by Will Edgcumbe

Sustainable Tourism

Easy steps to greening your conference

Greening your conference
Greening your conference
Sustainability has become a fundamental touchstone for the way in which companies conduct their everyday business. It is now common practice for them to monitor and control their impact on the environment and assess their effect on the society in which they operate. The triple bottom line is no longer the Holy Grail once aspired to by oversensitive ‘tree-huggers’ but has become a central consideration for good business practice. When it comes to the green revolution, the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry is no different and South Africa is leading the way in hosting events that provide value beyond the four meeting-room walls with minimal impact on the natural environment.


Much of the progress made in terms of greening South Africa’s events can be attributed to a number of green certification bodies, which work tirelessly to promote the importance of sustainability. However you need not rely on (or even choose) a venue with green certifications.

Here are a few simple steps that can help to ensure that your event makes as little impact as possible on the environment:

Cut down on paper use by using electronic media – send out invites via email, project the itinerary in a central location rather than printing out copies for everyone, and ensure that any paper you do use is recycled.

Recycle visibly. Have separate bins for waste so that delegates are educated about recycling and ensure that the host venue reduces, reuses and recycles wherever possible as part of your event contract.

Plan meals that use locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, and try to introduce some vegetarian meals.

Choose a hotel that is within walking distance from the meeting venue and close to mass transit points.

Try to meet in a well-ventilated, naturally lit venue to cut down on the energy needed for air conditioning and lighting.
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