Top Ten Tips to Know Your Event is Sustainable

Top Ten Tips

Our theme of the month is "what practical evidence should I see to know my event is sustainable?" The UN state that events "can leave a significant environmental footprint – through consuming energy and water, generating waste, polluting the air and water, and contributing to climate change by creating greenhouse gas emissions." Although we all know this to be the case, the events industry also has an immense power to enforce change through our efficient and effective ways of sharing ideas, identifying solutions and reaching agreements. The benefits of doing so are endless, so implementing changes will have an incredible impact.

1.  Use sustainable event checklists

Using sustainable event checklists will help provide event professionals with clear and effective recommendations to ensure best practice within the event.  

2.   Effective planning

Giving your team the opportunity to plan with a sufficient amount of time will help minimise potential negative impacts. For example, more time to receive delegates response rates will help reduce food wastage.

3.  Communicate sustainability

Effective communication will allow stakeholders to understand the impact of sustainability on events. Communicating easy actions for delegates to follow may also lead to behavioural change.

4.  Make the right choices from the beginning

We all know choosing a location, venue, catering and all the other aspects of the event process can be difficult. Make event sustainability easier for yourself by choosing the right suppliers. If they are implementing change through the triple bottom line, the first steps have already been taken!  

5.  Report on your sustainable events

Reporting on your sustainable events will enable you to see the positives, learn lessons and improve for the next time. Communicating reports can also motivate staff, gain trust from stakeholders and save money through increased monitoring.

6.  Implement voluntary commitments

By implementing voluntary measures, you show initiative and the brand presents a competitive advantage. For example, estimating greenhouse gases (GHS), planning to reduce GHS and offsetting GHS is one of the ways to do this.

7.  Specify minimum percentages

Identifying minimum percentages of resources used at events to promote good practice. For example, a minimum percentage of locally sourced food. 

8.  Ask suppliers for their environmental management measures

Being confident in your suppliers and communicating their measures is essential to knowing your event is sustainable. You could also create selection criteria for suppliers.

9.  Choose your resources wisely

Make sure resources such as paper is 100% recyclable and sourced ethically, and the electricity used is generated from renewable energy sources. Small things make a huge difference!

10.  Use certified suppliers and venues

Suppliers and venues who are certified by sustainable organisations have gone beyond expectations of the industry and association with them will make you favourable to stakeholders and delegates.