The increasing concern for the environment and climate change has driven for organisations and planners to pay close attention at ensuring their events are a lot eco-friendlier, hosting them in sustainable venues and opting for ecologically sound alternatives. Sustainable events are now being organised to have a reduced carbon footprint, and the need for green conferences seems to be growing.
For event professionals, creating sustainable events can be a challenge at times. When the aim is to offer an effective, personalised attendee experience whilst ensuring the occasion meets your sustainability targets, many compromises need to be made. Since your carbon footprint is affected by all the major aspects of your conference, such as travel, food and beverage, venue, and accommodation, what can be done to create business-driven sustainable events
With clients increasingly looking to host green events, it has become more important than ever to select appropriate sustainable venues. Green conference venues should be able to show they have invested in sustainability. This helps organisers measure the impact of their event, minimise wastage, and reduce carbon emissions. For example, sustainable venues could have a strong onsite waste management system, in-house recycling programme, portable composting toilets, energy efficient systems and more.
Other factors you should consider when selecting your sustainable venues:
Another key environmental issue is the use of non-recyclable materials. Most disposable plastics are difficult to recycle and a nightmare to deal with for waste management providers.
To address this issue sustainable events organisations have made a few changes:
Transportation is one of the major areas that can impact the sustainability of your event. If most of your attendees are using private vehicles to travel to the venue, the carbon footprint will end up being significantly higher than you expected. You can encourage attendees to take public transport or cycle to their sustainable venues, significantly decreasing the conferences overall carbon footprint.
A few other steps you should take include:
Food wastage plays an enormous part in affecting sustainability. Food wasted in enormous amounts is sent to landfills, which releases greenhouse gasses like methane and is a direct cause of global warming.
To avoid wasting food here is what you can do:
The other half of huge wastage comes from plastic tableware. Go for a strict no to anything plastic rule – there will be no chances for unmanageable rubbish! For catering, use china tableware or metal utensils that can be easily washed and reused.
Other ways to avoid unnecessary rubbish:
If using china and other tableware is not possible, consider going for biodegradable alternatives. There are numerous options with a low carbon impact. You can also opt for biodegradable plastics, which are made from renewable raw materials such as starch, orange peels, corn oil and plants. These plastics break down easily by naturally occurring bacteria, therefore decomposing quickly, and benefiting the environment
Free promotional merchandise at events can also be a part of your sustainable events. We recommend promoting eco-friendly gifts that can speak to the environmentally conscious side of the attendees.
Some options to consider:
Whether they are sustainable events or not, events produce a large amount of waste, and the least you can do is segregate the waste properly for recycling. An easier way to achieve this is by having a waste management program that follows the principle of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.
To achieve this easier, you could:
One of the most recommended alternatives to brochures and leaflets is to use event management software’s. It will allow you to digitalise various aspects of the conference, eliminating the use of paper and allowing for the event to run in a more efficient manner.
Ways of using an event management software for sustainable events:
If you’re planning for you next event, it’s most important to set the standards early on. You have the most power to make sustainability a priority in the pre-planning stages, so outline your sustainable goals early on.
If you’re proactive in the early stages of planning, you have a better chance of getting potential partners on board with your sustainability goals. From choosing a more eco-friendly and accessible location to checking with your region’s waste and recycling partners, factoring the environmental effects into every step of the planning process will ultimately reduce your carbo footprint and you’ll have success in sustainable events.
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