27 Feb How to Incorporate Sustainability into your Event
Sustainability is all about reducing the negative impact our activities have on the environment and taking into account how a sustainable activity can have a positive impact on not just a limited group of people, but a much wider community.
The concept of sustainability is becoming a topic of importance across all industries, and the event management industry is no exception! In this article, we share some of the best tips and ideas for hosting a “green” event, reducing its carbon footprint, and making it more sustainable.
Minimise the Use of Paper and Plastic
If you are planning to make your event more sustainable, it’s important to minimise the amount of paper and plastic that gets used up during (and even prior to) your event.
Here are some tips to help you achieve this goal:
- Use digital check-in or mobile check-in apps instead of paper-based ticketing.
- Email the registration details and relevant event information to the event attendees instead of printing them out and posting it to them.
- Instead of using printed signage, try using digital signage or chalk boards. You can either choose to hire or purchase the equipment for this. Not to mention, they are reusable too!
- Downloadable freebies are great alternatives for a “goody bag” to giveaway at your event.
- If you are planning to use lanyards and name badges at your business event or exhibition, try opting for reusable ones and request them to be returned at the end of the event.
- If you are organising an exhibition, provide exhibitors with guidelines about sustainable practices to be followed at your event and ask them to consider the printed marketing materials they give out during the event. Suggest them to use mobile apps for recording visitor information and sending out digital marketing material to the prospects.
- Say no to straws. Straws usually end up in the ocean and have a negative impact on sea life.
- Say no to bottled water. Instead, provide re-usable steel cups or glasses and have water refill stations set up at the venue.
- Go for reusable utensils, bowls, cups, and plates wherever possible. Another option is to use 100% biodegradable and disposable catering supplies that are made from renewable materials.
Ensure Proper Waste Management
Needless to say, there will always be rubbish at any kind of gathering, big or small. For proper waste disposal, it’s important to have different bins for different kinds of waste and making sure the signage is clear.
Consider Online Audiences
If possible, give your event audience the option to attend the event online. Not only will it help cut down your costs, but it will also help make the event more sustainable. Many conference organisers are now giving their audiences the option to attend the conference online instead of in-person.
Consider Event Location and Means of Transportation
If you are able to host your event and provide your guests with the lodging in the same hotel, it will greatly reduce the need for transportation while also bringing down the carbon footprint of your event. If that’s not a possible option, consider organising a shuttle service from the pickup points in locations where most of your attendees come from. It’s always a nice idea to source venues that are easily accessible via public transportation.
Reward Your Guests for Being Eco-friendly
Incentivise your guests for carpooling, cycling, or using public transport. Offering them a reward for doing this or following other sustainable practices (such as bringing their own water bottle) at your event can go a long way in making your event more sustainable.
Create a Sustainable Food and Beverage Plan
When planning your food and drinks menu, check with the venue provider (or the catering service provider) to see if they can use local and seasonal produce fresh from the market. This will help you decide on a menu that’s both kinder to the environment and good for the guests as well.
Another important factor for increasing your event’s sustainability is to reduce your food wastage. You can choose to donate the left-over food for those in need (several local NGOs can help you with this) and consider composting the remaining food waste.
Select an Appropriate Venue for Hosting Your Event
One of the most impactful choices you can make for organising a more sustainable event is to go for greener and more appropriately-sized venues. Going for larger-than-required venues isn’t a great idea, as it would typically use up more power. Also, look for Green certified venues and venues that would use solar power or LED lighting in place of regular options.
Hire the Right Event Management Partners
A good majority of sustainable events are driven by environmentally-conscious and sustainability-minded event planners. So, don’t forget to ask potential event planners about their event sustainability practices!
As the demand for and awareness about sustainable event planning grows in the event management industry, organising sustainable events will only become easier.
There are countless ways your event planner can add the “sustainability” element into your event! Remember – sustainability has never been a barrier to creativity!
What we’ve shared in this article as just a small snapshot of what can be done when working towards achieving the event sustainability goals. If you need more inspiration or ideas for making your event highly sustainable, then don’t hesitate to contact us!