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

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Grain Food

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Restaurant.


Read more...

Best Foot Forward

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


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