Planning a sustainable event not only helps to reduce your event’s carbon footprint – it can benefit your business too.
As an event planner, it’s important to not only create events that are memorable and enjoyable for attendees, but also to consider the impact that the event has on the environment. Planning a sustainable event not only helps to reduce the event’s carbon footprint, but it can also benefit your business by showcasing your commitment to sustainability and potentially attracting environmentally-conscious clients. Here are ten tips from the event:decision team for planning a sustainable event:
- Conduct a Sustainability Audit: Conduct a sustainability audit on what you would like to host. This will help you identify areas where you can improve and make more sustainable choices. This includes analysing your travel, accommodation, food & beverage, energy use, waste management – event virtual streaming.
- Set Sustainability Goals: Then set clear and achievable sustainability goals based on your starting point. This will help focus efforts and measure progress. Some examples of sustainability goals for events include reducing waste, using renewable energy, and promoting sustainable transportation.
- Choose a Sustainable Destination & Venue: Location is key. All the venue sustainability attributes will be overshadowed if you are flying 90% of your guests to attend. However, still look for one that has a strong sustainability policy and is willing to work with you to achieve your sustainability goals. A venue that is LEED certified or has a Green Key rating is a good indication that it is committed to sustainability. Can your chosen venue provide electric-vehicle transfers from the nearest transport hub?
- Use eco-friendly materials: When choosing materials for signage, decor, and promotional items, opt for eco-friendly options such as recycled paper and biodegradable materials. Use digital options where possible and already in place.
- Promote sustainable transportation: Encourage carpooling or use of public transportation by providing information and incentives. You can also consider partnering with a ride-sharing company or providing a shuttle service from a central location. Be aware that flights will undoubtedly account for the majority of the carbon footprint of your event, help attendees to plan their transport accordingly.
- Minimise waste: Minimise waste by using reusable or biodegradable products, recycling, and composting. Encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles. Reduce the use of disposable items such as cups, plates, and cutlery.
- Choose renewable energy: Use renewable energy at your event to reduce your carbon footprint. This includes using solar power, wind power, or biofuels. Ask your potential venues at the outset if they use renewable power – the more of us that ask, the quicker venues will adopt.
- Consider Carbon Offset: Calculate the carbon emissions of your event and offset them by purchasing carbon offsets. This can be done through organisations that invest in renewable energy projects.
- Educate attendees: Inform attendees about the sustainable practices in place at the event and encourage them to adopt sustainable behaviours. This can be done through signage, social media posts, and email communications.
- Communicate Your Efforts: Finally, communicate your sustainability goals and achievements to your attendees. This will not only help educate them about sustainable practices but also showcase your organisation’s commitment to sustainability. Be honest and transparent about your sustainability goals and achievements, and encourage attendees to take action and make sustainable choices.
By taking note of these ten tips, you can plan a sustainable event that minimises its impact on the environment. In addition to the environmental benefits, sustainable events can also be cost-effective, as many of the practices that reduce environmental impact also save money. By incorporating sustainability into event planning, you can create an event that is memorable and enjoyable while also making a positive impact. But sustainability is a continuous effort and you should be continually striving to improve year-on-year and to make more sustainable choices.