Meeting Planners Aim for Less Trash

Meeting Planners Aim for Less Trash

Meeting planners are joining forces to reduce the amount of garbage their events generate as part of the Million Tons of Trash Challenge.

The initiative kicks off on Earth Day next month and will run through the end of the year. Meeting planners, venues and hotels with the best recycling and waste diversion rates will be recognized, and their efforts will be included in a guide of best practices for the industry.

The initiative originated at the Green Meeting Industry Council's conference a few weeks ago, and will focus on measuring and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water consumption. The typical meeting generates about 20 pounds of waste per person daily.

"The participants of the leadership track wanted to create an action for the industry to engage in that had relevance and was measurable," said GMIC Board President Amy Spatrisano, CMP. "The Million Tons of Trash Challenge is a fun, competitive way to inspire the industry to measure and reduce the waste it produces, cut its carbon emissions, and save money along the way."

Some of the organizations that have signed on to the challenge include MCI Group, American Express Travel, Meeting Strategies Worldwide and Oracle Corp. Oracle, for example, plans to reduce or divert 100 tons of waste at Oracle OpenWorld this year, compared to 67 tons of waste diverted last year.

"Conference" -- CC licensed by Flickr user Eddie Awad.