When David Jobes took over ownership of Motivation Excellence in 2018, he had the goal of becoming a (mostly) paperless company. We scanned and shredded paper documents, sold or donated most of our filing cabinets, and began requiring all documents to be worked on and shared digitally as our new company norm. Some of our team started taking meeting notes in Rocketbooks, which are cloud-enabled, reusable notebooks. Our experience with them has been so amazing that we often recommend them as program enhancements for our clients.
David also has encouraged work-from-home days to cut down on car emissions, especially for our team members who live more than a half hour away from our Chicago-area headquarters. As we look forward in 2020, we will not be stocking the kitchen or meeting rooms with single-use-plastic items like water bottles, cups or throw away utensils.
David is passionate about helping others learn to be more eco-friendly. “Everyone has to be aware that we all play a part in sustainability practices. As humans, it’s our responsibility. It’s okay to start small and work your way into new habits that become second nature. An easy way to begin is to think twice before you buy new. Can you reuse something? Repurpose something else?”
Practicing sustainability while traveling
Sustainability is a big trigger word in the travel industry. As an independent traveler you can easily find which hotel chains have eco-friendly practices. From soap recycling efforts (this is a fun video to watch) to lessening the tourism industry’s environmental impact, hotels are leading the way with some small changes that create big results.
David was recently pleasantly surprised by a Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program perk tied to a green initiative during his stay at the JW Parq in Vancouver. “You can request to refuse room service for up to three days at a time and then either earn extra reward points or donate a tree to be planted. I donated a tree and felt it was a really cool idea.”
Motivation Excellence looks to our travel partners to uphold certain values when we book programs with them and we aren’t afraid to ask what’s being done to help lessen our programs’ carbon footprint on-site.
We recently had a travel program of roughly 700 people stay at ARIA in Las Vegas. I didn’t see any recycle bins in our work area and inquired about getting some delivered. One of our Convention Concierges, Preston Naglieri, told me they don’t have recycle bins – instead, they have a team of people who hand-sort all the garbage on property and pull out recyclables. Intrigued, I asked to see the operation and he gladly took me down to see how it worked. (If you’re curious, check out the full MGM Resorts Corporate Social Responsibility report.)
Food for thought
Many hotels, including ARIA and its MGM sister properties, have leftover food donation programs as well. One of our recent hotel partners, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO has been working with a local shelter to provide a steady supply of leftover, or “rescued” food from their kitchens.
David says business leaders who are planning incentive travel and want to make sure they’re also being conscious of the environment need to drive the conversation with their suppliers. “Make it a focal point. Ask their suppliers what they can do to help their business live up to their goals. Ask what the hotel or caterer does with extra food. Can you have an event without the use of one-time plastic products? You have to practice what you preach.”
Of course, if you’re in the market for a CSR-driven incentive travel program you could just partner with Motivation Excellence. “Whether it’s about ethical treatment of animals on our programs to Thailand or making sure our clients are booking at eco-friendly properties anywhere, our travel planning team is well aware of Motivation Excellence’s impact goals and helping our clients achieve their own too.”
Have a favorite sustainability story while traveling? Leave a comment below!