Green meetings are based on a sustainability framework which balances environmental, economic and social impacts in context of an organization's business needs. GlobalGoals uses a multi-phase approach to planning, managing and evaluating sustainable events within your meeting.
Step 1: Create a plan. (Management system approach) We identify your event's sustainability objectives, to include how each objective shall be achieved. We identify key performance indicators to track the success of your plan. Identify specific activities, (such as a certain percentage of waste diversion, percentage of local or organic meals, donations of excess supplies to local charities, etc.) the metrics for tracking, the outcomes you want to achieve for each objective identified and who is responsible for the end results.
Step 2: Engage internal stakeholders in supporting your plan. Establish a sustainable meeting policy for your team/department/meeting. Ideally, this policy will reflect your internal values of your company/organization to ensure that is supported by your event efforts.
Step 3: Engage vendors in supporting your plan. Survey current vendors as to best practices resulting in cost savings or cost neutral pricing and include sustainable language in all RFPs and contracts to include a required vendor “report back” with data needed to track performance goals.
(The first year is usually a benchmark year to evaluate, modify and expand in future years).
Step 4: Track your Performance. Just as we monitor our event budgets, we need to monitor and track the performance of our sustainability action plans.
Post Event -- ensure accurate reports to build on for future years.
Step 5: Communicate the Results, Celebrate the Success. While continuous improvement is always our goal as sustainability professionals; we also want to share the success of your action plan with attendees, vendors, media and the industry.
The more you can quantify your results in human scale terms (amount of $$ saved, amount of trees, amount of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere, pounds of donate surplus to local charities), the more engaged your stakeholders will be as we plan the following year.
Step 6: Be Innovative and Have Fun! This step may not technically be on the environmental management action plan; however, it is important for us as meeting professionals to enjoy what we are doing.
GlobalGoals wants to create rewarding experiences for all attendees. We have included:
A yoga break
A early morning hike or run (sometimes with a naturalist)
Human-powered energy stations
An organic wine tasting
Networking events that give back to the local community.
Fresh air makes us think clearly! We like to allow for some outdoor or nonscheduled activity time. Attendees appreciate any effort to take care of their sustainable needs.
This 6-step method of planning meetings was adopted from the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC).
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