greener board meetingsThere are a number of ways in which you can make sure that your board meetings are green.   The most common way is to invest in a web-based board portal system. However, meeting remotely is not always an option.  Other options include: receiving electronic rather than printed documents and receiving links to news articles rather than printed versions.

by Dani Glaser, Principal of Green Team Spirit. Follow Dani on Twitter @GreenTeamSpirit.. Connect with Dani on Facebook. Read The Green Team Spirit Blog.

In discussions with corporate, municipal and non-profit businesses, a common complaint is the amount of paper and time that goes into creating Board Packets.  I learned of one board that meets bi-monthly, has 40+ members and each board packet contains an average of 100 pieces of paper.  Think about all of the boards out there… school boards, government boards, corporate boards, non-profit boards, hospital boards… it’s endless.  AND think of all of the paper, printing, collating, stapling and shipping that is required to get these packets into member’s hands.  THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

One solution is to invest in a web-based board portal system that allows for secure, on-line board governance.  There are several companies that offer these services.  Although pricing and specialties vary, common attributes allow board members to securely:

  • Upload and view board packets (agenda, supporting documents, policies, drawings)
  • Vote online
  • Discuss and collaborate online
  • Archive all past board packets
  • Track all board actions
  • View the calendar

Stated advantages of web-based board portal systems include increased efficiency and effectiveness of the board where members have more time to read materials, prepare for meetings and collaborate; ease of assembly and distribution, and the saving of time and money. Here are a few of companies that offer this service:

Company & Specialty

Board Effect– Non-profit; healthcare, education

BoardVantage – Clients of all sizes

My Board Packet – Clients of all sizes

Boardbook – School districts

Directors Desk – Large corporations; hospitals

Diligent Board Books – Large corporations; hospitals

BoardDocs – School districts; local governments

If a web-based board portal system does not make sense for your board, see if there are ways to cut down on the amount of paper and processing that you typically expend.  Start by surveying your board.  Let them know of your intention to save paper, save money and become a more efficient and effective governing body.  Would they be willing to receive electronic rather than printed documents?  Receive links to news articles rather than printed versions?  An analysis of the typical components of your board packet may lead to ways to trim it down.

Do you sit on any boards or know anyone who does?  Please share this information with others and I look forward to your ideas and stories on greener board meetings!

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© 2010 – 2011, Dani Glaser. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Dani Glaser (1 Articles)

Dani Glaser is the founder and principal of Green Team Spirit, which helps businesses and non-profits “go green” using an interdisciplinary and unified team approach between management and employees. Green Team Spirit provides on-site consulting as well as virtual training and support programs. Dani has a background in direct marketing, media communications and non-profit development. She has been a loyal advocate for environmental issues for many years, and serves on several councils to address climate change in Westchester County, NY and local communities. As a member of the Westchester County Global Warming Task Force, Dani served on the Business Sector committee where she studied various models for green business network development. Her advocacy of a “green team” approach to address environmental and social issues at the organizational level is a direct result of this work. Follow Dani on Twitter @GreenTeamSpirit.. Connect with Dani on Facebook. Read The Green Team Spirit Blog.Visit to learn how your organization can go green with a top-notch green team!

  • Jonathan Lake

    Why not just use one of the collaborative tools like Google Documents or the online office suites by IBM, Microsoft? They provide many of the features described in the article and presumably in the products listed.

    • Dani Glaser

      Jonathan, whatever works is my motto. Thanks for bringing up these choices that might work for some boards.