The meetings that matter happen in person. Plain and simple. Bringing people together is a sure-fire way to inspire bursts of creativity, encourage the building of new relationships, and drive positive productivity.
As the world starts to open up again in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, companies will soon start organizing large-scale meetings and events to bring their teams back together in person. They'll just be a little different than they were before. As a society, we've developed a collective consciousness around the issue of sustainability. We are well on our way to 2030 when the Sustainable Development Goals should have been achieved—and we need to do more to make sure we meet these targets.
The saying goes "every little bit counts". Well, that holds equally true for the corporate events industry. So, what can you do to make your next meeting or corporate event have a lower environmental impact and a higher social consciousness?
Event sustainability addresses all of that. A truly sustainable event will be one that takes into account the environmental, social, and economic effects that it can have, and aims to reduce it. Event planning as a whole now requires the introduction of more sustainable practices to help combat issues like environmental sustainability (including climate change) and inequalities that people around the world face every day.
Start off by installing multiple different disposal bins around your venue that are clearly marked for different types of waste. Ditch plastic water bottles and offer attendees reusable glass bottles that they can refill. Rely on silverware or glassware over disposal, single-use plastics to serve food and drinks.
many ways that are more eco-friendly for people to travel around, including trains, carpooling, renting an electric vehicle, or even taking a ferry! Give your event and meeting planners the flexibility to explore alternative travel options that can have a less adverse effect on the environment.
Think about requiring people to register their meal preferences for every event (including whether they'll be eating), flagging guests who don't show up, and tracking how much food you had leftover. By monitoring quantities, you know how much you can reduce in the future.
If finding an environmentally friendly venue is proving a challenge, consult an event professional who will undoubtedly have a host of sustainable hotels on hand. In any case, heading up to the mountains or down to the beach will be way more fun than attending an event at your local convention center.
A great way to avoid this is to go totally digital. Equip meeting rooms with technologies like interactive whiteboards, iPads, chargers for laptops (so people can bring their own), and even motion sensors so the lights turn off automatically when everyone leaves.
Put the sustainability goals at the heart of this policy, so that they're always top of mind when planning any event. Make all of your meetings sustainable meetings! You can even include case studies of what other companies are doing to inspire the next generation of event planners to go green!
Try sourcing coffee, tea, chocolate, and seafood, among other things, from certified suppliers. That way, you can work towards building an event with a positive social impact that won't harm the environment. Not to mention that fair trade products are often locally sourced and are often recyclable!