Sustainable SuccessMarch 28, 2022
How to Give Your Events Venue or Business a Green Makeover
By Scott Steinberg
March 28, 2022
How to Give Your Events Venue or Business a Green Makeover
Hailed as the world’s leading business strategist, award-winning expert witness, strategic consultant and professional speaker Scott Steinberg is among today’s best-known trends experts and futurists, and the bestselling author of “Think Like a Futurist;” “Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty” and “Fast >> Forward: How to Turbo-Charge Business, Sales, and Career Growth.” He is also the president and CEO of BIZDEV: The International Association for Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. His website is FuturistsSpeakers.com.
Out with the old, in with the new: Adopting a more environmentally friendly approach to business operations and fresh set of green policies can help you transform your destination, venue or events company to become more sustainable. But how can you most quickly and effectively move the needle here when it comes to doing your part to promote eco-conscious business practices and fight climate change? Likewise, as you begin thinking about how to build your firm’s sustainability roadmap, and plot deadlines and milestones for the shift to green business solutions, where does it make the most sense for you to get started? Here is a handy checklist of environmentally conscious best practices that you can begin implementing across different areas of your organization. All offer promising avenues through which to do social good, make a positive impact on your community, and more rapidly get started on the path to greening your company or venue today.
Energy Use and Power Management
- Implement smart and advanced energy meters which can self-regulate and adjust your energy consumption based on usage patterns.
- Institute smart devices such as smart plugs or thermostats and artificially-intelligent power management software that can track energy usage, and/or heating and cooling patterns, provide predictive power management capabilities, and automatically conserve energy use during after-hours and low-traffic periods.
- Swap out your current energy solutions for cleaner and more reusable energy sources such as solar, wind, water, wood, etc., and make a point to invest in more renewable power producing solutions — such as solar panels or wind turbines.
- Replace standard-issue light bulbs, lamps, plugs, signs, lighting fixtures, and office equipment with energy-efficient LED or Energy Star certified bulbs, and/or digital alternatives.
- Engage in quarterly and annual energy audits to get a better sense of power use, account for unexpected spikes or dips in utilization, and identify where opportunities exist to reduce consumption for and enjoy added savings.
- Replace vehicles powered by fossil fuels with electric-powered vehicles (EVs), convert to hybrid automobiles and trucks, and/or switch to shipping fleet solutions that leverage natural gas or alternative fuels such as biodiesel or vegetable diesel.
- Encourage employees to carpool, telecommute, utilize alternative transportation methods — walking, cycling, public transport, etc. — or use of ride-sharing services by posting carpool sign-up sheets.
- Wherever possible, shorten trip length and utilize route optimization software or carefully planned voyages to keep the amount of ground covered and time spent traversing landscapes to a minimum.
- Encourage traveling employees to use trains, buses and direct flights — which produce less carbon emissions than long-haul or multi-stop flights — and, where possible, schedule business off-sites, meetings, and events at sustainable properties and destinations.
- Invest in purchasing renewable energy credits or green tags to offset your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Have a formal recycling program and recycling stations with signage and bins in place, and provide staff with training about recycling and reuse best practices.
- Implement more recyclable packaging and materials into your product mix, and/or minimize wasteful packaging such as individually wrapped goods.
- Recycle or reuse paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, wood pallets, newspaper, cardboard, printer toners, and other common office goods or supplies.
- Stock and sell products made only with more sustainable, eco-friendly, and recycled ingredients.
- Switch to more reusable office supplies such as printer paper with at least 30% post-consumer waste, reduce your use of disposable or single-use items such as plastic bags, bottles, or silverware, and utilize more permanent office items and refillable containers.
- Create a formal procedure for the proper disposal of environmentally hazardous waste such as batteries, electronics and fluorescent light bulbs, and both train staff and offer oversight surrounding the process for collecting these items.
- Conduct regular waste audits and pollution-prevention assessments to determine other areas for waste reduction and optimization.
Supply Chain Operations
- Implement a policy of working with only green vendors, and make a habit of conducting sustainability audits on current and prospective partners to ensure compliance with environmentally friendly standards.
- Establish a green planning and oversight team and task them with building a green roadmap containing measurable steps and milestones that your company will take towards achieving greater sustainability, as well as business accountability and oversight.
- Encourage worker participation in helping to green your venue by providing staffers with orientation and training, as well as sustainable incentive and reward programs.
- Regularly engage in staff meetings and discussions to further your environmental efforts, and collect ideas for new ventures.
- Inform your clients about your specific efforts to go green, keep them appraised about your initiatives, and regularly report to the public on your progress to promote transparency and motivate workers to continue making ongoing changes across your venue.
- Institute a formal green purchasing and procurement policy with clear and codified criteria for evaluating goods and services from eco-conscious suppliers, such as based on their recyclability, reusability, and ingredients.
- Leverage certified organic and sustainable products, use rechargeable batteries and power sources, and employ more recyclable and environmentally friendly materials in your workplace such as water-based vs. permanent ink markers and pens.
- Conduct audits to locate potential sources of pollutants, reduce the use of environmental toxins, swap nonbiodegradable components with more eco-friendly options, and identify methods of storing and disposing of litter, debris and hazardous materials.
- Assess any chemicals such as those found in cleaning supplies or production processes used at your venue by reviewing their ingredients and warning labels, and substitute them with less toxic alternatives.
- Do not wash equipment and vehicles in such a way that runoff water flows to storm drains. Collect wash water using equipment and dispose of it in a sewer. Also, when cleaning parking/outdoor areas, hire a certified mobile cleaner.
- Routinely check your business facilities and equipment for and promptly address any leaks, spills or unwanted emissions, and prominently post signs at potential trouble spots that note best practices for dealing with any concerns.
- Develop and establish best management practices surrounding pollution prevention efforts, provide regular staff training in these procedures, codify and offer employee education concerning formal leak and spill prevention or cleanup measures. | AC&F |