‘Green Meeting’? Destination Matters
A new Yale study examines the environmental performance of 163 nations with some revealing results. The Environmental Performance Index 2010 Top 5 positions are not a surprise but Costa Rica at #3? Well done! Congratulations to Iceland, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Norway whose collective efforts to observe environmental stewardship in a systemic, long term way. Is it noteworthy that these nations not only have rigorous environmental regulation but prosperous economies, as well?
Sustainable Event Planners must initiate processes to factor in the environmental performance of the destination itself. Armed with reports such as Yale’s Environmental Performance Index and Best Places to Meet Green planners can begin to make informed inquiries and defensible decisions. Not only do top performing destinations offer better potential for sustainable event fundamentals such as comprehensive waste management (minimum 50% of total waste recycled or composted), efficient public transportation and access to sustainable foods, but can deliver capacity to reduce the event related greenhouse gas emissions. Hotel rooms in Sweden, (and other nations with more than half of their energy supply from renewable sources) emit half the carbon as hotels whose energy comes from brown coal.
The upcoming APEX green meeting standards, a collaboration between the USEPA and the Convention Industry Council, identifies a comprehensive list of considerations for planners and destinations, themselves.
Are you considering the environmental, or better yet sustainable, performance of your events’ host city? If not, what resources would you need to start?