Where should we meet?

Wed, 23/01/13

What is the best way to choose your meeting location?  The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has just the thing for you: a "Green Meetings Calculator." Here’s the thing.  You are organizing a meeting that will be attended by people from all over the world.  During the year, you run your working group meetings on line or by tele or video conference.  This is because you are conscious of budgetary restrictions, environmental consequences, and work-life balance.

Moreover, you know that the Secretary-General is committed to reducing air travel altogether and that he uses video conferencing for his own meetings when possible. But now it is your network’s annual conference, the one time of the year when members meet face to face.
An on-line tool, the ICAO calculator is designed to assist UN organizations reduce their carbon emissions from the air travel involved in holding international meetings.  You enter the number of participants according to city of origin and, abracadabra, the software produces a descending order of meeting locations that, in terms of CO2 emissions, will have the least impact on the environment. 
Of course, many factors influence where a meeting is held.  But at the planning stage, the ICAO calculator adds a previously unavailable dimension: a choice of locations based on the emissions consequences of each one.  So, before you send out your invitations, run your numbers through the ICAO calculator.  You may be surprised what makes best environmental (and possibly also economic) sense.  
The calculator is also available as an iPhone and iPad application

Categories: Meetings, Travel