Meet Naturaly
  June 2012

Director’s Cut

by Christopher Wood
Director, Convene Green Alliance

Christopher Wood

Hi, y’all! Wow -- it seems like ASAE’s Springtime Conference & Expo was just last week, and here we are feeling the record-breaking heat (at least in DC) of summer already, and the Rio+20 conference on sustainability is in full swing! Springtime was a great success, with special kudos to so many of you industry partners and meeting planners in the Convene Green Alliance (CGA). Got an extra second? Go here to peek at what we’re up to on the greening front for our much-larger Annual Meeting and Expo in Dallas Aug. 11-14.
... read more.

Cool Tool

American Chemical Society If you want to help attendees make the connection between their individual environmental behaviors at a conference—in this case recycling bottles and cans—and the resulting impacts on the planet, so they know they can make a positive difference, consider showing, reposting, or tweeting them a link to an interesting new American Chemical Society video. The brief video tracks the journey taken by recyclable materials, including an insider tour of a typical recycling center. Fast fact: Less than 25% of U.S.-generated waste is recycled.

Meeting planners who hold conferences or events at college facilities and want to green... read more.

What’s That Mean

A Green Meeting Glossary

Slow FoodSlow Food: Refers to a grassroots movement that aims to better connect farming and its products with good health, tastiness, and a well-balanced planet in the minds of consumers. It is “a way of living and a way of eating” that began in the late 1980s in response to the growth of fast food accessibility, “the disappearance of local food traditions, and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, and how our food choices affect the rest of the world,” according to the largest slow-food advocacy group... read more.

Connection Central

NADABy setting up a friendly, welcoming exhibit booth at its 2012 conference tradeshow, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), its foundation, and volunteers from their ranks have been tapping the wisdom of their most experienced members to mentor other dealers interested in improving driver safety in their communities.

The conference outreach is part of NADA’s latest community service initiative, which is awarding $145,000 broken into $500 grants to encourage new-car dealers ”to start their own road safety program, tailored to their local needs," says Andy Koblenz, NADA vice president of legal and regulatory affairs. Examples include programs to promote teen and senior driver safety, educate consumers ... read more.


Get Your Green OnAn engaging mobile game called Get Your Green On! creates a “solutionary” sustainability experience that “integrates social media, technology, and corporate social responsibility” to constantly reinforcecollaborative, innovation-oriented conference themes. Developed for Event Camp Vancouver 2011, the game—along with its impact on attendees, how-to instructions, and its returns on investment—is detailed in a free, downloadable whitepaper, “Get Your Green On!,” by creators Footprint Management Systems, MeetGreen, and QuickMobile. ... read more.

What the Experts Say

Jacquelyn OttmanGreen marketing is “the development and communication of products and services that are environmentally preferable to conventional alternatives,” says Jacquelyn Ottman, author of The New Rules of Green Marketing and owner of J. Ottman Consulting.

And it is no longer directed only at altruistically-driven or “deep-green” consumers who will buy sustainable products regardless of price or ease of accessibility. “Green is now mainstream,” says Ottman.

With ever-climbing consumer demand for more environmentally friendly products and services, she urges associations .... read more.

Recognition Ceremony

Phoenix Convention CenterMajor congratulations go to the convention centers in Phoenix, Dallas, and Washington, DC—all industry partners of the ASAE Convene Green Alliance—for being ranked named as “Top 10 U.S. Convention Centers” in Business Review USA!

Hyatt Regency O’Hare, a CGA industry partner, ranks in the top 25 on Cvent’s annual list of the “Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States.” The property was selected from 80,000 U.S. hotels on the Cvent Supplier Network, an online marketplace that connects meeting planners with venues worldwide. “It is humbling to receive the #23 distinction on Cvent’s list,” says General Manager David Jacobs. This honor exemplifies our mission to make a difference in the lives we touch every day,”.... read more.


