Events bring a community together, support engagement and networking, but does it support our planet? It easily can! Going green is becoming a popular trend in the event industry and the guests love it. Events contribute to a lot of waste and carbon footprints. Meetgreen.com compiled a report on conference waste attendees stating that they produced 1.89KG of waste per day, 1.16KG going to landfill.
Here are a few things you can do at your next event to support the going green movement and make a difference towards a healthier home.
Choose Sustainable Suppliers
Finding a supplier that meets your standards on sustainability can help reduce your impacts on our planet for your next event. NIBusinessInfo.co.uk provides a pre-qualified questionnaire to check if a supplier meets your environmental needs. Consider the following:
- environmental management practices, eg ask if the supplier uses a certified environmental management system (EMS) such as ISO 14001 to assess their own environmental impacts, monitor their environmental impact and performance, maintain legal compliance and gain senior management commitment
- compliance with environmental legislation, eg check your supplier has not been prosecuted for breaking the law
- a product’s environmental impact, eg ask about its resource use, whether waste is created during its manufacture, whether it uses hazardous substances, how much packaging it uses
- delivery of your own specific environmental or social aims, eg to reduce the carbon footprint throughout your supply chain, becoming a signatory of the Ethical Trading Initiative base code
- the supplier’s buying practices – this can be useful in identifying environmental and social risks further down your supply chain
- social responsibility policy and practices, eg whether the supplier identifies and assesses their own social risks and those of their supply chain and whether the supplier monitors compliance with International Labour Organisation standards in their supply chains
Choose a Green Energy Venue
A sure way to embrace your sustainable event is to find a sustainable venue. When looking for your venue these are some things you want to consider:
Venue Location: Is the venue easy to access through walking, transportation or close to attendee locations? This decreases greenhouse gases from cars while making it more accessible for anyone who may not have a vehicle.
Green Building Standards: Check if the venue followed the Green Construction Code or Standards required during building to reduce the negative impacts on the natural environment. Through these standards, they make certain components sustainable such as the materials they use, water management, health components, and energy systems used.
Proper Certification: Certifications prove that the venue has sustainable initiatives in place and if there are no certificates make sure you inquire if any “green” properties are used.
Sustainability Goals: Choose a venue that encourages their staff, performers, and guests to engage with their sustainability goals.
Bring in local food trucks, catering and support the communities local businesses. Help change our food systems by supporting local farms avoiding artificial flavors, processed foods and moving more towards organic and fresh selections.
Check out this guide on Planning an Event – Consider Serving Local Food, to help plan your next event.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is notorious for their breweries and events such as Oktoberfest, being almost 100% zero waste. Today they divert 99.8% of solid waste from landfills through creative measures encouraging reusing, recycling and composting at all their events.
Some things you can try to be one step closer to zero waste is using recyclable materials, eliminate plastic altogether, and get creative! Merchandise, programs, conference books can all be from recycled paper and other material. Eliminate plastic water bottles by having water filling stations to encourage your guests to bring reusable water bottles. Plates, silverware, cups should all be able to be recycled. These are just a few things that Sierra Nevada does at their events to keep up with their extensive zero waste programs.
See their sustainability report here.
Eliminate paper entirely, if possible, and put all materials, tickets, brochures online.
And finally be transparent that you are a sustainable event. Being honest with your guests and vendors, not only lets them understand what to expect, but if you are making an effort maybe they will too. Creating sustainable events is being a responsible event planner, growing with the trends and has become one of the top choices for event trends this year!