Tag: sustainable

How To Accelerate Sustainability In Events

How To Accelerate Sustainability In Events

Sustainability needs to be embedded into business models: it is a catalyst for innovation and a driver for profit. It is an opportunity for businesses, society and the planet.

With live events increasingly becoming part of many brands content marketing strategies, it makes sense that brand professionals need to be considering the implementation of sustainability into their events.


Sustainability & Responsibility


Too often people think that implementing sustainability into events includes that it is too complicated or too expensive.

People assume the government is taking care of it, event professionals assume the hotel is taking care of it, marketers assume that the event organisers are taking care of it.

As event professionals we have the ability to change behaviour in a multi dynamic way.

We can demand sustainability from our suppliers. If suppliers do not have a sustainable offer then we can encourage them to adopt one. We can change the behaviour of delegates by implementing small changes to the delivery of our events to ensure we leave less of a carbon footprint – changes that actually enhance the attendee experience. We can also educate delegates by explaining why we are making these changes.

By making attendees consciously aware of the changes we make, we are able to improve our own business image, reduce our impact on the environment and change delegate behaviour to reduce their impact on the environment. We are able to support social projects and local businesses.


In Conclusion

The world won’t save itself and individual torch bearers can’t do it alone. This is is going to take collaboration between all sectors to create an industry wide shift.

9 Ways For A More Sustainable Event

9 Ways For A More Sustainable Event

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 through sustainable event principles because it reinforces the key messages of their event, and/or demonstrates their vision and commitment to sustainability. Other clients are happy to have their event produced through sustainable event principles because it helps them save resources and this reflects well on their business!

Below are 9 simple ways to create a more sustainable event while keeping your guests happy. While it is important to take a whole event approach – it may not be possible to do everything.  You could start with a single initiative and work from there.



Give guests plenty of opportunity to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight by requesting rooms with opening windows for ventilation and natural lighting. This will help guests breathe easier and see better. If your venue has an outdoor area make the most of it by holding breaks outside.


Provide guests with public transport options such as train timetabling, bus route and bicycle parking facilities. Where public transport is not accessible, arrange shuttle buses to and from the event or promote car sharing.


Appoint a staff member to take responsibility for eliminating unnecessary lighting, power and equipment use. Switch equipment off at the power point after use.


Prioritise venues that demonstrate a commitment to water conservation by installing water saving devices.


Do not provide disposable material such as disposable cutlery, plates, containers or cups.

Instead, provide reusable crockery, serving platters, glasses and cutlery. Depending on the formality of the event, invite attendees to bring their own cups or water bottles.


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



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


Attempt to not provide show bags or copious amounts of printed material. Always question if the printing of brochures and pamphlets is necessary. When printing is necessary use vegetable based inks and post-consumer recycled content paper. Furthermore, consider whether your engagement activities can be done online as this will reduce the need for printed event materials, contributing further to a green event management approach.


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


Do you have other sustainable event ideas to contribute? Write a comment below!

6 best practices for green events

6 best practices for green events

Green events are now a hot trend, but environmentally sustainable events must become a standard requirement moving forward if we as an industry are to do our part in addressing this huge issue.

The greening of events can’t and must not simply be a trend; it must become a standard practice.

So instead of repeating what has already been said in many other places, let’s focus on six best practices for green events that you may not yet be familiar with but that will make a huge impact on reducing the carbon footprint of your events.

Add the purchase carbon offset credits to your budget

So what are carbon offsets? Basically, they are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (namely CO2) taking place somewhere in the world that are subsequently translated into credits that can be purchased. One example of such a reduction would be the renewable energy generated by a wind farm that replaces energy generated by a coal-burning plant.

Such reductions are called carbon offsets, and these are quantified and sold in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. So if you purchase 1 ton of carbon offset credits, you will have reduced 1 ton of CO2 emissions from being released into the environment. The money you spend on these credits essentially goes towards these carbon-reducing projects and programs and speeds our progress in permanently reducing carbon emissions.

