written by
Simona Cherneva

5 Tips on how to plan a green meeting

Meeting Meeting Planning Meeting Venues 4 min read

The first month has passed since New Year´s Eve and by now most of our new year´s resolutions have vanished into thin air. Bringing a healthier lifestyle to the workplace, for example. But, keep it up! The ´healthy meeting´ trend is bound to continue well into 2022. How can you say that? Well, now more than ever, people are conscious of sustainability. A green meeting is prepared to minimize waste and take sustainable actions. Think from decreasing the variety of assets used to reusing recycled assets.

We are proud that Meetingselect is a strategic partner of the Hotels for Trees non-profit foundation, which directly contributes to a greener hotel world. A hotel world in which one new tree is planted each time a guest chooses to skip the daily room cleaning. The impact can be already seen on the Hotels for Trees website the next day and directly contributes to (re-)forestation. Did you know that a guest that stays the night at a hotel spends between 30kg up to 50kg in Co2? And did you know that a grown tree produces 20 kg carbon footprint reduction a year? So, let's all together contribute and build more trees as the world needs it. Follow the amount of Trees we have planted together https://hotelsfortrees.com/en/. We also have exciting news to share about Hotels for Trees. More news coming soon…

Furthermore, now it’s easier than ever to plan green meetings. We have to thank the amazing new innovations in sustainable technology and processes. A little goes a long way when it comes to sustainability. Just a few simple changes can make a big difference in your event’s carbon footprint. So, read on and check out our top 5 ideas on how to have a green meeting:

1) Ditch The Paper

Think about all the processes venues need to go through on a day-to-day basis and the time spent. Whether that’s with invoices, contracts, run sheets, menus or seating plans there are many opportunities to ditch the paper and go digital instead.

Contracts & Invoices: Instead of sending paper invoices, use tools like DocuSign or PandaDoc, which help you exchange contracts & proposals digitally.

Seating Tables & Charts: Skip ordering flip charts but select whiteboards. Did you know that you save 0.2 kg per unit in carbon footprint per flip over?

Invites & Badges: Do not send out paper invites if you can use tools like Swoogo to create online registration forms and email invites. If you are hosting a more important meeting or event within your venue, badges play a crucial role in facilitating networking. But instead of going with plastic badges and holders, why not try the sustainable alternative, e.g., badges made from corn starch. They are fully disposable.

Moreover, going paperless means you are embracing digital. And this, in return, sends a positive message to meeting and event planners looking to host meetings at your space. Going digital means you are ditching paper. And ditching paper means you are saving trees

2) Choose Green Travel & Transport

It’s no secret that multi-day meetings held at the same hotels have a lower carbon footprint as attendees don’t need to travel & they can stay where they already are. Encourage the meeting planner and the attendees to think green when making travel decisions. When promoting the best ways to reach the venue, think about the nearest walks or how to get to the venue by bike. You can even provide bike services to encourage attendees to roam around and explore the destination without causing additional pollution.

3) Recycle & Repurpose

It’s a no-brainer to ditch the paper napkins and plastic cups for cloth napkins and glasses that can be washed instead of thrown away. But there is more you can do when it comes to recycling waste. The more people inside your venue, the more rubbish. It’s key to provide visitors with easily accessible bins that are color-coded. Extra points for also labeling the bins clearly with descriptions of the type of items that can go in each bin.

4) Go Green with Your Food (Literally)

According to research done by The Guardian, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce the carbon footprint at events. So why not serve more vegetarian options or local produce that’s in season? Local foods have smaller carbon footprints and are often fresher and tastier, as well. Furthermore, Don’t let food go to waste. Why not donate leftovers to charities such as the Robin Food Kollektief. Many organizations are set up to support those who are unable to afford tasty and nutritious meals.

5) Conscious = healthy

Pause the green meeting for a social or sustainable team-building activity. There are more social and sustainability initiatives near to you than you might expect. In fact, fun and creative networking activities can be an opportunity for attendees to give back to the community, such as cleaning up the local beach or planting trees. Check out your local area and ask around in your network. Another great example of sustainable team-building activity is organizing city-wide scavenger hunts. That will get people moving, working collaboratively and exploring their environment.

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