The value of going green with meetings and events
A global leader in medical services and technology has revolutionized sustainability at their events with a Cvent-supported green meeting policy. With more than 90,000 employees in over 150 countries, they host over 9,500 meetings and events per year.
Like many companies, they sought to minimize the carbon impact of their events program. They've partnered with Cvent for several years to set sustainability goals around meetings and events and track their progress.
“At the time we were still fairly new when it came to capturing and analyzing event data,” explains the company's Lead SMMP Strategist. “But we were able to calculate some savings and carbon footprint reduction, and shared this with our sustainability team." She adds that they winning a global sustainability award created "a lot of interest in what we were doing globally." As a result, they've since expanded their efforts and ultimate success in meeting their sustainability goals.
With travel forming the bulk of event-related carbon emissions, the company also assembled a decision tree on travel to put opportunities for travel mitigation front of mind for their planners, implementing a consensus on situations where travel is absolutely necessary.
Use of online registration and event apps are included items in the company’s green meetings checklist, which event planners are encouraged and incentivized to complete after the close of an event. It includes a variety of sustainable practices, such as:
- Ensuring the venue is “green certified” (i.e., LEED, Green Globe, Green Seal)
- Use of ground transportation company who automatically downsizes based on need
- Use of online registration and digital communications
- Use of attendee-facing event mobile app
- Held an offsite activity or dinner which required no additional transportation (walking distance)
- Use of local, seasonal organic and/or sustainable food options
Improving progress year by year
In their most recent financial year, the company’s sustainable meetings program saved over $3M in cost avoidance and reduced carbon footprint by 3,300 tons. They have successfully saved over 151,000 bottles worth of plastic waste and eliminated the use of 6.4 million pieces of paper. This has resulted in over $3 million annual cost avoidance via green practices.
In future, the team plans to roll out their sustainability program worldwide, with plans to expand Cvent into Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Canada. “We’ve succeeded by making sustainability as simple as possible,” explains the company’s Sourcing Optimization Specialist. “We’ve made it easy to complete the green meetings checklist, and planners are automatically notified to do so after their event."
By ensuring sustainability is enfolded into their daily processes, the company is ensuring the continued success of its program. The Sourcing Optimization Specialist adds, "It’s part of the process: daily, common practice broken down into actionable steps.” They're excited to see the future successes they can bring to their global teams as a result.