How Green are your meetings? What are the latest practices in the area? Planners need to be ready to
demonstrate how they are making their meetings "greener".
Check out the articles below for some ideas and best practices.
Resources for Planning a Green Meeting
The Convention Industry Council Green Meetings Task Force is working on industry best practices and standards for green meetings. Learn more at http://www.conventionindustry.org/StandardsPractices/GreenMeetings.aspx.
Want to benchmark your green initiatives against other industry events? Visit www.meetgreen.com, where you can use an online calculator to see how your meeting fares.
The Green Meeting Industry Council is leading the meeting industry in improving meeting management by supporting collaboration and the development and dissemination of resources and opportunities that improve the environmental performance of meetings and events. Check it out at gmicglobal.org.
Want to join an online discussion on green meetings? Be sure to visit blog.meetingstrategiesworldwide.com, where Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, moderates a blog on topics ranging from best practices to future trends in green meetings.
The Convene Green Alliance is a grassroots environmental organization initiated by the association and meetings communities. It was formed in 2007 because “there was no place for associations to get together and develop environmental policies,” says Director of Development Scott Lindley. “It is also a forum for vendors to promote environmental programs to the association community.” Check it out at www.convenegreen.com.
Looking to make your meeting or convention paperless? Be sure to read the Omnipress White Paper called “Debunking the Myths of the Paperless Conference.” http://blog.omnipress.com/bid/6255/Paperless-Conference-Fact-or-Fiction.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ promotes sustainable green building and development practices. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Check it out at www.usgbc.org.
Want to know what a “carbon offset” is and how it can help the environment? Find out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset.
Green Seal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. It certifies a wide range of products. Visit www.greenseal.org.
Looking for green vendors in California? The California Green Special Events & Meetings Resource Directory, also known as the CAL Green Pages, is a directory for the green market in California. Find it at www.cal-greenpages.com.
Need a detailed approach on how to run green meetings? Check out the book, “Simple Steps to Green Meetings and Events,” authored by Amy Spatrisano, CMP, and Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, and published in 2007.
The green meetings area is a rapidly evolving field. But the Convention Industry Council Green Meetings Report, published in 2004, still contains valuable information and guidance. Find it at http://www.conventionindustry.org/projects/green_meetings_report.pdf.
Resources for Resourceful Hospitality Firms
Here's just a sampling of the hundreds of resources available for use in
environmentally sustainable projects.
U.S. Green Building Council offers rating systems including LEED-EB for
Existing Buildings and LEED-NC for new construction. The Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemT is the
national benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high
performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to
sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable
site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and
indoor environmental quality.
Earning LEED Certification: By registering for and meeting criteria,
LEED-certified buildings reduce their operating costs, offer a healthier and
more productive environment, and conserve natural resources. 202-742-3780,
ENERGY STAR. This U.S. EPA program provides resources to help businesses
find and use innovative products and technologies to improve energy
performance. Resources include the Hospitality Benchmarking Starter Kit and
Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator to help make sound investments in energy
efficiency. By improving energy performance an average of 30%, hotels could
cut their collective annual electricity bill by nearly $1.5 billion - a
savings of nearly $365 per available room night per year for every hotel
room in the country.
Sustainable Travel Report: The U.S. Travel Data Center estimates that 43
million U.S. travelers are "ecologically concerned." Gain insight about
this fast-growing market segment from this responsible tourism e-newsletter.
Green Hotels Association. This Houston-based GHA offers members guidance in
energy conservation, refurbishing and new construction. Resources include
instructive member case studies, such as that about the 33-story W Dallas
Hotel. The property generated energy even before it opened by using
wind-farm energy during construction - reducing costs and cutting carbon
dioxide emissions by more than 674,000 pounds. http://www.greenhotels.com
Practical steps for going green. http://www.globalstewards.org/hotel.htm
Environmental reports, benchmarking and certification programs responsible
behavior across the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental
Alliance for Saving Energy
Resources to help hotels and resorts improve energy management, locate
energy-efficiency technology and service providers, and benchmark energy use
American Hotel and Lodging Association's Good Earthkeeping Alliance
The hospitality industry spends $3.7 billion a year on energy, yet much of
this goes to waste. In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's ENERGY STAR program, Good Earthkeeping provides tools and resources
to improve the energy and financial performance of hotels.
