From LEED certified convention centers, to airplanes with fewer emissions, meetings infrastructure made great strides in sustainability. More meeting venues are actively striving towards a lowered carbon footprint, and planners, too, are discovering ways to make meetings more eco-friendly and push toward continued progress. Here are the top stories on sustainability from Smart Meetings’ coverage this year:



1. Solar-powered Plane Takes First Flight Around the World

A solar-powered airplane has begun its first journey around the globe without a single drop of fossil fuels. Solar Impulse founders Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will take turns piloting the single-seat aircraft as it makes nine stops in five different countries.


2. Zero Emission Plane May Fly in 15 Years

Spanish designer Oscar Vinals has devised a zero emission aircraft that could actually take to the skies in the next 15 years. His futuristic-looking, triple-decker design would be able to hold 800 passengers. Like a hotel, it would feature shops, restaurants and rooms.

Aviation's Impact on the environment

3. Aviation’s Impact on the Environment

Some environmentalists are criticizing the impact that the aviation industry is having on our planet. They claim that aircraft emissions are hazardous to human health and are contributing to global warming. The Center for Biological Diversity is just one of many organizations in the process of suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect the public.

Flying Time and Carbon Emissions

4. NASA App Cuts Carbon Emissions and Flying Time

NASA is testing software it has designed help aircrafts reduce flying time and carbon emissions. Over the next three years, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will run a trial on the Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) application developed under the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) project.

Hotels & Convention Centers


1. Green Venue Report Tracks Convention Center Sustainability

The 2015 Green Venue Report, which tracks convention center sustainability worldwide, was released earlier this year. Some notable trends emerged in the annual report. Among the 30 convention centers around the world studied—up from 16 surveyed last year.

green meetings industry

2. Green Matters

“It’s not easy being green,” a famous frog once sang, but these days it seems not just easy, but expected for hotels, conference centers and meeting facilities. Of course, sustainability that feels seamless is actually a lot of hard work and takes intricate planning, investment in infrastructure and thorough certification.


3. 6 Tips to Select Green Meeting Venues

Meeting planners make countless decisions all day long, from venue and equipment to decorations and team-building activities. Now at the top of their list of considerations is environmental sustainability. To promote green meetings, Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, has come up with six tips to select green meeting venues.


4. Green Meeting Industry Council Gets New App

The Green Meeting Industry Council announced today that they are partnering with QuickMobile, the global leader in mobile enterprise meeting and event apps, to provide the mobile event app for GMIC’s annual Sustainable Meetings Conference.

Organize A Green Event

5. Green Meetings Q&A with Paul Salinger and Shawna McKinley

Fresh from our Smart Meetings Webinar Series, we bring you an in-depth Q&A with Salinger and McKinley as they answer some of our audience’s questions and provide insight on the best ways to green-up your events.

Eco-Friendly Meetings

6. Eco-Friendly Meetings: 6 Tips to Green-Up Events

With the ever-increasing demand to go green in every thinkable manner (really, a 1-square meter portable house?), the meetings and events industry is coming under more and more scrutiny for having a heavy carbon footprint.

San Francisco Moscone Center

7. San Francisco and Moscone Center Raise the Green Bar

San Francisco’s premier meeting venue has two buildings that have earned LEED Gold certification. When Moscone’s current renovation and expansion projects are complete, the expectation is that those buildings will earn LEED Platinum certification.


8. A Cleaner, Greener IMEX America 2015

From waste reduction to educational sessions, a slew of sustainable initiatives happened at IMEX America 2015. This year’s conference implemented results from the MeetGreen Sustainability Report.


9. Visit Baltimore Achieves New Sustainability Certification

Visit Baltimore, the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore, has achieved level one certification in the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Standard as it relates to the Evaluation and Selection of Destinations for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences (APEX/ASTM).