Friday, April 23, 2010

Greening events - Green Meeting Guide 2009

Organised events that bring many people together can often be a valuable opportunity for awareness-raising, learning and creating a new culture of caring for natural, social and financial resources. But these same events pose significant problems for local natural resources, (e.g. energy, water), environment (e.g. caused by emissions, waste, soil degradation) and the community. 

A green event is one designed, organised and implemented in a way that minimises negative environmental impacts and leaves a positive legacy for the host community. 

To assist organisers and hosts of small-to medium-sized meetings in greening their events, ICLEI, in cooperation with UNEP, has developed the Green Meeting Guide 2009! 

You can now download:
- the complete Green Meeting Guide 2009 [pdf]
- the Section 1 of the Greening Meeting Guide: this section provides an introduction to greening meetings, including guidance on:
  • The benefits of greening your meeting
  • Management and communication principles
  • An overview of the key environmental impacts of a meeting and how to minimise these
  • Information on reducing the climate footprint of your meeting
- the Section 2 of the Green Meeting Guide: this section contains a practical Checklist containing all detailed greening recommendations for the day to day preparation of a meeting.
The guide introduces the various elements of green meetings, from its management and communication to practical suggestions for each area of event organising (venue, accommodation, local transport etc.).
A section on climate neutrality offers some proposals for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions generated by a meeting, especially through the impacts of long-distance travel. The Greening Meetings Checklist gives detailed greening recommendations for the day to day preparation of a meeting. 

What is a green meeting?

As described in the guide, a green event is one organised in such a way that:
  • emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, are minimised, and unavoidable emissions are compensated for,
  • natural resource consumption (including water and energy) is minimised and demand is adapted to available local resources,
  • waste generation is avoided where possible and remaining waste is reused and/or recycled,
  • biodiversity, water, air and soil resources are protected,
  • minimal environmental damage is caused while preparing and implementing the meeting,
  • the local community benefits economically, socially and environmentally both during and after the meeting, with local sustainable development encouraged to the extent achievable,
  • the above principles are applied in purchasing goods and services for the meeting, the selection of the venue, and transportation, catering and accommodation arrangements,
  • the awareness of participants, staff service providers and the local community in sustainability issues is increased, with the greening aims and measures communicated clearly to all,
  • local hosts, regional and national authorities, sponsors, citizens groups, NGOs, business and technical experts are involved to the extent possible in order to comply with and support the above - stated principles.