Temple Students Create Green Initiative Awards Event under Direction of Harith Productions

Wide Array of Green Elements Incorporated into an Innovative Award Event Honoring Philadelphia Businesses Created by Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Students
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May 4, 2012 - PRLog -- PHILADELPHIA, PA – In honor of Earth Day, sustainable event management students at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management presented the inaugural Greater Philadelphia Green Initiative Awards on April 23, 2012. The students, under the guidance of adjunct professor Harith Wickrema, president of Harith Productions, expert at producing carbon-neutral events, implemented a variety of innovative sustainable elements into the themed program while recognizing and celebrating leaders of green business practices. The event took place at the renowned Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia.

Green features woven into the event included:
•   Name badges printed on “plantable” seed paper
•   Recyclable name badge holders
•   Edible printed menu
•   Locavore food (grown/raised on local farms within 150 miles); distances included on menu
•   Centerpieces that were taken away to be planted by guests
•   Seed packets provided by Johnny’s Selected Seeds
•   Program book printed on recycled paper
•   Electronic invitations
•   Acoustic music that does not require electricity
•   Program agenda available through a QR logo

“We are committed to changing the way people think about being green. This includes embedding green elements into all the events Harith Productions produces – and taking it a step further – the introduction of Eco Serendib Villa and Spa, our eco-friendly, luxury executive retreat on St. John,” explained Wickrema. “But what is perhaps most critical – and personally gratifying -- is educating the next generation of corporate executives. I’m so proud of the dedication to excellence and creativity demonstrated by the sustainable event management students during this process. And the spirit of green innovation exhibited by the event’s honorees is a true inspiration to current and future business leaders alike.” Temple’s first ever sustainable event management course, created by Wickrema and launched by Associate Dean Dr. Elizabeth Barber, introduces students to environmental issues relevant to their industries in hopes that they will become agents of green change.

The program integrated an educational panel discussion on "How Going Green Boosts the Black in your Bottom Line," hosted by Tyler Mathisen, anchor of CNBC’s Power Lunch. Event honorees and attendees included the following green leaders:

•   Beth Colleton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, NBCUniversal for Green is Universal sustainability initiative
•   Jay H. Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Hersha Hospitality Group for the EarthView program
•   David G. Benton, Vice President & General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel for implementing 45 green initiatives
•   Ahmeenah Young, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Convention Center, which has implemented green policies ranging from using eco-friendly cleaning chemicals to recycling more than 189 tons of waste
•   Michael Carbone, Metro PA/NJ Regional President, TD Bank, recognized as the largest U.S.-based bank to achieve carbon neutrality

Katherine Gajewski, director of sustainability with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, coordinator of Greenworks Philadelphia, created to make Philadelphia the country’s greenest city by 2015, participated as well.

Wickrema was named among the top ten hospitality innovators of 2011 in the area of sustainability by Lodging magazine and is a trustee of the GMIC’s Sustainable Meetings Foundation. He serves as chairman of the education committee for SITE’s international conference in Beijing and is past chairman of the SITE Crystal Awards. Harith Productions, an international corporate communication company specializing in executive leadership, production, and logistics, has received more than 75 industry awards and nominations including the Greenest Planner Award from Successful Meetings and Meeting News and Event Planner of the Year from Event Solutions Magazine.

CONTACT: Lisa Herbst, lisa@harithproductions.com
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Tags:Green, Eco Friendly, Temple University, Sustainability, Meetings, Award
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