Sustainable Meetings

Events can be successful, healthy and sustainable.  Here are some ideas to help you get started.  Even if you only implement a few, you will make a difference!

At the University of California, Davis, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to utilize reusable products and recycle materials in order to reduce and divert campus waste from landfills.  Help UC Davis become more sustainable by holding a Sustainable meeting.  UC, a national leader in sustainability, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025, becoming the first major university to accomplish this achievement.  Each UC campus and medical center has also committed to reducing per capita potable water consumption by 20%, increase sustainable food purchases, and sending zero waste to landfill by 2020.

  • Publicity and Registration
  • • Distribute information about your meeting, including registration forms and all announcements electronically.  Utilize email, listserv, websites, etc. to minimize paper use.
    ​​​​​​​• Provide online registration.
    ​​​​​​​• Promote sustainable transportation such as walking, biking or carpooling to your meeting.

  • Event Materials
  • ​​​​​​​• Email out the agenda and presentation or display electronically at the meeting to save paper and ink.
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​• When you must use paper, purchase 100% post-consumer, chlorine-free or tree-free paper. 
    ​​​​​​​• Post presentations to the event website or distribute them electronically vs printing them out.
    ​​​​​​​• Use re-usable name tag holders and recycled paper.
    ​​​​​​​• Reusable white boards with water-based, non-toxic markers will save paper over flip charts. 

  • Food Service
  • ​​​​​​​• Encourage attendees to bring their own reusable cup and provide water pitchers.
    ​​​​​​​• Choose reusables for the catering order – linens, napkins, plates, cutlery, service containers, etc. 
    ​​​​​​​• If disposable is the only option, make sure they are compostable and that you have bins. Styrofoam takes over a million years to decompose!
    ​​​​​​​• Order food bulk versus individually packaged foods.
    ​​​​​​​• Choose local and organic, fair trade and humane wherever possible.

  • Logistics
  • ​​​​​​​• Choose décor for your event that can be reused or given away vs thrown away.
    ​​​​​​​• Consider printing banners without dates for reuse.
    ​​​​​​​• Promote the zero-waste nature of the event. Let participants know what they can do to participate. 
    • Make sure all vendors know about the zero waste policy at UC Davis. Don’t forget to provide the bins and signage!