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Organize sustainable Meetings and Conferences

Sustainable meetings - 10 tips for greener meetings or conferences

Want to plan or facilitate sustainable meetings? Whether by phone, video call or on-site - you've come to the right place! The event industry plays a hugely important role in meeting the Paris climate goals. Many aspects, from travel to and from the event, to the resources used by buildings and staff, to catering, can be a burden on our environment. Fortunately, there are countless ways to make meetings more sustainable.

In this article, you'll get valuable tips for environmentally friendly conferences and green meetings. Maybe not all of them can be implemented directly - but there is guaranteed to be something for every occasion. Let's go!

In advance you can find here already a short Overview about the contribution:

  1. Hold conferences online if possible
  2. Communicate the sustainability of the event very consciously
  3. Set on used, but as good as new technology
  4. Choose an event time that is convenient for arrival and departure
  5. Enable collaborative arrival and departure
  6. Offset the CO2 emissions of the trips
  7. Provide green accommodations and meeting spaces
  8. Reduce waste and conserve natural resources
  9. Offer environmentally friendly meals and snacks
  10. Value the organization and remind people of the environmental benefits

1. Hold conferences online if possible

Before it is forgotten: the most sustainable meeting is of course the one that no one has to travel to. This is because every participant emits large amounts of exhaust gases when traveling by train, but especially when traveling by car and not least by plane, which can harm both the climate change accelerate as well as to air pollution contribute. Online meetings are significantly more environmentally friendly for these reasons alone.

So whenever you and your team see the opportunity to create a Replace traditional meeting with a conference call or zoom callyou should do so. In the end, your company, your colleagues and, above all, our environment - and thus all people outside the company - will benefit from it.

Tip: Go to sustainable use of the internet I have also compiled a series of advice for you.

2. Communicate the sustainability of the event very consciously

Communication of a sustainable meeting

Not all conferences can be held online. Fortunately, there are also countless ways to make sustainability a big part of "offline events": starting with internal communications. Let your colleagues know why your company will focus on protecting the environment through its own actions in the future. Explain what will be different/better at events and conferenceswhy this is being done and to what extent something is changing in the team's internal processes.

Ideally, the aspect of sustainable action is even Part of the corporate philosophyso that Climate protection in the company fundamentally takes on an important significance.

3. set on used, but as good as new technology

New equipment is costly and consumes valuable and limited, natural resources. But it doesn't have to be the newest and most expensive devices all the time. Refurbished, as-new devices (see also Refurbished) bring the same services at significantly lower costs.

Well recognizable is the Sustainability with cell phone providers and computers, for example, on the international "TCO Certified" seal, which covers aspects such as the Longevity, the Repair possibility or the Recyclability of IT equipment is evaluated and environmentally friendly technology is distinguished.

Additional Tip: Whether private or business - as you basically more sustainable telephony you can learn in the linked article!

4. Choose an event time that is convenient for arrival and departure

A sustainable meeting Takes place at a time that allows for environmentally friendly travel by rail or other green transportation. Just make sure that all participants have the chance to be there on time, even without a plane and a car ride. Of course, this is not always possible. But if it is possible, you should definitely take this tip to heart in your planning.

5. Enable collaborative arrival and departure

Arriving by train is significantly more sustainable

If every colleague at a conference were to travel individually, this would of course put a strain on the Environment and last but not least the Wallet of the company and employees even more so. That's why you, as the organizer of a meeting, should make sure that the participants can travel together. For example, with the cheaper train tickets for group travelers or in car pools. The fewer trips, the more environmentally friendly. Facilitate communication among participants for this purpose.

Tip: In the article about the sustainable commute you will get some more inspiration!

6. Compensate the CO2 emissions of the trips.

Not all employee car trips and flights to business meetings can be avoided. However, a company that values the aspect of sustainable trade can reduce the emitted Offset CO2 emissions. For this purpose, there are reliable platforms that provide the donated Invest equivalent value of CO2 emissions in climate protection projects. This measure rounds off sustainable meetings - and last but not least, many customers and employees can also identify even better with the company.

More tips: For sustainable driving and Flying as sustainably as possible I have also compiled valuable tips for you. Look gladly times purely!

7. care for green accommodations and meeting spaces.

For sustainable meetings, the venue itself should of course also be as climate- and resource-friendly as possible. The building is ideally equipped with energy-saving technology - from LED lighting to environmentally friendly heating technology. Countless organizers and hotels are already committed to this ecological equipment and sustainable action. A closer look at the selection can be worth its weight in gold!

8. reduce waste and conserve natural resources

Resource conservation should be a top priority at a sustainable conference. Do not use disposable products such as cutlery, plates or cups made of plastic and replace them with washable, reusable alternatives. Also reduce paper consumption (in the office) by using digital technology. By taking these measures, you're not just saving the environment at this one meeting - you're also ensuring that the awareness of all participants for environmental protection is raised.

9. offer environmentally friendly meals and snacks

Depending on the duration of the meeting, it makes sense to offer meals or snacks. There is a simple basic rule for this: The more plant-based, regional, fair, seasonal and organic, the more sustainable. Sustainable catering provides food and meals that protect both the environment, health and, not least, animals. Because especially the Factory farming is what is causing extreme damage to the climate, rainforests and waters on our planet.

Tip: At "why vegan?" you will learn my reasons for a plant-based diet and animal-friendly lifestyle.

10. appreciate the organization and remind of the environmental benefits

We often hear that sustainability is far too expensive and that "100 percent sustainable action" is not practically feasible. However, acting sustainably can save money in the short and long term - and it's not about perfection either. Every small step taken by each individual is an important step towards a sustainable society. Remind all attendees and colleagues how little effort can already make a big environmental impact at this meeting and future conferences. Sustainability without sacrifice is the keyword.

Holding sustainable meetings is not a problem!

Online conference is more relaxed and sustainable

Now you have countless tips for green meetings and eco-friendly conferences with your colleagues and partners at your fingertips. Put them into practice - and if the effort seems too much, get experienced event managers to help you. Many of them already specialize in organizing sustainable events.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips for sustainable meetings? Then feel free to write me a comment below this post.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You think you can't work so well at home? Then use now my Tips for effective work in the home office! Good luck !

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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