Three upcoming events for meeting planners and suppliers can help them to learn how their meetings and conventions can be more environmentally friendly.

The first is the inaugural event of the Chicago chapter of the Green Meeting Industry Council, which takes place on Wednesday, December 10, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CST, at the Merchandise Mart, a building that earned a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. Chicago is the second chapter of GMIC; the first was formed in Atlanta last month. For more information about the Chicago event, e-mail info@gmicchicago.org.

The second event is a free webinar entitled “Green Meetings: Core Competencies You Need in a Changing Climate,” presented by Marge Anderson, associate director, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and Janet Sperstad, program director, Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wis. Rescheduled from December, the online session will be held January 23, 2008 at 1:00 p.m CST.

The presenters of the webinar, which is hosted by Madison Area Technical College, are both recognized for their leadership in greening meetings. “Sustainability can't be easily managed with a checklist,” says Sperstad. “In order to deliver meetings that exceed our attendees' expectations, meeting professionals will need to practice different competencies than we think of as core to our profession.” For more information and to register, please go to programs.matcmadison.edu/register.php.

On the international front, the Green Meeting Industry Council is holding its annual Greening the Hospitality Industry Conference, scheduled for February 24–26 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Center is the only meeting venue to be awarded Gold LEED certification and is also the largest green certified center. The theme of the conference is “action=sustainability.” Tiered educational tracks for meeting planners and industry suppliers will be offered, including “future leaders” 101 tracks, hands-on experiential learning, and an expert “leaders” track in the field of green meetings management. The leaders track is a new advanced learning series that will require participants to present individual projects and then collaborate on an action plan relating to the larger social issues that affect the meetings industry. Read more.