SED's Sustainability Commitment
If your organization is like ours, it has made a commitment to the environment and social responsibility which should extend to meetings. We recognize that the single biggest contributor to an in-person event’s carbon footprint is travel, accounting for more than 90% of the carbon emissions from an average event.
At the same time, we recognize the value of human interaction, face-to-face meetings (even mask-to-mask meetings), and coming together as a community to develop strategies to meet those commitments.
How do you strive to reduce carbon emissions and hold in-person meetings?
Balance and transparency.
For Smart Energy Decisions, we hope to strike a balance to mitigate our environmental impacts while coming together in person at our events. We follow an event sustainability plan that includes, but is not limited to:
- Researching options to offset Smart Energy Decisions’ event-related carbon emissions
- Exploring available options for event attendees to offset their carbon emissions from travel
- Reducing single-use plastic at events, both on stage and during meals
- Deploying clearly labeled recycling bins where appropriate at our event hotels
- Researching alternative materials for signage at events
- Linen re-use programs to be offered to all SED guests at partnering hotels
- Requesting accurate waste metrics from hotels to measure progress
As a Small Business Partner of Carbonfund.org, SED plans to calculate, reduce and offset our carbon footprint with third-party regulated high-quality standards. We are helping the environment, fighting climate change, and helping make the transition to a clean energy future possible. For more information, please see Carbonfund.org’s quality assurance protocol, used when selecting voluntary carbon offset projects they source for their donors and business partners.
Producing a sustainable event involves a concerted effort across vendors and supply chains to help transform an industry.
With sustainability increasingly “built-in” to the fabric and processes of hotels and meeting venues, we seek eco-friendly venues. Looking ahead, during the vendor and site selection process we plan to:
- Ask to see a venue’s environmental policy and any certifications they may have relating to sustainability practices
- Select venues that have energy-efficient lighting and HVAC, as well as water-conserving plumbing fixtures and best practices in place to reduce the need for equipment transportation by considering a venue that provides its own technical equipment and support.
- Identify venues that offer great opportunities for outdoor activities to make the most of the natural surroundings.
Waste minimization and diversion
- Reduce paper use to a minimum by avoiding handouts and other paper-based materials. Where printed materials are needed, select more sustainable options.
- Use a digital app to replace agendas and programs
- Ensure paper and cardboard recycling bins are available
- Don’t automatically provide paper notepads to attendees
- Distribute presentations electronically
- Use digital options for feedback and surveys
- Look for alternatives to flip charts like dry erase whiteboard and/or digital projection
- Prioritize digital, rather than paper-based signage
- Select reusable name badges that can be collected at the end of an event, and recycled/re-used
- Consider eco-friendly alternatives to meeting materials
- Minimize use of lighting, heating, and air conditioning. Choose meeting rooms with windows that provide natural light where possible.
- Carbon offsetting CO2 from our event and providing options for attendees to do the same
- Encourage attendees to act sustainably – promoting energy and water efficiency
Sustainable and healthy catering
- Select a venue that prioritizes and provides sustainable food and beverage procurement such as local and organic suppliers
As society faces challenges, many turn to the power of events to find solutions, foster collaboration, celebrate successes, and ensure accountability. We believe that we can contribute to our mission and a more sustainable future by first applying sustainability practices to event design and execution and providing opportunities to mitigate footprints.
- Act to minimize our carbon footprint in all that we do
- When in-person events are planned, select venues partners with a sustainability ethos and/or attributes to achieve our meeting sustainability goals
- Act to reduce waste and promote recycling and expect our suppliers to act in the same way
- Actively engage within the energy industry to promote a greener approach to meetings and events
Interested in learning more? Download the 2021 SED Sustainability Report
We hope you’ll join us on this journey.
Reach out to Alexandra Failla, Director of ESG & Admin on our team
for more information email: [email protected]