Eco-Warrior Insights: 10 Steps Toward Greening Your Gatherings

April 22, 2024

In celebration of Earth Day 2024, we want to share highlights from our latest podcast interview with Honeycomb Strategies CEO and ASM Global Chief Sustainability Officer Lindsay Arell. These 10 takeaways highlight the multifaceted approach to sustainability in events, encompassing operational changes, partnerships, transparency and a broader industry shift towards sustainable practices.

Integration of Sustainability Practices: Natural Products Expo West is one trade show that’s leading by example. The trade show has successfully integrated sustainability practices into nearly every aspect of its operations over the last 10 years. Find out more about the show’s sustainability program here.

Efforts to Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Informa Markets, event organizer of Natural Products Expo West, has made a significant effort to implement alternatives to single-use plastics, such as reusable cups and sampling containers.

NPE 2024
At the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, Natural Products Expo West 2024 launched a zero-waste sampling pilot program that aimed to reduce trash and related carbon emissions by replacing 10,000 single use paper and plastic cups with a reusable alternative.

Partnerships for Sustainability Goals: Finding partners to achieve ambitious sustainability goals is crucial, and transparency about these efforts attracts more stakeholders to join the cause.

Transparency and Credibility: Openly sharing sustainability initiatives and challenges, and being credible in claims, are essential for building trust and progressing in sustainability efforts.

Personal Journey in Sustainability: Arell's journey into sustainability started from her personal experiences and observations of waste in events, leading her to pitch a sustainability-focused role.

Role as Chief Sustainability Officer: Arell's role involves developing and implementing sustainability practices across ASM Global's venues worldwide, focusing on environmental metrics like energy, waste, water and food.

Honeycomb Strategies CEO and ASM Global Chief Sustainability Officer Lindsay Arell

Challenges in Establishing Baseline Metrics: Gathering accurate data and establishing baseline metrics for sustainability performance across diverse venues and regions is a complex but necessary process.

Corporate Sustainability Goals: ASM Global has set ambitious sustainability goals, including achieving renewable energy consumption, waste diversion, eliminating single-use plastics and reducing water consumption and food waste.

Behavioral Shifts for Sustainability: Emphasizing operational practices, such as turning off lights and proper waste disposal, plays a significant role in achieving sustainability goals.

Trends in Sustainability for 2024: Trends include a shift towards reusables instead of single-use items, increased focus on water bottle filling stations and the importance of certifications like ISO 20121 and Event Sustainability Standards from the Event Industry Council.

Want to know more? Listen to the full interview here.

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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact