Designing socially responsible meetings is not confined to the volunteerism we discussed in our last post. Being socially responsible encompasses eco-friendly practices in the office and at meetings, and it has the potential to be so much more than recycling or going paperless.
Professional Meeting Management - the recommended book for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) exam and the most comprehensive resource for meeting professionals - defines green meetings as "incorporating environmental considerations throughout all stages of the meeting in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment." From traveling to the venue to catering at the event, there are many decisions that can minimize your ecological impact and reduce the carbon footprint.
If eco-friendly meetings align with your organization's competencies and goals, then emphasize the importance from the top down. Share these ideas, and your organization can take small steps that will make a big difference:
Encourage and incentivize participants for carpooling to events. If airlines are your group's main mode of transportation, opt for direct flights. Not only is it more convenient, it has a smaller carbon footprint. This infographic shows the total carbon footprint by type of transportation.
Generating awareness about an upcoming event solely through email invites and registration software is progressive, and these are ways for organizations to champion eco-friendly meetings. Check out the conference technologies you'll need before, during and after the actual event to execute a well-rounded sustainable meeting.
Sometimes printing is necessary for an effective delivery. But you can reduce the carbon footprint by avoiding shipping your materials. Instead, visit our Business Center or speak to your Kiawah Island Conference Planning Manager. Our staff regularly receives requests for local vendors and will be happy to connect you with an eco-friendly supplier for producing program books, lanyards, promotional give-aways and more. (For an inspiring example of eco-friendly materials, see how San Francisco Travel is using sustainable, recyclable banners to promote events and welcome participants.
Food miles make an impact. To execute your event with eco-friendly food and beverage, contact local caterers who incorporate local ingredients or speak to the venue well in advance about sourcing food from local farms, within 150 miles or less.
Through partnerships with farms and suppliers near Kiawah Island, our Farm-to-Fork program brings you the best quality produce, meats and seafood. Our chefs are passionate about incorporating South Carolina's Lowcountry ingredients, and you'll taste them at Jasmine Porch, The Ocean Room, Tomasso and The atlantic Room. Equally committed to our oceans, Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an ambassador of both agricultural and seafood sustainability. Through out Seafood Sustainable Initiative, we utilize the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch list to make healthy choice for our oceans and protect our fishery resources.
For more recommendations, check out the green initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help you more easily plan green meetings and events. As a passionate, eco-conscious venue, Kiawah Island Golf Resort is ready to help you create a socially responsible event. Whether you're looking for a small change or a large impact, our team would be honored to help you execute a successful and sustainable event. For more information about Kiawah's sustainable meetings, visit the Kiawah Island Golf Resort website for a detailed list for more eco-friendly ideas.