Publications & Thought Leadership

April 2011

Sustainable Meeting Guide

Posted in Implementation and Integration

The Sustainable Meeting Guide, published for The Co-operators and co-authored by Coro, is designed to assist organizers and hosts of meetings and conferences who wish to reduce the negative – and enhance the positive – environmental and social impacts of their gatherings. From in-house staff meetings, to annual general meetings and Board meetings, to large conferences the Sustainable Meeting Guide will help you plan meetings that reflect your organization’s sustainability values.

The Sustainable Meeting Guide has four sections:

  • Definition and benefits of sustainable meeting
  • The phases of “sustainable meeting” management
  • An Appendix containing a toolkit of questionnaires and checklists
  • A Glossary of sustainability related terms relevant to meeting planners

A sustainable meeting, also referred to as a green meeting, is one that incorporates environmental considerations throughout all stages (from planning to dissolution) and aspects of the meeting (including location, food services, transportation and the provision of materials) to minimize the negative impact on the environment. Every meeting has an environmental impact; each event uses energy and creates waste. Participants often travel to attend meetings, and planners purchase such items as gifts, food, whiteboards, flip charts, paper and signage. There are also social impacts of meeting planning that should be considered, including: accessibility for people with disabilities, safety and security, nutritional and health impacts for participants and the opportunity to source products from socially responsible and co-operative businesses. Each decision has a consequence and by holding a more sustainable meeting you can reduce your organization’s environmental footprint.

The Sustainable Meeting Guide focuses predominantly on the environmental impacts of meetings, but will also reference key social impact areas worth considering. It is important to remember that sustainable meetings are a process of continuous improvement. The most sustainable meeting is one held virtually by web or video-conference. All other meetings have impacts, which you can work to reduce over time. This comprehensive Sustainable Meeting Guide can help.

Join the sustainability conversation. Coro is active on Twitter and LinkedIn.