Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trashing the Competition

Not that we are a competitive group or anything, but the meeting/event industry folks are vying for "Top of the Heap" when it comes to diverting trash. GMIC reports since the Trash Action Challenge was announced:

33 Organizations/Companies have pledged to join

13 Events/Companies have already reported their measurements and

100 tons of trash has been diverted from the landfills--the same weight as a Boeing 757-200!

Visit the website to learn how to join in the fun http://www.trashchallenge.com/. Note: The website is currently being revamped to show you who the challengers are and total diversion numbers. Perhaps a "Crap-O-Meter" is in order?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Frequent Flyer Food

I have talked in my blog before about the fact that most of the food in the US travels 1,500 miles before it gets to our table. Greg Christian writing in an article entitled, Farm to Fork, from the June PCMA Convene drills down even further:

Food miles for items bought in a grocery store are about 27 times greater than food miles for goods bought from local sources. About 40 percent of our fruit is produced overseas. Nine percent of our red meat comes from locations as far away as Australia and New Zealand. The broccoli we buy at the supermarket travels an average of 1,800 miles to get there even though broccoli is likely grown within 20 miles of the average American's house.

Wow, another great reminder to ask your caterer to source food locally!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The New Green Lantern?

Here's a great case study about how sustainable lighting is not only efficient but also does cool tricks from Dwayne Thomas over at Hollywood Lighting Services!

“Bing,” Microsoft’s new “Decision Engine,” had just been launched and its marketing agency wanted to make a big splash. Bing has a distinctive logo that was presented in lights in a very large format for filming from a helicopter for future advertising use.
“It needed to be extremely bright and draw as little power as possible. As a bonus, we set out to create a logo display that could be animated.” Traditional projectors or video would not have done the trick and would have been prohibitively expensive, so we decided to take an approach that employed 100% LED technology.”

Ultimately, the Bing logo was created using (330) LED RGB fixtures, which were individually pixel-mapped to video (via media server) for amazing real-time effects. The fixtures were laid out to within a 1/4 inch tolerance on a lawn at Seattle Center using survey equipment, following a CAD layout that was created from a simple graphic image of the logo.

The LED logo array was over 90’ wide when finished, and the entire job was installed and ready to show in just over a day. “I credit great equipment and diligent pre-production processes,” said Tony Bove, HLS Seattle’s Creative Director and the project manager. “When we told the survey equipment provider that we intended to locate 330 points in about 6 hours, they laughed! But we got it done in plenty of time, and only had to relocate one fixture after the initial camera test.”

As seen in the event photograph, the beam of light from the logo compared very favorably in brightness to the nearby pod of (20) 7,000w searchlights (seen in the top right-hand side of the photo). However, the logo consumed on average about 20% of the energy of the searchlight beam, changed color and played back video signal, and of course, had the added bonus of actually spelling something!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere...

"and not a drop to drink"--as the saying goes. More information is coming out every day about the "water footprint" of things we consume. Sustainable companies (and individuals) are now taking a look at this metric. It is something green meeting planners may want to take into consideration.

Here is a great resource for information, case studies, and even calculators to help you learn more about why your water footprint is important http://www.waterfootprint.org/

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leaving A Legacy

I read some exciting news this week about how the New Meadowlands Stadium is setting the bar for green sports venues http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/06/01/new-meadowlands-stadium-ups-ante-for-green-sports-venues/

This is particulary exciting for me because in 2007 we introduced green event practices to the old Giants Stadium for the Live Earth Concert. Through the commitment of the venue and its vendors, we were able to achieve a 76% diversion rate the day of the event. The Operations Team at the stadium hoped they would be able to incorporate many of the practices they learned on Live Earth when the new stadium was built.

Live Earth organizers also hoped to be able to leave just such a legacy at the concert venue sites http://www.environmentalleader.com/2007/06/27/live-earth-wants-to-leave-green-legacy-at-concert-venues/

It is that type of news that makes my heart sing--what an impact each of us can have!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lone Star Green

Over the weekend, I attended the Green Task Force meeting held just before PCMA's Leadership Conference. PCMA is committed to furthering the green initiatives of the hospitality industry and looks at ways to partner with other industry associations to do just that. Deborah Sexton, Executive Director, reports that even in this economy, sustainability is on the top 10 list for member meeting planners and vendors. Let me know if you have ideas or suggestions for the Green Task Force.

On a side note: the meeting is being held in Austin, Texas--a venue I would recommend you take a look at for future meetings. For being "deep in the heart of Texas" they are working towards green initiatives and certainly are ahead of the game in social consciousness.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Green Meetings: Getting Older and Better

One last stat from the GMIC survey (if you will allow me) tells us that planners and suppliers have been incorporating green practices for many years now. Those who said it was just a trend, no longer have a case. When asked how long they had been planning or supplying green meeting services, GMIC members responded:

27% less than one year
41% 1-3 years
13% 3-5 years years
18% more than 5 years

These same professionals report that 68% of their organizations now have environmental or CSR policies.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Resource for Finding Green Meeting Venues

The International Association of Conference Centers has a new Code of Sustainability for its members which assesses the following areas:

Education, Awareness and Public Declaration
Waste Management
Water Conservation
Energy Management
Air Quality
Food & Beverage

By signing the Code of Sustainability, IACC members certify that their organization: (1) has agreed to sustain and support IACC's Environmental Policy; (2) has adopted and currently adheres to at least 75% of the code; and (3) willingly joins other member organizations that have signed the code in an assocaition-wide effort to continually strive for greater sustainability.

Members that have signed the Code of Sustainability are recognized in three tiers: To qualify for the Platinum tier, they have 100% of the code's practices in place; for Gold tier, 85% of the practices are in place; and for the Silver tier, 75% of the practices are in place.

To make it easy for planners to find venues with environmental practices, they have provided a list along with their ranking. Here is a link to those sustainable Conference Centers:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Catch of the Day

Here is a great slide show featuring fish you should avoid when planning sustainable menus for your meetings and events. In fact, from the photos, you probably want to avoid them anyway.