Thursday, August 27, 2009


That is how many total participants attended meetings where MeetGreen coordinated the sustainability efforts (among other things) from 2007 through today. This statistic was gathered for the annual CSR report we are working on. I was amazing and shocked!

187,804 people influenced by attending a meeting or event where green meeting practices were in place.

  • Where they learned why doing without individual water bottles and styrofoam was a good idea
  • Where they first experienced they could do without lots of handouts and huge proceedings
  • Where they walked instead of taking shuttles (earning prizes and trim waistlines)
  • Where they reused their towels and sheets and complained if they were changed
  • Where they stood in front of several bins and made the decision to recycle instead of send trash to a landfill--thanking us for the opportunity to make the choice.

We are just one organization planning meetings. Add to this all of the meeting participants you convene and those of your peers. Add to this all of the planners we know through professional industry organizations and all of their participants.

Never underestimate your sphere of influence!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Doing The Right Thing

If your organization is incorporating volunteer work, food donations or benefit events in your meetings, you are not alone! A recent survey by Meetings & Conventions Magazine of 156 planners shows 51% have done just that. In fact, 62% are planning to increase volunteer/charitable activities.

One other wonderful statistic is 50% of those surveyed work for organizations who now have corporate social responsibility policies. If you don't know if your organization has a CSR policy (as 10% weren't sure), it is time to do some research. Knowing the CSR policy can help you engage key stakeholders in the meetings arena. Where better to show how your company is "doing the right thing" than in the meeting/event forum?

Sponsorship Tip: Take a look at your potential sponsor's CSR policies. Use them in discussions as you invite them them to join you in showing good corporate citizenship through sustainable meetings!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Get In The Zone!

The Eco-Event Zone that is.

What is an "eco-event zone"? It is where multiple organizations are planning meetings in the same city and work together on greening initiatives. These zones started as a natural outcome of planners at the Green Meeting Industry Council conference discussing which cities they were going to next and what greening practices either were available or needed to be put into place. As they talked, they realized their incredible collective buying power and the influence they could have over local venues and vendors. They worked together to make change--all for one and one for all.

There is a case study reflecting a recent eco-event zone in Corporate Meetings & Incentives

Want to be in the "Zone"? Ask the CVB who else is coming to their fair city and talk to other planners at industry meetings. It is easy to get started working together!

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Offer I Wouldn't Refuse

Thanks to Glenn Hasek at Green Lodging News for this story....

The Sheraton Seattle and Sheraton Kauai Resort launched a pilot program called “You Tidy, We Treat.” Now known as “Make a Green Choice,” it gives guests the option of not only opting out of towel and linen replacement but also all housekeeping for a day.

Guests can choose to participate in the program for one night or up to three nights at a time during their stay. To participate, guests must hang a “Make a Green Choice” card outside their guestroom door before 2 a.m. Guests are not eligible for the program the night before checking out of the room. For each night they participate, guests are given a $5 gift card to use at any of the hotel’s restaurants. Guests also have the option of receiving 500 Starpoints as part of Starwood’s loyalty program.

I would happily take a $5 gift card for a service I don't really need while traveling. Another example of a green idea which also saves hotel labor and makes customers happy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Speak now or...

The industry green meeting standards are ready for your input! All nine sectors of the green meeting standards drafts will be launched both on the APEX website and through ASTM process on August 12. This comment period is open for 30 days and you are encouraged to visit to add your comments to the standards.

You're also encouraged to become an ASTM member ($75 a year) if you want to be able to cast your vote (Steve Mawn at The standards are currently on track to be launched as in their finished form by the end of 2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

There's Nothing Like It

A bit off the topic today, but not really. I am enjoying all of the fresh fruits and vegetables the season has to offer (thanks to my garden and the local farmers market).

This musing started because I was indulging in a tomato straight from the vine. Indulging is the right word as the taste, smell and entire experience was amazing. The plump, red morsel displayed very little resemblance to the hard, tasteless vegetable we find on salads at many banquets and restaurants.

We could talk here about supporting the local farmer, or food miles, or cost of organics but what it really comes down to for me is the experience--and I want my guests to have the same one.

It is a good reminder that something we make so complicated with all of our sustainability talk is really so simple.

Don't even get me started on the strawberries...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Celebrating Success!

The Oregon Chapter of the Green Meeting Industry Council held it's inaugural meeting on July 15th. It was an amazing event with over 100 green meeting planners and suppliers in attendance. What a way to kick off the Oregon Chapter!

Megan Rooksby, Oregon Chapter President, has incredible passion and enthusiasm for sustainable meetings. She was integral in rallying the local meeting community and forming the first chapter.

Congratulations, Megan, your success is showing!