The headline reads, "Is Green a Priority? Most Planners Have Stepped Up Conservation Efforts." It is a headline that, five years ago, very few would have believed still newsworthy in 2012. The greening of meeting practices was thought to be a fad that would soon disappear like registering by fax machine. Yet, it has been the cover story this year for a significant number of meeting industry publications including the October issue of Meetings & Conventions Magazine.
The meetings industry continues to become more sustainable thanks to factors including cost savings and a big dose of organizations striving to appear as good corporate citizens. In fact, according to the M&C research, 53% of respondents believe on-site conservation efforts are important to their meeting attendees.
When asked if their organization's meetings are greener now than they were two years ago, only 10% said not at all and 1% said they are even less green now, leaving an impressive 89% holding greener meetings.
53% either sometimes or always donate leftover food to charity, finally taking great strides to debunk the myth donating food is a liability issue for venues and caterers.
In an interesting twist, all but 27% are now willing to implement green meeting procedures that require more costs--athough I still maintain green meeting initiatives are either cost neutral or a cost savings on the total budget.
Facilities and hotels take note, 83% of respondents are aware their properties can be certified as environmentally responsible. I would venture a guess, they will be asking for this certification as a part of the upcoming RFP process.
Note: my thanks to Meetings & Conventions Magazine for providing this research and benchmarking our industries green meeting initiatives.