Learn from the pros
1) Victoria Johnson, CMP, CMM, manager, meeting services and sourcing, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Northbrook, Ill. I’ve added a “bragging page” to all my meeting registration sites to let attendees know what we’re doing. At a recent meeting, we included info about how we’re reducing paper use by using Web-based registration and avoiding collateral materials by posting information online. We’re eliminating water bottles and using only reusable cutlery, dishware, linens, and decorations. We also chose a local hotel near our offices to reduce our carbon footprint, and we use airport shuttles instead of rental cars.
2) Marge Anderson, associate director, Energy Center of Wisconsin, Madison We began a voluntary program for employees that brought them together once a month to look at different topics around sustainability—both in the office and at home. In addition, we unearthed several hidden talents. For example, we learned how to disable the lighting in the vending machine to save energy.
3) John Touchette, CMP, director, meetings and special events, Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass. We have events at places like the Hyatt Regency DFW, which has great meeting space but requires no transfer for guests from the airport—they can walk from one of the terminals or take comp shuttles. Walt Disney World’s complimentary Magical Express is another great option—and it saves money.
4) Jeannie Wert, event manager, communications Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Deerfield, Ill. For the team at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, our jumping off point is this: What are simple and cost-effective changes we can make that will allow us to use, reuse, and save money at the same time? We began with program signage that could be reused for multiple programs versus one-time use. Presentation materials that couldn’t be published online or provided via memory stick are now produced with multiple slides per page, and printed double-sided on recycled paper to save money. Perhaps most important, we widely communicate our green goals and use our event Web sites to showcase the green measures you can expect to see at a particular event. We also encourage our attendees with simple suggestions on how they can support our initiative.
5) Patricia Stuhff, CMP, senior vice president, corporate communications, TCW, Los Angeles At TCW’s last leadership conference, we included a community service element to our activity. We provided a local social service agency, Many Mansions, with toys for their young residents. Our 15 teams built a total of 60 toys and had a lot of fun in the process. Since 1979, Many Mansions has provided well-managed, service-enriched, affordable housing to low-income residents of Ventura County, Calif., and its surrounding communities. It owns and manages over 400 units of affordable housing, serve approximately 1,000 adults and 200 children, provide on-site services programs that include job training, case management, homework literacy, a teen club, and much more.
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