American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute
Books, pamphlets,and videos on hotel environmental management
State and Local Green Lodging Promotion Programs. Offsetting their
contributions to the economy, hotels are mass generators of solid waste and
mega-consumers of electricity and water. To encourage environmentally
sustainable efforts, government from Florida to California are offering
assistance and recognition programs.
Green Hotelier magazine video, "Going Green Makes Cent$", and "Green
Innovations", a directory of global environmental resources for hospitality
The International Hotels Environment Initiative source of international
news, case studies, cost saving techniques. http://www.ihei.org
Sierra Environmental Technologies is an environmental training, consulting,
and supply company that focuses on alternatives to hazardous and toxic
chemicals used in housekeeping, custodial and maintenance functions.
Luna Textiles designs fashion-forward sustainable upholstery, curtains and
other textiles. http://www.lunatextiles.com
Smart Systems energy management controls. After installation at 23 sites,
Accor (which owns Motel 6) saved an estimated annual equivalent of 200
Goodyear blimps-full of carbon dioxide, 129 hotel roomfuls of sulfer
dioxide, 1,182,784 gallons of water, and enough electricity to power 281
average homes for a year. This HVAC technology maintains in-room comfort
while cutting energy consumption by 30 to 50 percent, said president Bill
Dukes. "There's enough ROI to pay for [the system] in 18 months."
Project Planet linen and towel reuse program. With estimate average guest
participation rates between 68 and 72 percent, hotels save money in reduced
water, energy, labor, detergent and deferred sheet/towel replacement. The
program, whose members include New York's chic Park Central Hotel, claims to
save 6,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent monthly for an
average-sized 100-room hotel. http://www.projectplanetcorp.com
Continuous Commissioning. Developed by the Omaha Public Power District and
University of Nebraska/Lincoln's Energy Systems Laboratory, this new
engineering technology has been used in office buildings to improve indoor
air quality, reduce humidity and mold problems, improve occupant comfort,
cut utility costs 15 to 40 percent, reduce maintenance costs, extend
systems' useful life, minimize capital expenditures and shorten payback
periods to one to three years for properties that utilize central plants for
heating and cooling.
Durat Tubs, Sinks and Countertops. Made of 50% recycled content that's in
turn 100% recyclable, these stylish fixtures are newly in demand by boutique
hotel designers. Says Paddy Watson at Alterego, a Baltimore retailer of
sustainable building materials, "it's new, fresh, stylish, and when you
introduce sustainability, it completes the package." http://www.alter-e.com
Sun-filtering film on windows and low e-coated windows. .3M Prestige
spectrally selective, nanotechnology window films cut heat radiation from
the sun, eliminate most damaging UV radiation, remain nearly clear to normal
daylight, and disguise interior clutter and non-uniform drapery. Energy
savings is equivalent to about one ton of air conditioning for every 100
square feet of glass exposed to sunlight. Another choice with payback
potential within 14 or so months is Panorama architectural window films from
SunTracker ONE Daylighting. By capturing sunshine, this system provides
enough bright illumination that electric lights can be turned off for up to
12 hours a day. Appropriate for hotel public areas such as indoor pools and
atriums. Studies show that exposure to daylight results in improved
employee performance. http://www.natures-lighting.com
Material ConneXion. Global knowledge of new and innovative materials for
design and architecture. http://www.materialconnexion.com
Occu-Smart motion sensor-controlled bi-level lighting. Recently enhanced,
it offers energy savings of up to 85 percent. http://www.lamarlighting.com
SuperTerm Roof Coating. Ramada is among companies using this new insulating
and corrosion protection product for expanded roof life. "There's more
incentive now for hotels to take environmentally responsible [action], and
to advertise that they have done so," says, Hal McElroy, president, Superior
Coating Consultants Inc. http://www.spi.com
Ozone Laundry System. Around for 20 years, it's just now starting to catch
on. Says Trane energy engineer Peter Somers, "Things that used to have a
six-year payback now have a three-year payback." http://www.trane.com
The above articles and links were submitted and posted as a resource for
meeting professionals with the permission of Robin Tierney and the HSMAI
Marketing Review Magazine.