Thursday, 19 July 2007

Call to Action - Green Meetings Act

A critical and timely opportunity has emerged to support and expand market demand for green meetings within the United States.

On July 13 Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz introduced the Green Meetings Act (H.R. 3037). In the preceeding post please find Congresswoman Schwartz' letter regarding the bill which is being introduced to expand the United States Environmental Protection Agency's recently announced green meetings policy to all federal agencies.

I invite you to consider the content of the proposed Act and contact your local Congress representative to discuss and co-sponsor this bill. Should you choose to express your support in writing you are welcome to consider and raise the points in the following sample letter.

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Dear Congressional representative:

Re. Green Meetings Act (H.R. 3037)

I have recently become aware of the introduction of a bill by Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz to help the federal government go green with its meetings.

On May 1, 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency changed its acquisition rules for planning meetings and conferences to give preference for facilities that manage their resources in environmentally positive ways. When the EPA solicits services for conferences and meetings, it uses a 14-point checklist to locate facilities that use good conservation practices such as providing guests with a towel reuse option, having an energy efficiency program, or having easy access to public transit options.

This Act would expand existing EPA policy on green meetings to all federal agencies, an action that as a meeting professional I would support for the following reasons:

  • Meetings and conventions consume large quantities of water and energy, and produce significant amounts of waste. For example the average conference delegate produces over four times the amount of trash at a meeting than when they are at home (USEPA, 2000 & 2003). This Act would help us to reduce our impact by positively influencing suppliers such as hotels and conference centers to provide greener services.
  • The US federal government is able to exercise significant influence in catalyzing market demand in support of providing greener meeting and travel products, thereby bolstering the green economy and providing meeting professionals with improved access to green meetings related products and services.
Further opportunity does exist beyond adoption of this Act to establish national criteria for green meetings and events to better enable measurement and enforcement of green meeting practices. I feel, however, that this is an important continuing step in the process of transforming the meetings industry into a more sustainable economic sector. For these reasons I respectfully request that you contact John Sherry at 202.225.611 or john.sherry@mail.house.gov for more information on, or to co-sponsor this bill.

1 comment:

Blenda said...

Well written article.