Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Meeting of the Future is Green and Looks like this

Associations Now

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People who are looking to leave a smaller carbon footprint like to associate with businesses and organizations that feel the same way. In fact, 84 percent of consumers worldwide say they seek out environmentally and socially responsible products whenever possible.

So, if your association can up the ante on its sustainable meeting practices, you might earn some genuine member kudos—in addition to doing Mother Earth a solid.

Here are four ways meeting planners go outside the normal avenues—recycling, printing on both sides, digital-only session handouts—to conduct a greener meeting.

1. Consider going zero waste.

This might sound really daunting, but don’t tune out yet.

First off, the definition of zero waste is actually 90 percent of waste diverted from landfills. And accomplishing that usually comes down to offering composting for uneaten food.

Jessica Davis, director of the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), took her first stab at a zero-waste event when IUPUI’s natatorium hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic diving trials.

In planning the event, Davis found that “If you give [attendees] waste they will generate waste,” she said. So she worked with food services to create less waste and offer composting. For example, the venue switched from plastic to wood coffee stirrers (which can be composted) and offered condiment pumps instead of individual plastic packets.

“At the end of that planning meeting with food services, we were able to eliminate almost all of the trash we would be giving to people,” Davis said.

In the end, the event’s diversion rate was 93 percent, which earned it the “Green Sports Alliance Innovators of the Year” honor.

Read the full story here.

Researchers Working with Sports Venues to Make them ‘Greener,’ Sustainable

By Jeff Mulhollem
Penn State University

Making sports venues such as Pocono Raceway sustainable is an organizational challenge that involves proper signage, messaging, color codes and containers, Penn State researchers have found. Image: By Michael Houtz

Making sports venues such as Pocono Raceway sustainable is an organizational challenge that involves proper signage, messaging, color codes and containers, Penn State researchers have found. Image: By Michael Houtz

Ecosystem and bioproduct researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are working with professional sports franchises to make their venues “greener” and reduce the environmental impact of their events.

Attaining the goal of sending no materials to landfills after sporting events — instead composting some refuse left behind by crowds and recycling the rest — is as much a challenge of changing the culture and behavior of the fans as it is developing new, biodegradable packaging and eating utensils, according to Judd Michael, professor in the departments of Ecosystem Science and Management and Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

“We have found that making sports venues sustainable is an organizational challenge that involves proper signage, messaging, color codes and containers,” he said.

“Fans have to be persuaded to want to act in an environmentally conscientious way, and venues have to provide clear instructions and make it convenient to participate in their composting and recycling programs. Biomaterials science is just a part of the bigger-picture challenge, which also involves supply chains, marketing and psychology.”

A few years ago, Michael began working with the President’s Office, Intercollegiate Athletics, the Sustainability Institute, and the Office of Physical Plant at Penn State to reduce and eventually eliminate the stream of material that goes to a landfill after Nittany Lion football games at Beaver Stadium. That effort is a work in progress but for several years has resulted in 100 percent diversion from landfill for a portion of the stadium.

“At Penn State, we strive to make our own academic and sports operations as sustainable as possible and have learned many lessons as we moved to the forefront of collegiate greening efforts,” he said.

“Compostable materials are a little more expensive, and sports venue owners say, ‘Look, I don’t want to spend 5 percent more on these plates if the fans throw them away rather than compost them.’ We are making big strides forward in trying to understand signage and marketing and the psychology of fan behavior so they will do the right thing with their materials.”

Read the full story here.

New Edition of Sustainable Golf Development Guidelines

Golf Environment Organization

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First released in 2010, this updated edition of the guidelines brings together over 55 innovative examples and compelling insights from leading figures in golf development from across the globe demonstrating why golf continues to be more than a game.

In recent years, the sport has shown that it is adapting to address future challenges, and new projects are pushing the boundaries of conventional golf course design. The examples within this new edition have come about to meet challenges faced, such as resource availability, personal time constraints, tighter land restrictions and increasing social challenges. This next generation of golf developments are delivering greater benefits for their social and natural environments whilst providing multiuse recreational facilities for all generations.

Endorsed by many of the major industry associations in golf development and sustainability, the guidelines examine the process of realising a golf development from site selection right through the design and construction process to opening day and beyond. The guidelines compliment the OnCourse® Developments programme’s ethos by being open and applicable to every kind of proposed golf course from large resort developments to smaller scale golf facilities.

Sam Thomas, Manager of Golf Development at GEO explained: ‘Since 2010, the industry has moved forward at pace and there have been so many great examples of sustainable golf development. The guidelines have been refreshed to include these new real-world examples and also to more closely align with the current dialogue in the sustainability world; along with last year’s release of the International Voluntary Standard and OnCourse®Developments programme for golf developments.’

In this publication are examples of river restoration in the South of Portugal; Zero chemical construction and maintenance in the Caribbean and Scandinavia; renovation with 33% reduction in resource consumption in the U.S. and support for local communities and education in South America. This whole world view of sustainable golf development and the alignment with the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals is vital to the continued growth and prosperity of the sustainable golf development movement.

View the full story and download the guidelines here.

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