Thursday, April 18, 2013

Raise Your Hand If You Aren't Perfect

The Sustainable Meetings Industry has come so far with so many passionate professionals dedicated to making a difference and we aren't done yet.  Thought leaders at the GMIC' Sustainable Meetings Conference last week found common threads in our work in these 11 areas...

  1. It is not more expensive: building the business case
  2. Using standards to accelerate sustainability
  3. Communicating the value of being sustainable
  4. Integrating sustainability into meeting design
  5. Starting a sustainability program
  6. Measuring and reporting progress
  7. Waste not, want not: reduction and donation strategies
  8. Being weird: innovating through sustainability
  9. Beyond green: from fair wages to community action
  10. Sustainable exhibits and engaging exhibitors
  11. Convincing the masses: engaging on a larger scale
Using everything from IPads to color crayons, we unleashed our collective brain power around these topics and found creative ideas and strategies to use moving forward.  We spent the week discussing issues, sharing stories and leaning on each other for support when overwhelmed.

Early in the conference, a keynote speaker talked about "Progress Not Perfection," a motto that rings true in the sustainability world.  We are transforming an industry and have come so far, yet are sometimes disheartened by the amount left to be done. His words reminded us to celebrate the progress and not get caught up in the perfection which isn't attainable yet.  We followed his wise advice and went home with renewed hope for the future of the meetings industry and the planet.

I would like to personally thank those who were vulnerable enough to share their stories about imperfection with me either publically or privately.  You inspire me! It's hard to admit that some days, it is just not easy being green.  Luckily, we all know it is worth the effort. 

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