Embracing Sustainability with Meetings and Team-Building Activities

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Within the last few years, there has been a noticeable shift in the way sustainable trends have impacted the hospitality and tourism industry. More and more hotels are beginning to implement sustainable practices within their facilities – most notably, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) just recently announced that their formal partnership to operate the Green Key Global sustainability certification program in the U.S. and Canada will take effect on April 1. This partnership is crucial for the industry, as sustainability is increasingly shaping the behavior of leisure, business, and group travelers.

As the domestic and global community becomes increasingly more aware of the importance of being sustainable and environmentally friendly, planners and organizations are reevaluating their event planning to align with these principles. Sustainable meetings go beyond simply reducing waste or opting for biodegradable materials. From venue selection, transportation options, catering choices, and beyond, every decision can be made with sustainability in mind.

A key component of planning a sustainable meeting is incorporating eco-friendly team-building activities. Here are some examples of sustainable team-building activities that are gaining popularity in the industry:

Outdoor Activities

Instead of traditional indoor team-building exercises in a meeting room with artificial lighting and little to no windows, organizations are turning to outdoor activities. These may include hiking, fitness classes, lawn games, kayaking, or rock climbing, all of which provide opportunities for team members to bond while enjoying nature. Additionally, organizations could partner with local eco-tourism companies to ensure that these activities have minimal impact on the environment.

Environmental Service Projects

Another option for sustainable team building is participating in environmental service projects. This could involve volunteering for highway clean-ups, tree-planting initiatives, or habitat restoration projects. Not only do these activities promote teamwork, but they also allow participants to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the environment.

Local Farm Cooking Classes

A fun and educational team-building activity is participating in local farm cooking classes. Participants can visit local farms to learn about sustainable agriculture practices and then use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to prepare a healthy, delicious meal together. This activity highlights the importance of supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint of food production.

Sustainable meetings and team-building activities offer organizations a unique opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility while providing valuable professional development opportunities for their employees. By embracing sustainability in their event planning efforts, they can create meaningful experiences that benefit the planet and foster innovative teams.

MEET

For 20+ years, the MEET family of products have provided regional and national resources that have kept corporate, association, medical, education, independent, and religious meeting and event planners informed about relevant vendors, industry news, tech innovations, and resources that impact and influence how and where they plan their group business.

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