Plan It Green

Author: Rachel Novick

A new program will help event planners on campus to make environmentally preferable choices for advertising, menu options, and much more. The Green Event Certification, the result of a collaborative effort involving the Office of Sustainability and Catering by Design, provides an easy-to-use checklist of items to consider in order to minimize the event’s environmental impact.

“The program is designed to be used for any type of campus event, from a pizza party to a formal dinner to a multi-day conference,” said Erin Hafner, Programs Manager in the Office of Sustainability. “It’s an easy and accessible way to promote more sustainable choices and to recognize best practices around the campus.”

The checklist has a required section and an optional section. The required section includes such items as avoiding individually bottled water, minimizing paper use, and working with the catering manager to reduce food waste. The optional section includes items ranging from offering a vegetarian option on the menu to electronic distribution of handouts. In order to be certified, an event needs to fulfill all five of the required items and six out of twelve of the optional items.

“Catering by Design is excited to partner with the Office of Sustainability to provide the option of a more sustainable event,” said Lisa Wenzel, Assistant Director of Notre Dame Food Services. “This allows us, event planners, and guests the chance to celebrate in a manner that is positive in all aspects.”

Event planners should fill out the certification checklist before the event takes place. If the event qualifies, they will receive the Green Certified Event logo shown above, which can be included in promotional materials.

Event planners looking for more information on how to fulfill items on the checklist are encouraged to consult the Green Guide to Event Planning. Any questions can be directed to