If a business does not already have an environmental officer, contact employees to solicit individuals or a group who would like to oversee and ensure that the business is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Brainstorm your businesses’ habits to determine what trends exists and where changes can be made. Also, create a checklist of steps and a timeline that incorporates your environmental goals.
If it is not necessary for individuals to meet face-to-face, consider tele/web conferencing to reduce the amount of travel involved as well as productive time consumed. When in-person meetings do occur, allow attendees to connect and interact with documents and information via laptops and other electronic devices.
Encourage employees to carpool or use mass transit as often as possible.
Contact your business’s janitorial department to learn what cleaning products they use and where. Discuss purchasing cleaning products that are nontoxic as well as determine what cleaning methods can be altered or done less frequently to reduce consumption and energy use. And while you are at it evaluate the products your business purchases often and see if there are recycled/more environmentally friendly products available which you can replace these existing products with.
Introduce neutral plants into the office or encourage employees to bring their own. This will improve air quality as well as employee morale.
Meet with a member of the IT department to determine how they can save energy by changing the settings of office computers and other equipment. Ensure that in reducing energy use, the performance and capabilities of the equipment is maintained.
Utilize email and social-media resources to coordinate and promote your meeting or event. If formal invitations are necessary, consider using recycled paper in a postcard format to reduce paper use.
When possible, incorporate your intent on recycling/minimizing waste and resource use within the event itself. Providing statistics on amounts of waste reduced or items recycled from prior events, as well as potential waste produced from the current event, are great ways to convey to the audience the importance of assisting in your reduction goals.
When decorating, utilize non-themed, readily available items, such as potted plants and simple lighting. This will reduce expenses as well as give you reusable resources which are not necessarily event specific.
When considering food services, try to buy local as much as possible. Also, use dishes and flatware or biodegradable tableware if that is not an option.
Due to the amount of waste produced with meals, plan on making recycling and waste containers widely available and well marked. If your event is relatively large, often times waste removal companies have recycling containers available which you can rent for your event.
Consider donating leftovers to charitable organizations, shelters, or volunteers after an event. If you are using items, such as cut flowers or event favors, donate them afterwards to places such as hospitals and schools, for continued use.
Encourage attendees to offer suggestions, comments, and concerns on your events’ “Green” efforts. Many companies and individuals have their own “greening” efforts, from which your business or organization could gain useful insight.
Reinforce your organizations environmental stance and show appreciation to event attendees by electronically thanking and telling them about the successes of their contribution once the event is concluded.