Office of Energy & Sustainability

Tips for Sustainable Events at Weill Cornell

Silhouette of people meeting

As we gather with our colleagues to launch and advance projects or to celebrate an occasion, let's remember to lower our environmental impact as much as possible.

"Meeting green" involves making sustainable choices for meeting locations, food and materials. The following tips can get you started:

Go paperless. Many meetings result in paper waste when handouts and other copies are produced in excess or discarded after the meeting. To avoid this common occurrence, make agendas and other materials available electronically before and after the event. Use PowerPoint presentations and whiteboards during the event. Be sure to inform your participants beforehand that there will be no copies so that they may make the best decisions about their own meeting preparation.

Consider your catering choices. Water, iced tea, juice, etc. can be served in pitchers rather than individual containers. Provide buffet style food choices rather than individual items that result in packaging waste. Choose reusable cutlery and dishware when possible but, if impractical, select biodegradable items such as paper cups and plates versus those made of plastic or Styrofoam.

Make recycling easy. When you must use plastic or aluminum cans, be sure that recycling bins are plainly visible next to garbage cans. Work with housekeeping in your area to learn about recycling options. Re-use discarded handouts or save them for scrap paper. Recycle what is not needed.

Meet vitually. Our organization is physically spread throughout Manhattan and beyond. It can be a challenge to find a meeting location to best accommodate all participants' needs. Using cabs to travel to/from our various locations consumes limited natural resources and is costly to the organization. Meetings can occur via various web-based platforms. 

Communicate your sustainable efforts throughout your area of influence. Transforming your work area to a culture of sustainability is done with good communication and through example. Explain to staff and colleagues why things are changing in your meetings and what you are trying to accomplish by going green.

Did you know

Recycling an aluminum can saves enough energy to run a tv for two hours or a computer for three hours.

Office of Energy & Sustainability 1300 York Avenue, LC006, Box 14, New York, NY 10065