You have a couple of options here. You can choose to offset the carbon footprint for your on-site event itself, or you can offset the carbon footprint of your on-site event as well as for the travel of each of your guests/attendees. The latter will be more costly, as guest/attendee travel has by far the biggest carbon impact of any event-related activity, so you may want to offset for your on-site event activities/practices and ask your guests/attendees to purchase their own carbon offset credits to help reduce their travel footprints.

Reduce or eliminate animal meats and proteins from your menus


Did you know that meat production generates 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions every year? In simpler terms, a half-pound hamburger that cooks down to a patty the size of two decks of cards releases as much CO2 as driving a 3000 pound vehicle almost 10 miles.

By reducing the meat portions in your event menus or altogether eliminating meat and substituting other protein options (like tofu, beans/lentils, seitan, etc.), you can considerably reduce your event’s carbon footprint and green up your event even more.

Granted, eliminating meat from menus may not be feasible for some events (especially if you are holding an event for the beef or pork industry), so in those cases you should seek out in-season, locally sourced meats and produce. This will reduce the transportation costs of these foods.

In addition, you can seek out food providers that package their foods with environmentally friendly and recyclable or reusable materials, and you can have any leftovers sent to a local food kitchen or homeless shelter and compost everything else.

Choose a truly green venue

A green event isn’t green without the involvement and participation of your event venue.

Today many venues offer recycling and composting options for you and your guests. However, truly green venues go much further than this, so when evaluating facilities for your green events, look for venues that:

  • Are a LEED-Certified facility (LEED certification is a standardized building industry certification granted to facilities that meet a number of requirements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions). This is by far the most important factor in identifying a truly green venue.
  • Have an Energy Star score of better than 50, with a score of better than 75 being optimal. Basically, the higher the score, the better.
  • Are within close proximity (1/4 to 1/2 mile) to public transit options.
  • Employ energy-saving systems (like convection heating/cooling and energy-efficient LED or CFL lighting) and water-saving strategies (like low-water toilets and showerheads).
  • Use vehicles with low emissions or low energy consumption rates (like natural-gas powered vehicles).
  • Maximize natural light to illuminate their event spaces and rooms as well as to heat those spaces.

Offer incentives for guests that rideshare or take direct flights

As we discussed earlier, transportation is likely to have the biggest impact when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions generated by your event. This can extend to a number of areas – like transportation of food items and decor/flowers and on-site transportation – but the biggest transportation impact is the separate trips all your attendees make to the event itself.

The first step here is to locate your green event centrally so that the largest number of guests have the shortest distance to travel.

But the next thing you can do is to give your attendees incentives to share rides to the event or take direct flights (which are much more efficient than flights with connections).

You could offer special prizes or discounts to these guests who choose these greener options and partner with a sponsor to provide the gifts. You could even give priority seating, menu options or value-added programming to these guests as incentives.

Reduce the amount of “stuff” dispensed at the event

Swag. Handouts. Gifts. Programs. Favors. Promo items. Gift bags. It’s amazing the amount of stuff we take home from events and never, ever use again. Eventually, most of it ends up in a landfill. When you think of all the energy it took to produce those items and the additional energy to dispose of them, it makes you shake your head.

So instead of handing out materials, opt for electronically distributing things like programs and guides for your event that people can load on their laptops, tablets and smartphones.

And instead of giving out another logo-emblazoned stress ball or post-it note dispenser, opt for giving out experiences or intangible-but-useful items instead, like tickets to movies or music shows, gift cards for local vendors or donations made by you on your guests’ behalf.  If you must give out a physical object, give out items that are environmentally sustainable, like beeswax candles or small flower/herb pots.

Set a casual dress code for your event

Suits may look spiffy, but lots of dress clothes can also contribute to the carbon footprint of an event. Dry cleaning releases lots of greenhouse gases, as does having to lower the temperature of your event venue or guest rooms so that guests in dress clothes are comfortable.

By instituting a casual dress code that fits the seasonal climate, you can avoid the above measures and have a greener events.

Do you have any revolutionary sustainable event best practices of your own? Then add them to the comments below.