As a global company, we know we have a responsibility to make a positive impact on our planet. From supporting our employee Green Teams’ efforts towards sustainability, to maintaining a carbon-neutral cloud, sustainability is always a top priority for us.
One of the key areas where we’re focused on making smart sustainability choices is at Workday Rising, in Orlando, Oct. 14-17, and Workday Rising Europe, in Milan, Nov. 12-14. Conferences of this scale can have an enormous impact, and we’re determined to ensure the impact from ours is positive. At this moment, we’re hard at work developing plans and practices that will exceed all the great work we did last year. We have an incredible foundation to build on from last year’s events in Las Vegas and Vienna.
Sustainability Highlights from Last Year
More than 11,000 attendees joined us at Mandalay Bay Convention Center for Workday Rising. Our focus on offsetting our footprint covered multiple areas, including low-impact food options, low-carbon emissions, a zero-waste event, and providing attendees the opportunity to participate in sustainability-related activities.
Our low-impact food plan included a focus on seasonal and regional cuisine, which helped support local food producers and reduce pollution through fewer miles traveled by vendors. Vegetarian options also played a role, saving water and reducing carbon emissions by lowering consumption of animal protein. Single-use water bottles were also eliminated in meal and meeting spaces.
For the first time, we offset all of the emissions from travel for both Workday Rising and Workday Rising Europe attendees by purchasing carbon credits, which supported the Kenya Improved Cookstoves sustainable development project.
Our goal was a zero-waste event, so we focused on repurposing or giving our event materials to the community. Ninety percent of our waste went to recycling and donation, and only 10 percent went to landfills. Here are a few of the ways we accomplished this:
- We donated 200 pounds of hotel amenities to Limitless Possibilities, which provides residential care, supportive home care, daily living skills training, respite care, and psychosocial rehabilitation to adults with behavioral healthcare needs. We donated 6,650 pounds of items to various charities post-event, including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Clark County School District, and the Las Vegas Animal Foundation.
- We used reusable plates, cups, and bowls for breakfast and lunch, eliminating the need for disposable serviceware.
- We recycled attendee name badges and lanyards after the event, reduced the amount of printed material needed, and when printing was necessary, used FSC-certified paper.
These efforts were supported by an array of promotion efforts to keep sustainability at the front of attendees’ minds, through onsite messaging and pre- and post-show communication.
Our focus on sustainability also extended to last year’s Workday Rising Europe. We’re thrilled to share that the event received an Austrian Eco Label award. This award is given to events that focus on sustainable travel to and from the event, energy efficiency, and avoiding waste.
Looking Forward to Orlando and Milan
We’re always looking for more ways to improve. As this year’s Workday Rising events approach, we’ll continue the practices that led to such great results from last year, including offsetting travel emissions of all attendees in alignment with our commitment to a carbon-neutral cloud.
Workday Rising will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, which has a large-scale sustainability program in place. We are working with the venue to ensure that our event meets or exceeds levels set forth by the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards.
Workday Rising Europe will be held at the Milano Convention Centre, which includes high-efficiency HVAC systems, next-generation LED lighting, and a space called the MiCo Lab that’s made of recycled materials already found in the convention center.