Michael Phares, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park knows a green meeting when he sees one. Since 2004, the Fairmont Chicago’s Eco-Meet program has helped planners deliver events that are both memorable — and environmentally responsible.
The Eco-Meet program encourages maximum waste diversion and environmental awareness for conference delegates and consists of four options that can be tailored to the individual needs of the client — depending on how “green” they want to go.
* Eco-service provides “disposable-free” food and beverage services and recycling stations in the meeting rooms. This service is an important element to a sustainable meeting and includes china and cutlery used instead of disposal items, linen napkins instead of paper, and centerpieces that are edible/organic or made from reusable items such as silk flowers. White boards are used rather than paper flip charts.
* Eco-accommodation at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offers in-room information, recycling bins, optional sheet and towel replacement, energy-efficient lighting, and water-conserving shower heads, toilets and tap aerators.
* Eco-cuisine menus incorporate local, seasonal and organically grown foods. Special menus can also include a 50-percent reduction in animal proteins, supplemented by vegetable proteins at meal functions. The emphasis is on healthy, environmentally friendly and delicious food. A sample organic menu might include:
Farmer’s Market Organic Salad — Organic greens, herb-crusted Montrachet, shaved fennel, oven-roasted tomatoes, Marcona almonds and green goddess dressing
Chestnut-crusted Filet of Barramundi — Nichol’s Farms chestnut dust, peeky toe crab and lobster risotto, braised artichoke hearts, fines herbs broth and organic micros
Organic Carrot Cake — Cream cheese ice cream, ginger poached carrot Malibu Rum-caramel sauce, and walnut vinaigrette
* Eco-programming provides activities such as “Shop with the Chef” to complement the Eco-Meet experience. “Shop with the Chef” allows groups to visit Chicago’s Green City Market and learn about locally-sources, sustainable farming in the Midwest. Attendees can select food items that will be served in a special group menu.
Paperless services are available for events including a dedicated TV channel to provide information and updates to delegates, electronic paperless check-in/checkout and e-mailed contracts and information. And, the Fairmont Chicago also assists meeting planners to offset their event’s greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing green tags or renewable energy certificates.
To find out more about the green tags or any aspect of the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park’s Eco-Meet Program, contact Nora Melikian, Director of Group Sales at (312) 565-6624 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.