Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Carrot or The Stick?

How do you change behavior on a long-term basis? Are rewards for new behavior important? Should personal and business behavior be addressed simultaneously?

A recent study by the European Commission, Environment DG asked these questions and looked at fourteen policies and incentive schemes in the UK aimed at promoting environmental behavior. The study suggests that future policy-makers can learn lessons from past successes and failures by understanding barriers and ways of overcoming these.

It provides seven key recommendations for encouraging environmentally responsible behavior:

1. Target audiences are more likely to adapt in line with a policy when they have been involved in its development
2. Policies need to pull in the same direction and convey a consistent message to appear legitimate to their target audience
3. Organisations need to have the relevant skills, resources and capacities to take on additional duties resulting from new policy initiatives
4. Policies are more effective when responsibility for delivery is given to locally accountable bodies
5. Policies are most effective when they simultaneously tackle several aspects of behaviour at multiple levels (a whole systems approach)
6. Effective policies must be context specific, while recognising the bigger picture
7. It is important to lead by example

For further information:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lights...Camera...Go Green!

Looking for environmental minimum guidelines for scenic and stage design providers; audio visual and video providers; and lighting and sound providers? If you are like us, finding comprehensive green AV and production guidelines has been difficult.

So we teamed up with Hollywood Lighting Services http://www.hollywoodlighting.biz/ on an AV Primer. The Primer was also vetted by industry peers (several folks from this group are set to serve on the APEX Panel to set standards for AV and Production.) Together we established both minimum and strongly recommended practices for ourselves, our clients and now you to use. This Primer will serve as a great resource for planning green meetings and the guidelines can be added to your requests for proposals for vendors. Use them as benchmarks for existing events as well!

For a FREE copy, contact Hollywood Lighting Services at production@hollywoodlighting.biz or download from the Meeting Strategies Worldwide MeetGreen Toolbox page at https://www.meetgreen.com/toolbox.php

Monday, July 21, 2008

Convention Centers Prove Green is the New Black

Finally, proof from convention centers that green meetings are also an economic advantage...

The Oregon Convention Center reports that its recycling and other eco-minded practices will pay a $62.3 million dividend to the local economy. The nearly 30 events planned through 2010 will pay more than $4 million to use the convention center. Thanks to the magic of economic multipliers, visitors will spend enough on shopping, dining and lodging to send a $63.2 million wave of activity through the economy. (source: Portland Business Journal)

The San Diego Convention Center impressed me during a recent site inspection. From the General Manager to the Operations team, they are “walking the talk” and continuously looking for ways to improve their environmental performance. The energy efficiency systems now in place save money and the planet—and they have the measurements to prove it! This website talks about their policies as well as providing a downloadable fact sheet. http://www.sdccc.org/meetingplanners/greenmeetings.cfm

The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, which has made environmental sustainability a priority for more than 20 years, is reconfirming their commitment and tripling its capacity to make it one of the greenest convention center’s in the world. Take a look http://www.vcec.ca/ I can personally attest to this. Way back in 1998 during a site inspection for a technology conference, they proudly offered me their environmental policies without being asked!

Sustainable for business…sustainable for the environment! Let’s hear from others...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Toot Your Own Horn

You’ve done the hard work--set up minimum guidelines for your meetings, put green meeting practices in place, measured the outcomes and took a huge step towards saving our planet. Now it’s time for a pat on the back and recognition for making a difference. If you are like most meeting planners, recognition doesn’t come along very often. So here’s your chance to share what you have accomplished!

PCMA has just announced an “Environmental Leadership” Award with the following criteria.

PCMA presents this award to an individual or organization who best implements their policies of environmental sustainability. An organization is defined as any company that serves the meetings and convention community, as well as any non-profit association or affiliated chapter. The award recipient will be involved in demonstrating environmental leadership by executing an "environmentally friendly" meeting/event or have implemented a "environmentally friendly" business practices into their workplace. This recipient has established and implemented detailed environmental policies and a strategy to execute them.

Here’s the link with all the details

See you on the red carpet!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime...and The Livin' Is Easy

The long, hot days of summer are a perfect time to relax and enjoy live music in a beautiful outdoor setting! And that is exactly what I did this weekend. Even while relaxing I had one eye on the environmental practices taking place at the festival. I just can’t help myself, I truly am a MeetGreen Martyr.

The good news is, Pacific Northwest festivals and events are really going green this summer! Hopefully, you are seeing this as well in your area. If you are organizing an event here are the….

Top Ten Things You Can Do

1. Talk to your waste/recycling hauler early in the planning process to develop a recycling program
2. Hire/appoint a recycling coordinator
3. Purchase green power for the stage and lighting
4. Use biodiesel to power generators
5. Ask food vendors to serve local, sustainable food
6. Do not allow vendors or the venue to serve food in Styrofoam and non-recyclable plastics
7. Provide incentives for the audience to use mass transit
8. Purchase carbon offsets to mitigate the travel by artists
9. Develop talking points for the artists to discuss what is being done to green the event
10. Get started. Choosing even one idea from this list will have a huge impact. Measure what you have done and build on it next year.

Thanks to Stages Northwest for this list. They have additional resources available at

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Big Apple Says "Serve Apples"

The New York State Department of Health has developed a general set of guidelines for healthy meetings. Many of the healthy meeting guidelines are also green meeting guidelines (imagine that!) Here are some of the recommendations for planners:

- Serve local fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
- Serve fruit juice or unsweetened iced tea instead of soft drinks.
- Present a vegetarian option at all meals.
- Feature soups and sauces made from a base of vegetables.
- Provide space on the registration forms where attendees can indicate dietary restrictions.
- Place pitchers of water in meeting rooms.

Healthy on so many levels!