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MEASURING GREEN

Management wants me to provide some measurement statistics about my efforts to go Green with our exhibit program. What are some things I can quickly measure to prove our program is kind to Mother Nature?


Exhibit managers are used to proving the value of their exhibit programs (or at least they should be), but they haven't quite mastered the art of measurement as it relates to environmental and social benefits. So here are a few earth- and human-friendly changes you can measure.

 Recycled content of your booth and show materials. What percentage of the material used in your booth is recycled, is made of post-consumer material, and is recyclable? And how do these percentages compare to your previous non-Green booth? Your exhibit house or Green-products supplier should be able to assist you in preparing these percentages.

 Energy use. Have you cut your exhibit's electrical usage? If so, by what percentage? If you cut back on travel or shipping, calculate the mileage and/or emissions you and your staff have eliminated using one of many free online calculators, which can be found by searching for "carbon-emissions calculators."
Donation streams. Do you provide any leftover materials to charity following your events? If so, count, weigh, or estimate the financial value of them, and request charitable tax receipts if appropriate. Keep track of the number of community agencies you've helped through your donations.

 Shipping. Calculate the costs (and emissions) you've saved by not mailing or shipping materials such as in-booth literature, pre-show mailings, etc. Compare this to the previous year's shipment costs and emissions.

 Paper use. If you're using recycled-content paper for literature, use the Neenah Eco Calculator (available online at www.neenahpaper.com) to demonstrate the environmental benefits in terms of trees, energy, and water saved.

- Shawna McKinley, project manager, MeetGreen, Portland, OR

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