So it appears you can go green in Vegas, beyond all my cynicism and that of others. I just came across some really interesting news from McAfee about its approach to greener conferences in that benighted location.
“Greening Kickoff,” an innovative project to minimize, rigorously measure and offset the environmental impact of a large corporate event in Las Vegas. The project, which focused on McAfee’s annual Sales Kickoff meeting as a pilot effort, reduced non-air travel carbon emissions by 16% while offsetting the remaining 1,865 metric tons of carbon emissions through support of reforestation projects.
I am not a big fan of offsetting, but I am a fan of reforestation. What I particularly like about McAfee’s approach here is that its not about warm and fuzzies, but real measurement and monitoring. It brought in a third party, ICF International, to audit its activities. The results? McAfee claims to reduced the event’s carbon footprint by 16% of its total non-air travel emissions. What else?
- 25 metric tons saved by facilitating the sharing of rooms by participants
- 3.2 metric tons and 56,357 gallons of water saved through participation in the hotel’s towel and sheet reuse program
- 0.5 metric tons saved by providing a shuttle for airport and event transfers rather than travel by individual taxicabs
- 0.5 metric tons saved by eliminating bottled water and providing tap water only
- The carbon footprint of the overall event was approximately 1,856 metric tons of CO2, or 1.03 metric tons of CO2 per event attendee
- 90% of the event’s carbon footprint resulted from air travel to and from the event
- Excluding air travel, of the remaining 10% of the event’s carbon footprint, the breakdown was as follows: food (35%), hotel rooms (33%), amenities (19%), facility use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (5%), solid waste (4%) and the event’s conference center (3%)
Well done McAfee- but I have to say I am really disappointed I didn’t come across this earlier. It would have been amazing to have someone come to talk to our free EnergyCamp unconference on Monday about the apppoach – particularly given the Vegas angle.
And how much money did they save by doing those initiatives? Did they do anything that actually cost them money to reduce their footprint?