top of page
  • Amy Bailey

Sustainability at Events

Sustainability was another big topic at the IMEX show in Las Vegas.

Hotels have a massive opportunity to impact the environment, but these changes often only come when consumers require the changes.


What can you do as a meeting planner or host to impact social policies and practices from the venues you use?

IACC is a global community of passionate people and companies delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences. They have developed a checklist for planners to use when writing RFPs to all sustainability questions.


The biggest thing you can do to make an impact is to ask questions of the venues you are considering and then make choices based on their responses. Ask these questions:

  • Do you use single-use toiletries in guest rooms?

  • Are drink products served in plastic bottles?

  • Do you use single-use hot drink cups in guest rooms?

  • Do you use single-use hot drink cups in meeting rooms?

  • Do you use single-use plastic food utensils?

  • Do they encourage guests to reuse towels and linens?

  • What percentage of the venue's waste is diverted from landfill?

  • Is leftover food donated to a food bank or other charitable organization?


International Food Information Council's report, "2021 Food and Health Survey," from May 2021, highlighted some vital statistics:

  • 57% of Americans are concerned about Food Waste

  • 42% Believe Their Individual Food and Beverage Choices Impact the Environment

  • 67% Environment Sustainability Drives their Purchases

The World Travel & Tourism Council has created the Hotel Sustainability Basics, a globally recognized and coordinated set of sustainability indicators that all hotels should implement at a minimum. They look at three areas - Efficiency, Planet, and People.

For efficiency, hotels are asked to develop robust approaches to measuring and reducing energy and water consumption, waste, and carbon emissions.

For the Planet, they need a linen reuse program, green cleaning products, and vegetarian options. They also need to have one of these:

  • No plastic straws or stirrers

  • No single-use plastic water bottles

  • Bulk amenity dispensers

For People, they need to display fundamental actions toward a positive contribution to the communities in which they are located. The goal is community benefit and reducing inequalities.

One question in the session, "Looking at Sustainability through a Social Lens," led by the IACC, was, "What social stipulations could have the most impact if applied at your meetings?"

These vary based on the event and the goals of the organizing group. There is a way to determine a hotel's carbon footprint anywhere in the world. Go to Greenview's website and answer a few questions, and based on the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index 2021, you can see the results.

If you are interested in sustainability in your meetings, contact Unusually Unusual Consulting for help with your next RFP at (714) 844-1034 or

Want to see a fantastic Sustainability Challenge? Check out the Corona Plastic Fishing Tournament.

2 views0 comments
bottom of page