized as an innovator in the sustainable event field. Nancy founded MeetGreen, a sustainable events agency in 1994. MeetGreen is certified as an ISO-20121 and Women-Owned Business. Nancy oversees sustainable initiatives for corporate and non-profit organizations. She co-founded the Green Meeting Industry Council in 2004 which is now part of Events Industry Council and has authored three books on sustainable events.