So far we have discussed many possibilities to ‘engreen’ the meeting industry, including travel, catering, waste, no show and hotels. Meeting planners that demonstrated intensive efforts to reduce the environmental impact of meetings and conferences will be rewarded for their good will. Next to economical benefits and a public image boost the planner can be honoured with the Green Meetings Award, an initiative powered by IMEX and the GMIC.
The Green Meetings Award is annually handed to a meeting planner who put an exceptional effort into the organization of a specific green meeting through design, planning, implementation and evaluation. There are two award categories: the Large Meeting Award for citywide events (5.000 to 25.000 or more attendees) and the Small to Medium Meeting Award.
Curious what you have to do until you can put that trophy on your desk? Let’s have a look at the evaluation criteria. These concern not only the sustainability of the event itself. As a winner, you have also significantly contributed to the general improvement of future green meetings.
This refers to the planning process of the meeting and requires that you have identified the main sustainability issues of your meeting. Based on these issues you have established criteria for measuring and monitoring the environmental impact, such as energy and water use, green house gas emissions and waste production. Use these criteria to set defined goals and describe how you are going to achieve them. Additionally, the judges expect you to involve suppliers and other stakeholders in sustainability issues by making green arrangements with venues or caterers for example.
The judges will review the actual environmental performance of the meeting. The evaluation of your established criteria and methods has to show that the environmental impact of your meeting has been reduced to a minimum. Thus you have significantly reduced your energy and water consumption compared to previous/other meetings and prevented as much CO2 emissions and waste production as possible. For the economic aspect, it is important that you keep the operational costs of your meeting as low as possible or that you support local markets by working with local suppliers.
Organizing a perfectly green meeting will not earn you the award if you won’t share your achievements with others. Sustainable meetings go hand in hand with social responsibility. The judges want to see that you share your achievements and methods with others. Spread the green message to inspire other planners and contribute to the improvement of future green meetings. Show a general commitment for environmental issues within the meeting industry by supporting and educating other planners and suppliers.
Are you the winner in 2014?
The submission period for the 2013 award has elapsed. The winner will be presented during the IMEX Gala on 22 May. Do you think that you are a truly green meeting planner? Then nominate yourself (or let someone nominate you) for the 2014 award.
I wish you good luck!