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4 smiling colleagues in a green business meeting.

In the modern business landscape, meetings play a pivotal role, but their environmental impact, particularly in terms of carbon emissions, cannot be ignored. Adopting green practices in meetings not only aligns with corporate social responsibility but also contributes to positive environmental outcomes. In this article, we’ll explore key considerations for making your meetings environmentally sustainable.


Take It Online

With the rise of technology, virtual meetings have become a sustainable alternative. Platforms like Zoom are an easy, accessible way to reduce travel emissions and waste. If your company uses renewable energy sources for servers your meeting could even be carbon neutral. You can either hold your meeting entirely online or if you’re holding an in-person event adapt your program to allow an option for virtual participation. 


Choose A Green Venue

If your meeting can’t be completed entirely online, selecting a venue with eco-friendly features is crucial. Opt for locations close to transportation hubs, offering good access to public transport. Choose venues with natural light and energy-efficient equipment to reduce the overall environmental impact.


Reduce Transport Emissions

Promote the use of public transportation by offering clear information about routes and timetables. You could even make it the preferred option by offering incentives (such as covering travel costs or offering rewards) Be sure to plan the start and finish times of your meeting with public transport in mind – nobody wants to be stranded at a bus stop!

3 people in business attire are about to board a train

You should also provide facilities for cyclists – make sure there is somewhere safe to store their bikes and promote local bike hire opportunities.

And make sure good old fashioned walking is an easy option. Provide maps and make sure that the green venue you selected is in an accessible location.


Make Sustainable Food & Beverage Choices: 

Whether you’re hosting a large event that requires a caterer or a smaller meeting with an offering of snacks during the breaks, food has a huge impact on the environmental footprint of your meeting. If in doubt, choosing local, organic and seasonal produce, even providing vegetarian and vegan dishes and fair trade products will reduce the environmental impact of your activities.

Be sure to confirm with whoever is providing food how many attendees there will be to prevent waste. If there is any unopened food left over you can donate it to your local food bank. Encourage participants to take any opened leftover food home with them too. And don’t forget to provide tap water and reusable tableware!


Raise Awareness with Green Communications

Communicate in advance and during the event your plans to make this a green event and invite attendees to assist in reducing the environmental impact. But in doing so, still keep your material usage in mind. Minimise literature and instead provide information through emails, social media, reusable posters and information boards.

A person writes in their diary while looking at their laptop

If you absolutely cannot avoid using paper, use both sides of the sheet and opt for recycled paper and vegetable based inks. If you’re planning on offering branded items or gifts make sure that they’re made sustainably.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Waste Considerations 

Waste is one of the key ways you can make a huge impact on your environmental footprint. Use the classic ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach to your waste strategy.

Think twice before ordering anything specifically for the meeting and consider if it’s a necessity, what its lifespan will be and what you intend to do with it after the meeting.

You should also consider how water and electricity usage can be reduced – i.e. taking advantage of natural lighting whenever possible, using energy efficient technologies, switching off equipment that isn’t in use, using fresh air before air conditioning, and using thermostats to monitor and control heating.

If you do need to purchase anything that can’t be reused, make sure it’s recyclable. Populate the meeting venue with clearly labelled recycling bins that are readily available and placed in visible, easily accessible areas. Recycling bins can even add to the atmosphere of your green meeting – our Aspire Recycling Stations are available in a variety of stylish and sustainable finishes! They can also be fully branded with eye-catching and informative designs to help your attendees recycle with ease.

An apire recycling bin in the foreground. A business meeting in the background.

Green Your Business

Finally, the best way to make your meetings green is to make your business green! Sustainable practices shouldn’t just be applied at a one-off event, they should be implemented daily throughout your organisation. 

Embed green principles into the everyday running of your business. Adopting environmental practices reaps many benefits, from preventing harmful emissions to improving brand perception to saving money. 

Take the time to identify and address environmental issues associated with your business and its activities. You can start with simple steps, like switching off lights when a room isn’t used or placing recycling bins throughout the building to divert waste from landfills and build up to incredible things!

Ready to take the first steps? Make a start by tackling your waste systems. Get in touch with a member of our friendly team today and transform your workplace recycling.