Monday, 25 May 2009

Have your Say: Green Destination Standards

So, what exactly should a destination city have in order to be considered a 'green' destination for meetings?
  • Should it have commercial recycling?
  • Must it have minimum amount of hotels providing green guest rooms?
  • Should it have a LEED certified convention centre?
  • A convenient transit link between the convention core and the airport?
Well, now is the time to have your say! Agree, disagree, but at least participate. APEX-ASTM Green Meeting and Event Standards for Destinations give direction to CVB's wanting to be green, help planners communicate the services they expect for their meetings and, at the end of the day, make the cities we call home more livable.

Contact if you would like to receive a copy of the current draft standard. Comment period is open until June 3, 2009.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Seven Deadly Sins

98% of consumer products marketed as green are greenwashing, according to TerraChoice in their newly revised report The Seven Sins of Greenwashing. With a 79% increase in green products available in North American retail stores since their 2007 report, TerraChoice advises consumers are becoming rather distrustful of environmental claims.

TerraChoice has added a new sin in this report: the worshipping of false labels. Companies committing this create the impression third-party endorsement exists when the opposite is true.

Several years ago I was conducting a site inspection at a convention centre which indicated it had achieved an energy efficiency certification. As part of my due diligence I requested the facility produce the latest proof of the certification. Having not received the certificate a few weeks following the visit I nudged them again. After a third reminder I was informed by an operations manager that the certificate had expired. Possibly an honest mistake, but still, a false label.

The lesson for planners: request verification of any and all environmental claims made, especially ecolabels.

The lesson for destinations: ensure all certifications are up to date and able to be produced on demand. And if honest errors in representing labels are made ensure they are addressed right away to help restore buyer confidence.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Sonoran Sustainability, Scottsdale Style

Happy to welcome Scottsdale, AZ to the list of CVB's with notable sustainability initiatives. In addition to featuring a Green Vendor Directory, Green Meetings portal and Green by Design Awards for their members Scottsdale is innovating by researching and developing a sustainability toolkit.

The Scottsdale Green by Design Tool Kit is now available for purchase and offers ideas and tips for local businesses, schools and non-profits that are seeking to make decisions that are not only socially responsible but also good for the bottom line. Cost is $15 and 100 percent of the purchase price is donated to the Desert Discovery Center Fund, which is dedicated to creating a public access center at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Please contact Kelly Tope at or 480-889-2711 to order.