The first step towards greening meetings and events is establishing a benchmark so all sustainability initiatives can be measured and improved upon. IMEX America, in anticipation of its first North American trade show, has hired MeetGreen to help it take those metrics and develop a sustainability strategy for this and future events.
“We will have specific objectives relating to water usage, energy, emissions [and] waste reduction,” stated IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer. “Through our sustainability plan, our intention is to develop a long-term relationship with our exhibitors, attendees, venues and vendors that will help build a successful show and increase our sustainability efforts for the future.”
The strategy includes: recycling copper, aluminum, brass and heavy metals (including extension cords and power supply cards); recycling or reusing waste wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, drywall, carpet padding, concrete, asphalt and glass; and using Energy Star lighting plans. Electronic products will be donated to The Blind Center of Nevada, and leftover food products will be donated to the Las Vegas Mission. In order to reduce its carbon footprint and invest in the local economy, IMEX will work with 209 local vendors, through the Sands Expo. During the conference, members of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) will provide “green” tips, workshops and best practices information to attendees from an on-site “sustainability center.”
Amy Spatrisano, principal of MeetGreen and GMIC’s co-founder, noted, “Many of the key suppliers on this project have been receptive to seeing where they can improve or enhance their sustainability practices for the show. Their willingness to engage in this way presents some fascinating learning opportunities and wonderful stories to share.”