About the author:

Author: Shawna McKinley, MAEEC

Shawna McKinley is a sustainability specialist who works with diverse organizations to improve their events through smart practices that reduce environmental impacts, deliver social good and provide economic benefits. She lives in Vancouver, Canada. Read more about her event sustainability insights at http://eventcellany.com/.

Articles by Shawna McKinley, MAEEC

  • Canadian programs help make buying seafood for your event a little less fishy

    Last month I visited the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world: Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. The market handles more than 400 types of seafood valued at approximately $7 billion Canadian every year. Products arrive from all over to be sold during a lively early-morning auction. They are then sent to restaurants, hotels and caterers to serve to customers all over Japan and beyond. Strolling through the miles of aisles at the market it is easy…

  • How to get your event on the green energy grid

    Here in Canada, we’re a pretty conscientious bunch. Especially when it comes to green events. But for most of us, hosting a “green energy” event is a bit of a mystery. And it can seem a lot more complicated than it actually is. So what do you need to know? You may be sourcing some green energy by default Canada has diverse energy sources. In fact, over 77 per cent of our electricity comes from non- fossil fuel sources: 61…

  • Sustainable exhibit design: How one Canadian company is changing exhibits for good

    In a big design and production facility in Brampton Ontario, one exhibit company is revolutionizing how their corporate event clients save money, reduce waste and fight climate change. Meet The Taylor Group. You may not know them, but odds are you know their work, having designed experiences for 30 of the top 50 brands in the world. In fact, Time Magazine recently identified their work for Intel as the Number One most eye-catching booth at CES 2015 (photo below). Now…

  • How to get sustainable events working for your corporate event marketing group

    Sustainable event efforts are nice and all, but how do you get them working for you, instead of feeling like they’re just a lot of extra work? Especially if you’re a big event marketing department with diverse activities that span different cities? Intel Event Marketing has been exploring sustainable events since 2008, starting with their flagship Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Since this time their efforts have expanded to include 51 events in North America, Latin America, Europe and…

  • 25 ways your event can give back

    Did you know… If every participant at a tradeshow in Canada helped assemble relief kits, it would benefit over two million people in need? If guests at incentive programs in Canada volunteered for just 30 minutes, it would make half a million hours of difference? And if every convention attendee in the country brought a single non-perishable food item with them, it would contribute almost 7,000 metric tons of food to those in need across the country? Corporate events have…

  • Hybrid meetings: The sustainability silver bullet?

    In recent years the event industry has made great strides in support of sustainability. We have much to cheer about! More professionals than ever are engaging in sustainable events. Publishers like Corporate Meetings Network continue to share tips about the topic. Industry suppliers, including hotels, venues and general services contractors, have embedded environmental management systems that are achieving real waste and carbon reductions. Worldwide, event volunteer projects are having great social benefit. While important, this cheerleading can lull us into…

  • Be a green road warrior with these 11 sustainable business travel tips

    Corporate event professionals know the ins and outs of business travel: how to get best fares, speed through a security line and earn coveted rewards. But how do you turn your road warrior a deeper shade of green through lower-impact, sustainable business travel decisions? The obvious choice: stay home. However for many of us, this limits the business outcomes we’re looking for, which can only be earned through face-to-face connections. So for those times when Skype and Google Hangouts just…

  • Fourteen made-in-Canada sustainable event solutions

    Clean, green and beautiful outdoor spaces are a cornerstone of Canada’s destination image abroad. But did you also know Canada is home to some pretty cool sustainable event solutions? Check out these innovative programs that can help your next corporate event go green, with a little tint of red and white, too. Food donation made easy. Are you a caterer, chef, hotel or event organizer who wants to donate leftover food from your event but is unsure how to connect…

  • Sustainability is an F-word

    You’d be within your rights if, as an event professional, you were feeling a bit Fatigued with the idea of “green events” and “event sustainability”. I mean it’s been at least 10 years of money saving tips, volunteer kit-making, recycling programs, carbon offsets and local, organic food: are we done yet? Fortunately, and unfortunately, no. While these various efforts have helped us take good steps forward, they’ve also reinforced the Fence around the sustainability silo. The bolt-on approach has delivered…

  • Ten green event hacks

    Some green event practices are challenging, but these 10 short-cuts help you hack your way to less waste, easier logistics, and may even save a little money! 1. Holder-free badges. I’d love to host a hack-your-badge-athon to design an eco-friendly, effective, efficient and exciting name badge. (If you’re with me leave a comment, we’ll talk!) Until then I’ll settle for one improvement: going holderless. Name badge holders typically contain a lot of undesirable plastic we can do with less of.…