Friday, March 18, 2011

Convene On Site: CGA Focus Forum

Greater Phoenix CVB's James Jessie
You might think that when it comes to creating sustainable events, there's nothing new under the sun. (Which, it should be noted, is a renewable energy source.) But yesterday's ASAE Convene Green Alliance Focus Forum at the Marriott Washington Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., suggested otherwise. Riffing on St. Patrick's Day, the theme was "Going Beyond Green: Legacy Projects and More," with panelists Jim Clapes, manager of Greenbuild conference and events for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); Sara Schoen, commercial market development associate for USGBC; and James Jessie, senior vice president of sales for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, which sponsored yesterday's program. Each speaker had a new or interesting twist on a topic that in the wrong hands can feel played out.

Sustainably sustainable. As part of its Greenbuild Legacy Project -- through which Greenbuild attendees have done everything from build an affordable green home to develop a high-school curriculum for teaching sustainable design in the conference's host cities -- USGBC follows up on each initiative after the fact. The idea, Clapes said, is to answer a simple question: "What have been the effects of these projects we have implemented?"

All about the building. When planners are looking to reduce a meeting's carbon footprint, Schoen noted, they tend to focus on transportation -- to, from, and during the event. But collectively, she said, buildings actually consume more resources than planes, trains, and automobiles. Two resources that can help: the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program (it's not just for appliances!), and USGBC's Green Venue Selection Guide.

Don't forget recycling. Yes, of course you already recycle. But we're not just talking about soda cans. The Phoenix Convention Center, for example, is outfitted with 31,000 KI Daylight chairs -- light, strong, stylish, and made from recycled car batteries and seat belts. "You may not think car batteries are comfortable," said Jessie, wearing a smart St. Patrick's Day tie, "but they are."


Cathy Walker said...

Homework Help
What if a funder wants to use a modified version of the CGA?

Nichole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nichole said...

Implementing a gap analysis to see where you can improve your event’s sustainability performance. A thing that you need to consider.

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Tarah said...

I like to think of myself as a cautious optimist. I definitely see the glass half full, but I’m debt adverse. My parents always told me the keys to sustaining a business: Pay yourself first. Don’t spend more than you make. Reinvest the profits. How to start a small business and make it big. But how do you keep the faith to move forward?