Events, from small meetings to large scale conventions, consume energy, produce waste and create harmful emissions. Facilities and Meeting Planners alike are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts and as such hosting a green meeting is becoming more common.
But what is a ‘green meeting’? Simply stated, a green meeting or event incorporates environmental initiatives to minimize its negative impact on the environment; from energy and water consumption, travel & transportation, food & beverage, handouts, garbage and more.
As “green” options in the meeting and conference industry expand, environmentally conscious event planners, organizers and companies are finding that going “green” not only helps save the planet and resources, but also offers a wealth of other benefits and advantages.
Green Key Meetings is about sustainable meeting operations, adding value to the bottom line through conservation and brand management, and positively influencing the supply chain and other relationships.
The Green Key Meetings Program, co-created by Green Key Global and The MPI Foundation Canada, is a comprehensive assessment tool for lodging and event facilities that host meetings of any size. Developed with the assistance of senior meeting planner professionals the Program is an excellent tool for Travel, Meeting and Conference Planners in determining a facility’s level of commitment to environmental issues.
The recent emergence of new meeting and event sustainability standards has increased the expectations placed on venues to prove they are working to improve sustainability in general as well as environmental performance specific to meetings and events. Primary among these standards are the ASTM/APEX green meeting standards which specifically focus on logistical environmental performance at the facility level.
In order to support the ASTM/APEX standards, Green Key Meetings v2.0 will be launched in Spring 2014. Green Key Meetings v2.0 will focus properties on activities related to meetings and events ultimately helping them to align with ASTM/APEX. These activities include:
- Create written reduction plans for energy, waste and water
- Create numeric targets to benchmark progress against, including the creation of baselines
- The use of specific technologies and activities to help in the reduction of waste, water, pollution and energy
- The creation and implementation of specific training, policies and programs
- Communication of activities to internal and external stakeholders.
Based on the results of this comprehensive environmental self-assessment, facilities are awarded a rating from 1 to 5 Keys, 5 Keys being the highest attainable. Detailed Performance Reports showcase accomplishments while also outlining areas in which improvements should be considered.
Green Key Meetings v2.0 takes a comprehensive look at how facilities perform in the following key areas:
- Core Areas (Energy, Water, Waste)
- Communication (Information, Training, Policies & Management)
- Activities (Community, Procurement, Auditing)
- Health (Wellness Activities, Air Quality, People)
A variety of resources and tips support members as they work through the assessment and ensure they have the information required to provide accurate responses.
Marketing & Promotion
Celebrate your successes. Green Key Global does. We provide a variety of marketing materials to assist members in the promotion of their initiatives as well as tools and resources to support ongoing sustainable programs. We also strive to showcase your initiatives through our social media channels, website and e-newsletter.
Launched in late 2011, there are currently 102 properties participating in Green Key Meetings v1.0. Of those members that have completed and submitted the self-assessment, the Key Rating breakdown is as follows:
If you are an existing Green Key Eco-Rating member who would like to join the Green Key Meetings program, please click here to register.
Green Key Meetings – Supporting the principles of people, planet and profit.