The Meeting Planner

July 16-18: “The NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) Experience” in partnership with Event Pros Take Action (EPTA), a coalition of event organizers that conduct charitable activities for families in need. New Orleans, La. Watch video. For details about EPTA contact: Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer,
Convene green August 12, 2012, 3:15-4:30 p.m.: “Social Responsibility for Profit: Improve the World and Make Money, ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, Dallas Convention Center, Texas. Speaker: Andrew Greenblatt, New York University. Sponsor: ASAE.
Convene green August 14, 2012, 7 a.m.: “A Green Safari for Meeting Planners,” ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, Omni Dallas Hotel, Texas. Sponsor: ASAE CGA. Limited to the first 20 people who e-mail CGA Director Chris Wood,
Convene green September 29, 2012, 3 p.m.: “Behind the Scenes at the Green Festival” field trip. Walter E. Washington, DC Convention Center. Free to CGA members. RSVP by September 22 to Kristin Clarke, Sponsors: ASAE CGA and Green America.


Feeding AmericaIf you are considering a legacy project (community service) at your next conference, you may find inspiration and guidance on a new, interactive website called Map the Meal Gap 2012 by the nonprofit Feeding America. The site estimates the level of food insecurity at the county and congressional district level anywhere in the U.S., so you can determine whether your host city has a particularly high or low need for hunger relief efforts, such as food drives or volunteer meal preparation for the needy. It also estimates the relative cost of a meal by county, ranging from $1.80 in Zavala, Texas, to $5.51 in Union, South Dakota ... read more.

By the Numbers


The percentage that yard waste and food scraps make up of municipal solid waste stream, which is prompting many cities such as Boston and Vancouver to consider food scrap bans and new composting requirements. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In the Know

Hotel-based Carbon Measurement Standard Eases Emissions Tracking for Planners

In The KnowMeeting planners will soon have a standardized method of measuring the carbon footprint of their hotel-based events, thanks to results of a Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative that involved collaboration across more than a dozen major hospitality brands. That knowledge will allow them to establish a carbon management strategy geared toward reducing and offsetting emissions from their conferences.

Denise Naguib, senior director of sustainability for Global Operations Services at ... read more.

New GRI Tool for Meeting Planners Ready for Formal Sustainability Reporting

Meeting planners have a powerful new tool for publicly reporting the results of their green meeting actions, and the American Chemical Society has become the first association to use it.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Event Organizers Sector Supplement guidelines were released in January as part of the nonprofit’s mission of driving sustainability reporting and disclosure of social, environmental, and governance practices by organizations.

“While we have been internally tracking and reporting event sustainability ... read more.

Energy Specialists: Support for Green Planners?

tourism energy specialistAnother person to help make meetings venues more sustainable? With the hiring of a “tourism energy specialist” to help its 1,000-plus member hotels, restaurants, and attractions with energy efficiency and conservation initiatives, Tourism Vancouver may be starting a trend. That’s good news for event planners who want to save money and energy, and prevent or reduce greenhouse gas emissions using the infrastructure, services, and products available on-site at a conference  ... read more.

Rio+20 Conference Emphasizes Actions to Protect the Planet while Bolstering Economic Prosperity

RIO+20“In the last 50 years, the world's middle and upper classes have more than doubled their consumption levels, and an additional 1 to 2 billion people globally aspire to join the consumer class,” says Worldwatch Institute Senior Researcher Michael Renner, who co-directed the latest health report card for the planet, State of the World 2012 Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

But the planet cannot maintain such increases in resource demand without serious consequences for both people and ecosystems, conclude researchers, who call for a ... read more.

Eat your greens

This month’s sustainable entree-to-remember takes us out west for a beautifully plated Crispy Washington Chicken with Raspberry Jus, Pepper Vinegar, and Rosehip Caviar. Whipped up by Adam Hegsted, executive chef at the Coeur d' Alene Casino Resort, the chicken combination showcases just a few of the edible plants--stinging nettles, wild mustard, cattails, and Oregon grapes—that he grows along the edges of the renowned onsite golf course. Located near Spokane, Washington, in Worley, Idaho, the Native American-owned casino and conference site can host up to 1,200 people ... read more.


Meet Naturally is the bimonthly e-newsletter of the ASAE Convene Green Alliance, a 1,000-member community of meeting planners and business partners committed to more sustainable events and conferences. Free subscriptions are available by emailing CGA Director Christopher Wood, All content is copyrighted to the American Society of Association Executives. For permission to reprint/repost any content, please e-mail

Editor, Meet Naturally, and web content developer: Kristin Clarke,, 703-876-0514
Director, Convene Green Alliance: Christopher Wood,, 202-326-9554
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