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

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

The Backstory: Portland Youth Builders

The Latest
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
blog002 1BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward  housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


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