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Blog  > Thought Leadership  > Sustainable Events

31 May 2016

10 simple ways to create a more sustainable event

(and keeping your guests happy)

There are many reasons why running an event using sustainable event principles is good for business.

Many of our clients choose to have their event produced, managed and implemented using sustainable event principles because it reinforces the key messages of their event, and/or it demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. Other clients are happy to have their event produced through sustainable event principles because it helps save resources, which reflects well on their business.

Whatever your motivation for a sustainable event, there are some simple things you can do to create a more environmentally friendly event (while keeping your guests happy). While it is important to take a whole event approach – it may not be possible to do everything. Be realistic - start with one initiative, and go from there.

USE THE VENUE’S NATURAL FEATURES
Request an event space with opening windows for good ventilation and natural sunlight – your delegates will be more focussed than sat in a stuffy room. If your venue has an outdoor area, make the most of it by holding breaks outside.

CONSIDER VENUE LOCATION
How easy is it for guests to get to the event? Do they have to drive far, jump on a plane or is there good public transport links? Provide guests with public transport options such as train timetables, bus routes and bicycle parking facilities. Where public transport is not available, arrange shuttle buses or promote car sharing. 

REDUCE UNNECESSARY ENERGY USE
Appoint someone to take responsibility for eliminating unnecessary lighting, power and equipment use. Switch equipment off at the power point after use, and don’t use the standby mode.

CONSERVE WATER
When shortlisting venues, ask them about their commitment to water conservation, and what water saving devices they have installed. Water across our continent is a precious resource, not to be wasted.

REDUCE WASTE
Do not use disposable disposable cutlery, plates, containers or cups. Instead, provide reusable crockery, serving platters, glasses and cutlery.

RECYCLE
Ensure that recycling and compost bins are accessible and clearly marked. Ensure guests and vendors limit disposable waste and give preference to recycled and recyclable packaging.

PROVIDE SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Choose local, seasonal and organic produce or work with a caterer/venue who is committed to sustainable event practices.

COMMUNICATION
Try not to provide show bags or mountains of printed material. Always question if the printing of brochures and leaflets is necessary. When printing is necessary use vegetable based inks and recycled paper. Taking it one step further, consider whether your engagement activities can be done online, as this will reduce the need for printed event materials. Delegates can even download materials online when they return home/to the office.

CONSIDER THE COMMUNITY
There are a number of ways to demonstrate your commitment to social sustainability. Find out what the local community where you are holding the event need, and see how you can contribute. If this isn’t possible, you can purchase goods and services from businesses that help the local community.

SHARE YOUR SUCCESS
Inform your guests and attendees of your commitment to sustainability in your written and verbal communications. This can be as simple as including a page on the event website that outlines your sustainable event initiatives, or informing guests verbally on the day of the event. Another good idea is to clearly label food and beverages that are organic, local or fair-trade.

 

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