In 2011, the University of Michigan committed to achieving five sustainability goals by 2025. In the years since, all across campus, units have searched for opportunities to adopt new sustainable practices and contribute to the university’s goals. The CES team is part of that mission! We’re passionate about sustainability, and we’re here to assist with your sustainable goals as you begin planning your next event.

Sustainability and In-Person Events

General Considerations

Our event managers are experts at hosting sustainable events. From finding ways to lower energy use to reducing the amount of waste. Plus, partnerships with the Office of Campus Sustainability and Planet Blue provide us with all the latest and greatest knowledge for going green.

Here are some considerations to help you get started:

  • Choose a location based on the building’s sustainability standards.
  • Rent supplies instead of purchasing.
  • Promote the event digitally with email and social media.
  • Use green decorations like potted plants.
  • Limit the use of items that could end up in landfills (like plastic giveaways). If you do give away an item, choose things that enable sustainable choices and create minimal or no waste, like a reusable water bottle.
  • Utilize in-house A/V options to project important information during your meeting. If you must print, use recycled paper and/or choose sizes that conserve paper (such as half-sheets).
  • Collect lanyards and badge holders for reuse.
  • Consider e-tickets for check-in.

Catering & Zero Waste

In addition to providing recycling and compost bins, zero waste signage, and more, we team up with partners like Michigan Catering to offer a low carbon menu. This menu has a broad range of dishes and includes gluten free, nut free, dairy free, vegan and vegetarian options.

Get in touch with our event managers for help with:

  • Recycling bins and compost bins.
  • Compostable cutlery, plates, and other products. (Available to students, faculty, and staff.)
  • Water coolers and refill stations.
  • Zero waste signage to help attendees get on board with sustainability efforts.
  • Resources from U‑M’s Zero Waste Program to help you find other ways to support university goals.
  • Training and support to help you learn things like where to throw.

Sustainability and Virtual Events

We have ideas for all of your online events, too! Whether you’re looking to reach more attendees or keep your event more affordable, we’re here to help with as much or as little as you need. And, you’ll be helping to reduce things like greenhouse gasses, carbon output, and landfill waste.

Here are some helpful tips for planning a sustainable online event:

  • Encourage attendees to turn off their cameras during keynotes or other presentations.
  • Ask presenters to compress media files before sharing with attendees.
  • Remind attendees to delete unneeded emails and files following the event.

U‑M is not alone in committing their efforts to shrink landfill waste, reduce energy use and make other changes that reduce impact on the environment. Many organizations across the country, and the globe, are changing for the better.

We invite you to join the effort by considering greener ways to host events.

If you have any questions about this information or other sustainability efforts, contact us.