Successful Meetings - April 2010 - (Page 24)

Cover Story MAKERS ORACLE’S GREEN TEAM ENSURES ITS CONFERENCE MAKES LESS OF AN IMPACT…ON THE ENVIRONMENT, THAT IS By Andrea Doyle CHANGE M argaret Mead, a U.S. anthropologist, famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This tenet holds true for a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens from corporate titan Oracle. They have totally revolutionized OpenWorld, the world’s largest information technology event, sponsored by Oracle, the world’s largest business software company. “Unbreakable” was the multinational computer technology company’s marketing slogan for years. Although Oracle got away from this claim, realizing that calling your code “unbreakable” is like having a bull’s eye on your product, one thing that is breakable is the environment. Judy Sim, chief marketing officer; Paul Salinger, vice president, corporate marketing; Tania Weidick, vice president, events marketing; and Jodi Morrison, senior director, event marketing technology and operations, decided to do their part by ensuring OpenWorld is a sustainable event. It’s ironic that none of these four Oracle executives have sustainability as a formal job function. Salinger, who has taken his commitment to the environment one step further by joining and eventually becoming a member of the board of the Green Meeting Industry Council, explains, “I’m passionate about sustainability, which has led me down this path as an evangelist leading this effort and being on the board of an outside association working to change the whole events industry.” And change is necessary. “The events industry is the second-largest generator of waste behind engineering and construction. We need event leaders to become part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem,” asserts Salinger. Data shows that at a conference, a person on average generates 20 pounds of waste per day. At home, that person only generates five pounds of waste.” Grassroots to Corner Office Greening OpenWorld started as a grassroots effort. It is now readily accepted by management. Some have the misconception that greening a meeting doesn’t make economical “cents.” Just the opposite is true. “OpenWorld saved $800,000 in 2009. They now have full management buy-in, plus it’s good for the company image,” says Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, principal of Portland, OR-based MeetGreen, which helps plan sustain- 24 I SM I April 2010 I

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - April 2010

Successful Meetings - April 2010
Editor's Letter
Strategic Travel Symposium
Personal Success
Incentive Insights
Food & Beverage
Cover Story: Change Makers
Game Meetings: Betting On Green
Spreading Out
Golf Resorts: For the Birds

Successful Meetings - April 2010