Office of Energy & Sustainability

Sustainable Events Guide

Silhouette of people meeting



  • Go paperless. 
    • Advertise your event online (distribute fliers by email and promote the event using social media).
    • Make agendas and other materials available electronically before and after the event.


  • Reuse. 
    • Use reusable name badges.
    • Create and laminate signs to use again for future events.
    • Reuse tablecloths and decorations.
    • Use reusable bowls and trays and possibly even plates.


  • Choose greener catering options.
    • Order food from businesses nearby to minimize resources needed to transport.
    • Provide buffet-style food choices rather than individually packaged items or order in bulk.
    • Serve finger food snacks to limit the need for plates and utensils.
    • Choose locally grown and/or seasonal produce, Fair Trade foods and beverages, vegetarian/vegan options.


  • Make recycling easy. 
    • Be sure that recycling bins are clearly visible next to garbage cans and are clearly labeled.
    • Assign the role of recycling coordinator. A person should be responsible for coordinating recycling and ensuring that recycling is done correctly.


  • Reduce waste.
    • Limit the usage of single-use utensils and encourage attendees to bring their own plates, utensils, bottles, mugs, or cups.
    • Avoid single-use cups and glasses by providing glasses for wine or beer in cans or glass bottles.
    • Provide beverage dispensers for water or other soft drinks and avoid buying small plastic bottles.
    • Avoid over-ordering by requiring event registration.


  • Recycle and manage waste sustainably.
    • Recycle what is not needed.
    • Take home leftovers or share them with neighbors or other staff. For bigger events, consider donating the leftover food to an organization.


  • Communicate. Tell your attendees about WCM’s sustainable efforts and explain what the institution wants to accomplish by going green.



For larger events:

  • Meet virtually if possible. 
  • Promote the use of public transportation and car-pooling or hire shuttles to transport participants.



Contact for help with your event.

Did you know

Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, enough energy to power a house for 6 months.

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