Meeting Mentor Magazine

April 2021

Resources to Access

More Ways to Motivate and Measure
Green Initiatives in Meetings and Travel

Despite a struggling economy, green meetings and travel make sense, even more so when they can be measured and validated independently. American Express Meetings & Events Global Forecast found that 73 percent of meeting planners worldwide have a greater interest in using metrics to help make their events greener in 2012. Here are some helpful resources to access for ideas.

Meetings. Earlier this year, the Global Reporting Initiative published new guidance on sustainability activities in the events sector, covering business meetings, conferences and exhibitions. The Exhibit Organizers Sector Supplement defines how to provide qualitative and quantitative information on sustainability issues, from greenhouse gas emissions and waste to attendee travel and initiatives taken at the event to promote sustainability and transparency. The document’s framework breaks down step-by-step how to report an event’s green initiatives by strategy and analysis; organizational profile; scope and boundary; economic and sourcing indicators; and environmental impacts. It covers the complete project life cycle of an event from bid or tender to planning, execution and, finally, post-event.

Meeting the Future: The Sustainable Events Guide is a collaboration between the Green Meeting Industry Council and The Natural Step. It is designed to bridge the gap between the concepts around sustainability and their application to meetings and events, moving from basic principles to creating a baseline assessment, setting a vision, engaging stakeholders, and prioritizing actions, with step-by-step examples and case studies. Click here to access this free guide.

Travel. Companies are focusing on sustainability measures in their managed travel programs to generate savings, influence traveler behavior to make better decisions and establish relationships with green-friendly suppliers, according to Green Travel Policies Benchmarking Study by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Still, the United States remains behind Europe/Australia in sustainability. For example:

• Plan to incorporate more green measures — 52% Europe/Australia vs. 41% U.S.

• Anticipate using environmental sourcing criteria — 59% vs. 34%

• Participate in at least one travel-related sustainability initiative — 56% vs. 41%

Actionable ideas to improve green efforts in travel programs:

— Educating travelers about what they’re willing to do to help reduce emissions, like carpooling and actively promoting preferred vendors with green initiatives.

—Travel managers can request reports from contracted suppliers and clarify CO2 emissions on various transportation methods in traveler search tools so travelers can make the right decision.

Event experience. A free white paper describes the mobile game developed for Event Camp 2011, which promoted more sustainable behavior on site. Attendees accumulated points by completing challenges or uploading random acts of green to the mobile event gallery. Each act raised $1 for the local cancer foundation; 19 check-in codes hidden around the event site educated attendees about sponsors’ sustainability efforts; and a leaderboard in signage and on the mobile event app motivated participants. The results: 1,700 sustainability challenges were completed, raising $1,500 for charity. — Maxine Golding

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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