Have you considered what the impact of COVID19 will have on our sustainable events? When COVID19 hit, hotels and venues quickly reversed course on many of their green initiatives, and reverted back to the use of single-use plastics and other items. I was disheartened to see and hear of these protocols, as a lover of green meetings! So I reached out to the Founders of the Sustainable Events Forum to see what they could share about what they were seeing.
It was one of the most insightful interviews I had ever participated in; their insights were a game-changer for me in how I view green meetings and sustainability. You can view the 40 minute interview in the link below, and they kindly shared a checklist that you can use for your next sustainable event. You can also view Natalie and Candice’s contact information at the bottom of this post.
Enjoy the interview!
RFP Questions for Sustainable Events, as provided by The Sustainable Events Forum
General sustainability questions:
- Does your venue or company have a sustainability strategy? Do you have a sustainability committee or implementation plan?
- If yes, please provide a copy of your sustainability strategy or policies.
- Does the venue have a garden, local plants, rooftop gardens or beehive or other natural ecosystem initiatives in place?
Material Use Questions:
- Does the venue use recycled products, bioplastics, or compostable plastics, which can be locally processed, in the following areas?
- Office paper – i.e. printing and copying paper
- Food service items
- Washroom paper products
- Are paper items FSC certified?
- Has the venue discouraged or limited the use of single use plastics through policy or procurement or general practice?
- Recycling and composting
- Does the venue participate in a commercial recycling program – if yes, which materials are recycled? Do public facing refuse collection containers allow for sorting of these materials?
- Does the venue compost food waste from kitchen food preparation and post service leftovers?
Handling of water and wastewater:
- Do public washrooms or guest rooms have reduced flow water fixtures?
- Is there a storm water management policy in place?
- Is there a water catchment program, i.e. green roofs, gardens, rain barrels, etc.
Energy Use Questions:
- Does the venue have an energy reduction program, i.e. use of LED lights, motion sensors for lighting, or other steps to reduce energy use?
- Does the venue have a climate control (temperature and humidity) plan in place to manage energy use and client comfort during cold or hot weather events?
- Has the venue implemented other energy saving steps?
Food Service and Handling of Food Waste:
- Do your menus offer vegan and vegetarian options?
- Are there any organic or locally sourced menu items?
- Do you have a food reuse program with any local charities?
- Do you have whole unprocessed food items on your menus, i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts.
- Do you offer sustainable options for water service, i.e. water stations, water jugs on the tables, etc.
- Do you have sustainable options for other beverage service? i.e. fountains, jugs – rather than single use containers?
- Can you offer composting and recycling bins in public areas?
Post Pandemic Planning, questions to consider:
- What practices, based on local and federal guidance around cleanliness, has the venue put in place?
- What is the cleaning and disinfection process?
- What does disinfection entail?
- Is the venue practicing deep cleaning of rooms and public spaces?
- What is their approach to food and beverage post covid-19?
- Will they be offering distancing measures for dining and meeting spaces?
- Will they be offering plated or buffet meals?
Learn more about the Sustainable Events Forum here.