Green Hotels Association
    July 2013  

LEADING THE WAY
ON GREEN MEETINGS!

The Hyatt Regency Trinidad recently hosted the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 14th Sustainable Tourism Conference, but the resort’s commitment to preserving the planet runs deeper than putting on a good show: The property also has one of the best green meeting programs in the Caribbean.

Located on the waterfront in Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hyatt Regency is a huge destination for corporate and regional meetings, many of which revolve around the country’s energy industry, and thus a great standard-bearer for raising awareness of eco-friendly meetings and conventions.

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Specifically, the hotel’s “Meet and Be Green” program offers planners 3% off their master bill when they follow 10 “environmentally thoughtful” steps. The program works hand-in-hand with the hotel’s new food philosophy: Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. The philosophy focuses on using locally and sustainably-sourced food.

“Meeting planners are demanding certain assurances that their meetings be greener—no disposables, no plastics, an energy-conservation plan in order,” says Ewald Biemens, owner of Aruba’s 19-Year GHA PARTNER MEMBER BUCUTI BEACH RESORT, who spoke at this year’s Sustainable Tourism Conference and runs one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the Caribbean. Several of Aruba’s hotels have received environmental recognition for their programs.

10 STEPS TO GREEN:
Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s “Meet and Be Green” program

1. Use products with 100% recycled content
2. Print materials locally
3. Minimize shipping
4. Recycle during meetings
5. Place meeting materials (such as handouts, notepads, pens, etc.) in a central location so attendees can take only what they need, rather than placing them at every seat
6. Maintain room temperatures at an appropriate level
7. Eliminate use of disposable water bottles
8. Minimize use of other disposable products such as plates cups, napkins and utensils
9. Select locally-grown seasonal foods when planning menus
10. Plan ahead for the meeting to make it easier and more economical to keep the meeting green.

“Awareness of green and sustainable meetings is there with the larger meeting planners. Professional meeting planners have taken a leadership position on this issue. It’s almost a requirement in the sales process that they want to know what green or eco-friendly processes you have. Our plan can start the conversation,” explained Russell George, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

“The hotels are being more environmentally cautious in that they are applying new and innovative recycling procedures, hence Aruba’s being recognized internationally. The Aruba Convention Bureau supports and strongly encourages its partners to consider the environment, and sets an example, as we have reduced our paper consumption down to 20% and moved to an 80% digital format. This new wave of consciousness is being conveyed by our local government through various environmental awareness programs,” said Jerusha Rasmijn, conferences and event manager at the Aruba Convention Bureau.

Curley, Bob, “Leading the Way on Green Meetings,”
Successful Meetings, June 2013, p. 92

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"GREEN" IDEA!

The Ecological Society of America under-orders food at meetings, with little complaint. It also specifies that leftover food e delivered to local soup kitchens and feeding programs.
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