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These days, being environmentally friendly is taken much more seriously than it was in the 1990’s and not just because of the potential financial gains. Corporate Socialy Responsibility (CSR) has done a lot to promote this, as has people’s own attitudes towards being ‘greener’.

1. Save Paper. Using new media and electronic technology can cut down your paper use. If your meeting is a large event, create a website for it offering electronic registration and confirmation; and advertise using the web and/or email. If the meeting is internal try using a laptop or projector to conduct the meeting instead of printing out loads of copies of agendas.

2. Reuse. If you do feel it necessary to print off agendas try printing double sided sheets to cut down on waste. If you only print on one side, at the end of the meeting collect the agendas that people don’t need or aren’t used and use them for scrap paper or for the fax machine, which only needs one clear side. Use recycled paper wherever possible.

3. Make the most of natural daylight. Use a meeting room with as much natural light as possible. Delegate’s concentration levels are improved and scarce resources are saved by not using unnecessary electricity. Always ensure lights and air-conditioning are turned off at the end of the meeting or during break times when the room is no longer in use.

4. Cut food waste. Plan the provision of food carefully by keeping close tabs on attendance numbers and not over-providing. Discuss your needs with the venue in advance.

5. Go to the top. Gain management support by selling your approach to management and emphasising the range of environmental benefits, enhanced public image, and potential cost savings that result from holding green meetings. With management onboard you should find it easier to achieve objectives.

6. Get your priorities straight. Identify environmental issues that are especially significant to your organization, community, or region. Then select environmental priorities reflecting those particular issues. By using clearly defined environmental priorities you’ll be better able to achieve these objectives and evaluate their effectiveness.

7. Inform and Motivate. Make sure all staff are aware of the new policies with regards to green meetings and the potential benefits. This way they’ll be able to adopt the same approach.

8. Stay Close. Reduce distances travelled by delegates. Choose a venue that is close to as many of the attendees as possible. Where possible suggest public transport options or a shuttle service. If driving is necessary try to arrange car shares to reduce emissions.

9. Green venues. Research venues’ environmental policies and try to choose venues and accommodation which are considerate to the environment e.g. a hotel that offers a linen reuse service.

10. Put it on the Agenda! By adding the environment to your meeting agendas we hope it’ll serve as a reminder to move forward towards more responsible environmental practices each time you meet.

: www.meetpie.com

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