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July 21st, 2009

Green Your Event

Conference Planning

  • Select venues that are centrally located with multiple hotels and restaurants within a reasonable walking distance (walking is healthy, too).
  • Encourage the use of public transportation through selection of well-situated venues.
  • Consider devising a Carbon Offset program to offset attendees’ travel.
  • Find local vendors for convention rental needs, and request that they also use local subcontractors and inventories.

Transportation and Logistics

  • If you must coordinate transportation for attendees, develop schedules with shuttle companies or contract with an event transportation specialist.
  • Give attendees directions to event via various routes using public transportation, pedestrian routes and bicycle paths.

Registration, Communication & Logistics

  • Codify your firm’s commitment to sustainability by posting your policies and procedures on the conference website. (Read CRE’s own “green statement”)
  • Use e-mail and web forms to register attendees, confirm attendance and communicate with vendors and support personnel.
  • Get reusable badge holders with lanyards to reduce ID to a single, small printed area, and ask attendees to return holders after the event. Provide multiple, convenient and accessible drop-off locations.
  • If you do not eliminate conference bags entirely, then ensure that they are made of post-consumer and/or sustainable materials.
  • Reduce or eliminate paper, ink and print processes for conference agendas and programs, offering them online, via conference WiFi, or on a disk or thumb drive.
  • If you must print materials, use double-sided design with post-consumer-content paper and vegetable or soy ink.

Presentations, Meetings & Meals

  • Print any required signs and banners on recycled paper and allow for reuse by leaving off dates. Consider using a small projector to project banner or signage.
  • Only use energy- and environmentally-efficient office equipment at the event, if any.
  • Develop and implement a recycling program inside the meeting venue starting the first day, and promote it unceasingly.
  • At meals, use no disposable items, not even paper napkins, and instruct servers to give water only on request, to speakers on the dais as well as attendees at the tables.
  • Encourage presenters, speakers and exhibitors to offer materials online, on a disk, on flash memory (custom thumb drives), or via conference WiFi.
  • Provide reusable mugs or water bottles for attendees’ use during the entire event, and set up “water stations” for refills.
  • Consider enlisting the help of a professional, reputable event production firm, such as CRE, to ensure the best possible results.

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