Destination Managers are one of the key components of the industry impacted by new guidelines on Green Meetings. The Convention Industry Council recently adopted best practices for Green Meetings and established new standards that provide guidance for suppliers to the meeting industry.
The following 8 steps provide a guide for DMOs looking to become greener and meet the requirements of the new standards. While DMOs have a role in supporting their destination team members become more sustainable, these steps are directed to the actions DMOs can take to improve their own green performance.
1. Develop a sustainability plan. This step requires some thought – but it follows a very standard planning and management process. In developing the plan you will:
a. Determine your vision, goals and objectives for greening your organization;
b. Allocate people and resources to getting the job done;
c. Finally – you will need to measure your performance and manage the “green” performance against the goals you have set for your organization.
2. Designate one of the team to be your Green Champion – or better still start a green team.
3. Measure your progress. Remember – you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
4. Be prepared to share about your initiatives. You need to communicate the green strategy to suppliers, staff and other stakeholders.
The next few steps focus on specific actions you should be taking as part of your sustainability plan. As they say – “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” and these actions recommend taking the important step of monitoring your performance on key environmental behaviors and managing to improve them!
5. Implement your waste management plan. Adopt a plan to reduce, reuse or recycle your waste, monitor your progress and improve your performance.
6. Implement an Energy strategy designed to reduce your energy consumption.
7. Buy green products. Use your purchasing power as a way to show your commitment to the environment.
The final step in becoming a more DMO committed to community sustainability encourages destination Managers to use their unique position in the community to connect meeting planners with charitable organizations.
8. Identify community service organizations that may accept event-related donation streams. Greening the destination is a team effort that includes the DMO, your meeting industry and the meeting conveners. Your DMO can assist by identifying for these organizations and providing the information to PCOs and meeting planners.
Following these 8 steps will move your DMO towards the standards set by the Convention Industry Council – and show your commitment to community wellbeing and quality of life. Get started today!