Make your gathering greener

| Print |  Email
Saturday, March 01, 2008

SimpleStepsGreenBook.jpg

Companies today know the importance of presenting a green face to their customers, but what goes on in the boardroom itself isn’t always so environmentally friendly. Business meetings and events can gobble up a surprising amount of resources and produce mounds of waste. A few simple, eco-conscious changes, however, can make a big difference.

Cynthia Fuhrman, communications manager for the Portland Office of Sustainable Development, and Amy Spatrisano, a principal at Portland-based Meeting Strategies Worldwide and co-author of Simple Steps to Green Meetings and Events, have some suggestions to make your gathering a little greener.

1. Reduce where you can, Spatrisano suggests. Instead of providing handouts to everyone at a meeting, project a PowerPoint presentation on the wall or write important points on a whiteboard. After the meeting, highlights can be e-mailed to attendees to save paper.

2. Where you can’t reduce, reuse. If snacks are on the meeting agenda, forget the disposable plates and utensils. “It takes 10 times more energy and natural resources to produce 1,000 plastic forks than to wash a metal fork 1,000 times,” Spatrisano says. If any food is left over, compost or donate it to charity.

3. “If you are using materials that are not reusable, make sure that they are recyclable,” Fuhrman says. Have separation bins on hand and make sure they’re used. Also, look for products already made from recycled materials.

4. If it’s necessary to go offsite, do some research before committing to a location for your meeting or event. Consider the geographic location of attendees to reduce travel distances, and ask around to see which venues follow environmentally responsible practices. Some hotels, for example, save water by only washing towels and bed linens by guest request.

5. Using local food, labor and products reduces shipping and, therefore, carbon emissions. If products and attendees are coming from out of town, Fuhrman suggests purchasing energy offset credits to reduce the net impact of your event.

JAMIE HARTFORD

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121214-xmaslist1BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS