Green Meetings: It’s not easy being green…or is it?

By Karran Finlay (Guest contributor)

More and more companies are taking the initiative to "green up" their meetings, yet others are stuck in the “thinking about it” phase. It’s not always easy to ensure sustainable practices, but it can be easier than you think (and it doesn’t have to cost you more).

I’ve put together a few “green meeting” tips to keep in mind when planning for a successful (and more sustainable!) meeting:

  • Research venues that are LEED certified in your area (or look for those that have sustainable practices). A great blog site that lists venues in various cities is “Green Destinations”. The specific blog that speaks to this can be found here: Green Destinations Blog
  • Have meeting programs, name badges, menus, etc. printed on recycled paper. There are many recycled paper options available and they don’t always cost more, nor does the paper quality have to suffer.
  • Use reusable dishware instead of disposable plates or source biodegradable alternatives such as plates made of sugar cane. Many companies now supply these products.
  • Ask the venue to use biodegradable cleaning supplies and garbage bags for cleaning up after the event/meeting. Green Shift is a Canadian company that supplies a whole bunch of green products. Their product catalogue can be downloaded from their website: Link to Green Shift
  • Compost food waste and recycle packaging materials where possible (i.e. boxes from food deliveries, damaged décor items, etc.) – many venues are now equipped to do this quite easily, you just have to ask.

A friend of mine also shared a great “green” meeting example with me the other day, and I think it’s a great example to follow! You can check out the details here: AGU Fall 2009 Meeting, San Francisco

There are many more ways to ensure that meetings, events and marketing programs can be planned and executed sustainably. I’d be happy to answer any questions or chat more about how to plan “green” programs. Just send me an email at!

About Karran Finlay Marketing (KFM)
Karran Finlay Marketing (KFM) specializes in strategic and sustainable marketing and event management for luxury brands. From client appreciation events and product launches to extravagant celebrity parties and integrated marketing campaigns, they provide excellent service to ensure a successful project – and they do it all while employing environmentally sustainable practices.

About Karran

Karran_color-7 With over a decade of combined experience in strategic marketing, destination management, public relations, and event management, Karran has piloted everything from client appreciation events and product launches to extravagant celebrity parties and integrated marketing campaigns.

She has created experiences in conjunction with companies and organizations such as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Hudson’s Bay Company, Bristol Myers Squibb, Alberta Tourism, Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA), and was most recently based at the head office of Holt Renfrew in Toronto, Ontario. During her 7 years at Holt Renfrew, Karran worked in many areas including national event management, public relations and strategic marketing.

Karran created Karran Finlay Marketing (KFM) out of a desire to combine her love of event planning and marketing with her wish to service companies and individuals looking for excellent customer service, strategic thinking and environmentally sustainable practices.

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