Last week, I was in Washington DC and had a chance to talk with some folks from the EPA about the ‘Hummers’ in corporate America. One of their pet peeves is corporate meetings.
Frequently, corporate meetings are held in remote locations that require mega travel by attendees. Truck loads of paper and a mountain of waste is generated (from full color Power Point print outs to bottled water). When regulations go after carbon emissions, the meeting industry will be under scrutiny by the business managers at companies around the country.
Today, I told several hundred meeting professionals about this in Chicago. My challenge was to re-imagine how meetings are organized, located and executed. It’s a matter of eco-financial-social innovation I argued. Reduce the waste, eliminate disposable products and integrate a community component. Those are just a few ideas on how to produce a “Green Meeting.”
Beyond their eco-footprint, meetings need to green up to set an example for the managers, sales pros and vendors that attend them. If a company purports to be committed to the environment its meeting needs to ‘walk the walk’. In fact, at some companies like Interface or Aveda, meeting professionals have influenced the culture to go home and innovate how products are made, packaged, marketed and delivered to customers.
I personally LOVE the meetings industry, because make the movies of the corporate world that help shape values, business innovations and culture. They have that much potential.
If your company or association brings me in to keynote at your event, I’m happy to consult with your meeting professionals about all the different ways to green up a meeting (and save a lot of money along the way).