Golden Planners Inc. (GPI) has implemented various company-wide ‘greening’ policies and approaches which are applied to GPI’s way of doing business and also provided to our clients as ways to ‘green’ their events. Going green makes good business sense!
Environmental Statement and Mission:
GPI has made a commitment to incorporate environmental considerations in its operations and ways of doing business and also in all elements of the planning and execution of events in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment and positively contribute to the community.
Green Business Initiatives that GPI has adopted in its office operations:
- Documents are shredded to minimize waste.Recycling of paper, plastic, metal, etc.
- Recycling of used office equipment (computers and monitors are taken to a recycling plant).
- Batteries and Ink cartridges are returned to “Staples” for recycling.
- Plants are maintained in the office to “clean” the air.
- Printers have the ability to print double-sided with this as the default setting.
- Using office supplies more efficiently by reusing and recycling office supplies.
Green Meetings Initiatives that GPI applies to its event planning processes and practices:
We source out and order:
- Name badge holders made from biodegradable materials.
- Signage designed to be re-used year after year for annual events (whenever possible).
- Conference bag products that are reusable and biodegradable (for example, a product that includes 25% recycled pre-consumer material in the form of reused polypropylene waste).
- Lanyards that are made of 100% pre and post consumer recycled materials e.g., bamboo.
- Electronic signage when it is more sustainable than re-usable, recyclable signage.
We have recommended:
- Determining the carbon footprint of the event and investigating the carbon offsets required to be carbon neutral.
- Giving reusable water bottles (i.e. stainless steel) to the delegates – to be used throughout the event and keep plastic bottles out of the landfills.
- Eliminating single use containers from all food and beverage service (such as salt and pepper, margarine or sugar and creamer containers).
- Never using disposable cutlery or dishware (unless necessary because collection for washing is not possible because of transport issues and if disposable is absolutely necessary, it must be bio-degradable).
- Using electronic evaluations/surveys instead of printed evaluation questionnaires.not providing photocopied handouts – post the information electronically on the event web site.
- Using paper with a high level of post-consumer recycled content for the printing of conference materials.minimizing printed marketing materials – promote the event electronically via e-marketing and when printed materials are required, designing them using sustainable principles such as matching paper size to available presses, no bleeds, important relevant information only.
- Ordering recycling bins on-site (for paper and plastic).
- Collecting lanyards and badge holders at the end of the event – to be re-used.
- Collecting and recycling name badge inserts.
Note: Sustainable practices are likely to change in the post COVID-19 resumption of meetings and conferences. At this point in time, the best practices are not yet developed, the balance with healthiness will be important.
Energy Conservation Initiatives:
GPI leases its office space. However, GPI maintains a certain control over energy useage by having separate lighting switches throughout the office premises which allows us to not turn on lights in areas when not required. In addition, GPI has a certain control over the programming of the heating/air conditioning usage and tries to minimize consumption without jeopardizing the required level of comfort in the office environment. GPI staff shut down their computers at the end of each day. When available, GPI sources office equipment with power saver modes (eg. printer, fax, monitors). GPI’s office space is convenient for public transit (on a major bus route) and staff are encouraged to use public transit (periodic plans have been implemented to cover bus pass costs). Some staff voluntarily use bicycles to get to work when the weather is suitable. GPI staff are also able to work remotely.
Green Procurement and Waste Management:
GPI applies the same environmental considerations to its event planning processes and practices as it does to its own operations and procurement practices. For events, we also ask facilities to reduce waste by:
- Using water coolers or pitchers of water onsite instead of bottled water.
- Using pitchers of juice instead of individual bottles.Using pitchers of cream/milk, bowls of sugar and condiments instead of individual units.
- Only using washable dishware and cutleryPads of paper and pens are placed in specific locations in meeting rooms to reduce the waste of placing one at each place setting.Whenever possible, leftover food is redirected to a social service agency to reduce wastage.Quantities of food and beverage ordered are based on historical patterns rather than total attendance to reduce wastage.Served meals are recommended as a means of controlling portion size (and therefore wastage) over buffets, when feasible.
Green Hotel Facilities:
GPI can and does encourage clients to use green hotels. A list of Green Key hotels is available at: www.greenkeyglobal.com.
Wherever possible, GPI recommends to its clients to purchase carbon offsets to ensure full carbon neutrality. This can be done through organizations such as Offsetters or ZeroFootprint.
Sample of one of GPI's "greening" event action plan:
This ‘greening’ action plan was implemented for one of GPI’s events: The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy which took place on October 29 & 30, 2008 in Ottawa:
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy made every reasonable and feasible effort to incorporate existing and emerging green meeting practices throughout the organizing and execution of the NRTEE’s 20the Anniversary Event Program. These efforts included:
- All invitations to the Round Table Forum on Securing Canada’s Future were issued electronically, with the exception of the Invitation from the Speaker of the Senate which has to be in paper form for security reasons (and was printed on recycled paper).
- All background documentation was issued electronically and paper copies were not provided on-site.
- A shuttle service was provided between the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel where many participants are staying and the Government Conference Centre on Sussex Drive using the Hydrogen on the Hill buses. The buses demonstrated a reduction of more than 99.5% in CO2 emissions and more than 75% in NOx emissions compared to gasoline vehicles. The buses were sponsored by the Senate of Canada, Ford (Canada), ATFCAN and Air Liquide.
- Menu planning for the Reception and Forum included as much as possible the 100 mile diet concept and sustainable farming.
- Catering service was provided with washable utensils, plates, cups and glasses.
- Single use containers were not permitted, including for cream, sugar and juice.
- Public recycling containers were stationed throughout the Forum venue with separate sections to avoid co-mingling and contamination of materials to be recycled.
- Banners were produced utilizing bio-degradable banner material.
- Re-usable signs were produced on recyclable cardboard.
- Forum proceedings were being broadcast by CPAC to extend the reach of the Forum electronically. CPAC also made the sessions available via webcast.
- For all green house gas emissions that could not be eliminated, carbon offsets were purchased to cover air travel (97% of estimated GHGs), ground transportation, non-recyclable/undivertable waste, office and meeting space HVAC and power consumption, participant accommodation, AV services, etc. through Zero Foot Print. The projects supported were selected to be be a Tire Recycling Program in Quebec, a Run of River Hydro Project north of Ottawa and a Landfill Gas Recovery Project in Niagara Falls.