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Global VP and Internet of Things Evangelist for SAP. Previously independent analyst focusing on the Internet of Things, Energy and CleanTech, Analyst for RedMonk, leading their GreenMonk practice. Co-founder and director of hyper energy-efficient data center Cork Internet eXchange. Tom serves on the Advisory Boards of SmartCities World and

2 responses to “Never run a conference at a venue that can’t provide water dispensing machines, instead of bottled water”

  1. Oliver N.

    nice viewpoint and definitively worth the discussion. Nevertheless, the situation in Europe is very different from the one in the US. In Germany for example, you pay a deposit for each bottle which in most cases is higher then the cost of the water inside the bottle. So a huge portion is recycled. The bottle in the picture is an example, you can see this from the little logo above the PET. Still, the bottles need to be produced, transported, shreddered, transported again, etc.

    There are also PET bottles that are cleaned and refilled….but those are typically not used at conferences.

    What I really liked is the comment about bottled vs. tab water. In germany tab water is the best controlled food there is. The quality in some cases is better then that of bottled water. So you are correct, you could go and place water dispensers and just use a cup (paper of course). Actually SAP has placed water dispensers in all SAP Buildings in Germany.

    …and this is 100% rue and I wopuld bet it will work: “…, if you are negotiating with a venue about holding your event and you mention that that is a dealbreaker, they’ll provide the machines.”

    have fun.


  2. Fahed

    I understand that you placed your challenge to all conference organisers, but it seems as if this article is a shot to SAP. I wonder what other events you attended that had dispensers. I do agree there are more sustainable ways to hydrate guests and I agree with your challenge, but I have been to a few conferences myself and most offer bottled water.