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The meeting industry is uniquely positioned to reduce environmental impact on a meaningful scale. Each year, hundreds of thousands of events and conferences are held internationally, involving millions of attendees who consume vast amounts of food, forest-based products, housing, and carbon-emitting transportation.
Consider the impact of the fuel used by planes, trains and automobiles, and from the solid waste and other emissions associated with the $175-billion business travel industry. A typical jet emits approximately one pound of carbon dioxide for each passenger-mile it travels, according to Trees for the Future, which operates a program to offset travel-related emissions. A round-trip between New York and Los Angeles creates about three tons of C02 per passenger — 400 tons or more for a typical, fully loaded 737 aircraft according to The Green Business Letter “Greening Your Company’s Business Travel.”
Then there’s attendee consumption on site. For example, during a five-day conference at which 2,500 attendees enjoy a continental breakfast, two breaks, lunch and an evening reception daily, the following products are consumed:
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