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September 23, 2010
Source: Emory Report/Sept. 15, 2010

Green Guidelines for Event Planners

A program launched by University partners now affords event planners with recognition for being -- and saving -- green.

Developed jointly by the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Emory Recycles and the Office of University Events, the Sustainable Events Certification program is designed to guide event planners and organizers in creating an event that supports Emory's sustainability vision, by reducing waste and departmental costs.

The Sustainable Events Certification guidelines outline best practices, and "event planners are encouraged to be creative and go beyond these suggestions whenever possible," says Director of Sustainability Initiatives Ciannat Howett.

For events planned in one of Emory's 14 LEED certified buildings, Howett suggests "using natural light instead of indoor lighting since the buildings were built with expansive windows that encourage the use of unprocessed light." Event venue is one of four areas planners will consider on the checklist; the others are food, floral and décor; waste minimization; and travel and accommodations.

There are three levels of sustainable events: blue, gold and green. When an event planner selects at least two boxes under each category, blue certification is achieved; three selected items will result in gold certification; selecting more than three items will result in green certification.

"We also encourage event planners to use Emory's Encore! program, a service of the Office of University Events, to recycle, repurpose and reuse décor, packaged foods, supplies and rentals from campus events," says Michael Kloss, executive director of University Events.

Event organizers can download the sustainable events checklists and submit completed checklists to the Office of Sustainability Initiatives to receive approval and use of the sustainable events certification logo and promotional event materials. "Certified green events will be highlighted on the Office of Sustainability Initiatives website and an annual award will be presented to the event planner with the most sustainable events," adds Howett.


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