There's no doubt that efforts to lessen the impact of meetings and events on the environment has become a dominant trend. But as far as Ambassadors LLC is concerned, putting the spotlight on the environment is no fad. It's become a core part of the business that “is here to stay,” says Jerry McGee, company president.
Ambassadors' green focus has manifested itself in some high-profile events. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company, a division of Ambassadors International, has awith the Democratic National Committee for its 2008 convention in Denver. One of the steps it has taken is the design of a secure electronic housing and event registration system that will help the DNC to save the equivalent of about 50,000 pieces of paper while sparing delegates the hassle of lugging around huge binders filled with convention information.
In the meantime, Ambassadors has developed its own “Green Vision,” a two-pronged effort to develop environmentally friendly policies and procedures within and outside the company.
The internal green committee focuses on ways to green the company's operations. Through its efforts, Ambassadors has, for example, developed a green transportation plan that promotes the use of carpooling, walking, cycling, and public transportation for traveling to and from work; begun looking at environmental criteria when selecting suppliers; and fitted water-saving devices in restrooms, such as variable flush handles, flush sensors, and low-flow taps.
Externally, Ambassadors is also taking a greener approach and trying to “lead by example,” says McGee. The company is reviewing its relationships with vendors to see if it should work with companies more closely aligned with its environmental philosophies. It includes questions about environmental issues on all site searches, and has even issued its ownmanual with processes, policies, venues, and resources.
While Ambassadors is making news on the green meetings front, it has long been known for its innovative efforts in meetings technology, specifically its Global Events Management proprietary technology, launched in 2003 and updated last year with an application known as Bluedot 5.0. The tool is really built on two pillars, says McGee:and .
There are still a lot of companies, McGee points out, in which meetings and events evade procurement's grasp. “Think about it,” he says. “Companies won't let 12 different departments make individual advertising decisions, yet it happens all the time with meetings and events.”