5 Strategies for Sustainable Meetings and Events

By Melinda Colón, Vice President of Meetings and Events

Meaningful, memorable meetings and events require the right content knowledge, an understanding of key stakeholder groups, and now more than ever—a smart approach to logistics that serves participant learning and sustainability through design.

More than just a trend, making your event environmentally friendly is a savvy way to transform the participant experience, elevate your brand reputation, and decrease expenses. Implementation of sustainable practices in your event doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start simple and follow our tips based on Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations.

  1. Play with trends. Meatless Monday is increasing in popularity. This is a great first step, will help those who are vegetarian feel included in your event, and is frequently less expensive. Reducing meat consumption reduces greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and our carbon footprint.

  2. Emphasize sustainability in venue selection. Many hotels and convention centers are incorporating conservation and sustainability throughout their properties and are proud to share what they are doing. Include questions on sustainable practices in your request for proposals.

  3. Involve attendees. Make carbon offset donations an option on your registration site. Research carbon offset companies and projects to ensure selected projects are reputable and deliver on what is promised.

  4. Use food and beverage history. Venues will be able to share how many boxed lunches weren’t picked up or plates unserved. Knowing your meeting’s food and beverage history can help save you money while reducing food waste.

  5. Assess your giveaways. Are these giveaways enhancing the member experience? If so, tote bags, water bottles, pens, and much more are being made of recycled or sustainable materials in a large variety of options and at affordable prices. Additionally, providing reusable water bottles and water coolers reduces single-use plastic waste.


Our team’s expert knowledge of event planning, marketing, communications, and education will:

  • Select menus and work with chefs to provide delicious vegetarian options.
  • Assist you in finding a meeting space that meets your conference needs, and can facilitate sustainability conversations and execution at the venue.
  • Identify climate action projects to purchase carbon credits for carbon offsets.
  • Set up tracking processes to maintain accurate food and beverage consumption.
  • Research and recommend giveaways that are valued by attendees and are environmentally friendly.

Want to learn more from Melinda? 

Email her at info@collaborativecommunications.com 

Eliza Panike

Senior Associate

About Eliza

“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” ― Fred Rogers

Eliza has long understood that strong, vibrant communities are built by providing young people the tools and resources they need to succeed. For the last decade, she has built her career supporting government and non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of children and families. Most recently, she developed key messaging and content for delivering Common Sense Media’s ratings and reviews to parents and caregivers. Prior to that, she provided support to California’s First 5 system through program management, event planning, and public policy campaigns.

Eliza excels at project management and will be using her skills to create effective communications campaigns for her clients.

Born and raised in Northern California, Eliza currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in child development from San Francisco State University.

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