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A Practical Event Planner Checklist for Organizing Green Events

By: MPI Toronto | Mar 26, 2019

green blog

The meetings industry has been addressing various topics related to holding green events for quite some time, including strategies to making eco-friendly choices when organizing an event, the potential pitfalls of greenwashing, and how event planners can play a critical role in saving the environment due to the tremendous waste events traditionally generate.

Over the years, meeting planners and event organizers have made great strides to reduce their  environmental footprint, such as developing mobile apps to host paperless events, ordering less food, and selecting hotels and venues with environmentally friendly certifications, such as LEED and BOMA BEST.

However, in order for change to be sustainable and impactful, there are many other ways to make events even greener, particularly at the start of a sustainable event planning process. Here are our top 3 questions to ask as part of your overall event planner checklist when organizing a conference, convention or corporate meeting. 

1. How green are your host city and venues?

While scouting out potential host cities, venues and accommodations, make sure you ask about their environmental stewardship and policies with respect to how they concretely implement methods to reduce pollution, protect and enhance the natural environment, reduce waste generation and have a waste management program in place.

For example, the venue you choose will not be able to offer an effective waste management program, particularly with excess material after the event, if the host city has not put in place the infrastructure to compost, recycle and reduce what is sent to landfills.

Sustainability needs to be in place at every level: the city and the venues.

2. How green are your potential F&B partners?

In the past, food and beverage services in the event industry were huge sources of waste. A conference welcoming just over 1,000 attendees can generate tons of waste from paper, plastic and food. 

Ask all event caterers and the restaurants you are interested in how they contribute to helping the environment. Do they still use disposable containers, like water bottles and plastic stir cups—or are they adopting greener methods of serving food and drink? How are food surpluses managed? Do they offer composting options or donate leftovers to local, charitable organizations, such as shelters and transition homes?

Think about the meals F&B partners are offering to prepare for your event. Do they favour local and seasonal ingredients from nearby producers? This not only lets participants discover a region’s unique cuisine but also contributes to minimizing greenhouse emissions generated by transporting foods from farther away.

3. Can you make the event experience even greener?

Ditching paper is not the only way to make an event eco-friendlier. To start, when you are determining your overall event programming, try to plan for venues, including accommodations, the event itself as well as any off-site activities and points of interest to be within walking distance of each other. This saves attendees’ time, gives them a great opportunity to discover the city—and naturally eliminates the need to use other forms of transportation. 

Other cost-effective ways to go green include seeking out local speakers and entertainers. Your destination may be brimming with world-renowned experts and fascinating acts that can truly take your event experience to a whole new level. It also goes a long way to saving on transportation costs and reducing the event’s carbon footprint.


Organizing a green event does take commitment, a change in mindset and some research. However, by planning in advance, your event can become a model in sustainable development. And Mother Earth will thank you for it!

About the Québec City Convention Centre
The Québec City Convention Centre where attendees can enjoy a wonderful meeting experience without compromising tomorrow. At our facility, green management is part of the package. Our commitment to sustainability inspires innovative solutions and concrete actions that reduce the ecological footprint of all our events.

Read more on our commitment to sustainability by visiting our website www.convention.qc.ca/en and contact Aline Tesser, Sales Manager, to learn how we can assist you in organizing an eco-friendly event. Contact her at atesser@convention.qc.ca or at 1 888-679-4000.

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