Courtesy, Javits Center

It’s more important than ever to make sustainable choices all along the supply chain when planning a meeting, and sharing green strategies with your attendees helps to reduce your meeting’s environmental footprint even further. Here are some tips for greener meetings developed in partnership with The Climate Group, an international nonprofit dedicated to accelerating climate action and keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius through initiatives like Climate Week NYC, an international summit celebrating its tenth consecutive year September 24–30, 2018.

1. Encourage attendees to minimize their carbon footprint when traveling to New York City
Thanks to four international airports—JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Stewart—New York City enjoys many direct connections to domestic and international hubs, as well as extensive train and bus connections throughout the Northeast. Attendees can also contribute to a carbon-reduction initiative like Carbonfund.org or TerraPass when booking to neutralize the effect of their air travel.

2. Use public transportation instead of shuttle buses 
NYC is among the world’s foremost walking cities. The Javits Center is directly connected to Midtown Manhattan via the 7 subway line, and attendees can also hop on a Citi Bike right outside the south entrance. The extensive 24-hour New York City public transportation system serves all five boroughs and a fast-expanding ferry service gives your delegates more options than ever.

3. Consider purchasing carbon offsets
Measure the carbon footprint of your event in terms of water, waste, energy and emissions using an online tool like the MeetGreen Calculator. Once you’ve calculated the carbon footprint of your event, you can help negate the environmental impact by supporting an organization like Million Trees NYC or the Billion Oyster Project.

4. Embrace technology to minimize paper waste
Using an online registration system, electronic signage and mobile technology like event apps saves paper—and money. Offer donation bins for any creative collateral or display items that could be repurposed for future events or donated to local schools or nonprofit organizations.

5. Go plastic-free
Work with your venue and catering team to ensure that water stations and non-plastic cups and cutlery will be used for all meals and snack breaks.

6. Hold your event at a green property
A growing number of New York City meeting venues are LEED-certified buildings that ensure you’re conserving energy and water throughout your event. These New York City properties have joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Carbon Challenge.

7. Use local suppliers whenever possible
Use local vendors to avoid unnecessary travel and pollution. New York City has some excellent urban farms that will help you incorporate a meat-free day into your event with plant-based offerings using seasonal produce. Excess food can be donated to local organizations like City Harvest or the Food Bank for New York City.

8. Communicate with your attendees about green practices 
Encourage your meeting attendees to use public transportation, to pack their own tote bags instead of using plastic bags and to bring a maximum of two business electronic devices in their bags. Other proven green strategies for travelers are to take showers rather than baths, turn off lights and heating or air-conditioning, and to reuse towels.

9. Encourage exhibitors to recycle booth materials
Work with your venue to communicate to exhibitors how materials like carpets, displays and other equipment used on the trade show floor can be recycled on-site or donated to local organizations after your event.

10. Get your team involved
Meet with internal stakeholders in the early planning stages of your meeting to ensure that sustainability is on everyone’s radar. Encourage creativity as your organization puts together a plan to reduce the environmental impact of your event.

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