Medical meeting planning company Professional Meeting Planners Network, Durham, N.C., has launched a “green” meeting initiative that will incorporate environmentally friendly practices into its operations.

PMPN’s “Green Meetings Mission Statement” applies to both the meetings it manages and its corporate office. For meetings, PMPN meeting managers adhere to the following guidelines: use local audiovisual providers to eliminate shipping, use public transportation and suggest its use to attendees, turn off meeting room lights when not in use, power down AV equipment after testing prior to a meeting, use rechargeable batteries for necessary equipment, collect name badges to be reused later, make sure attendees know about recycling areas at the venue, discuss food donation or composting at the end of your event, and conduct a paperless registration process on site.

The company also encourages its clients to print on both sides of paper materials, communicate via mail whenever possible, mandate that the venue donate extra meals and compost leftovers, minimize long-distance shipping, choose venues with sustainable green meeting policies, and reuse boxes and envelopes.

According to research conducted by PMPN using the Web site www.conservation.org, one person flying to 10 meetings a year, half of them over 500 miles away, would send 3.9 tons of carbon dioxide into the air. “This is just mind-boggling to me when you consider that if you have that same person attend those meetings locally, you drive less than 600 miles and expend only 0.2 tons of carbon dioxide,” says James Montague, president and chief executive officer at PMPN, in a news release. “I think those kind of statistics are the most telling about how our decisions impact the world around us.”

For more on PMPN’s initiative, go to www.pmpn.com.