Sustainability is no longer a ‘trend’ or something that’s ‘up and coming’, it is a non-negotiable factor that must be integrated into every process and brand. People now expect sustainability from brands, rather than simply seeing it as an added benefit.
Event organisers are recognising this and using it as motivation to change the way our industry works, with 85% of organisers identifying climate change as the primary long-term challenge facing the industry.
The post-pandemic return to events has been a catalyst for innovation and creativity when it comes to taking sustainability to a new level. We don’t want your event to get left behind, so we’ve put together some of our own sustainability tips and upcoming trends to stay ahead of the game.
Making your event sustainable starts from the initial planning stages, including venue sourcing. When choosing a venue for your event, consider whether it has implemented sustainable processes and eco-friendly facilities. Does it have recycling facilities, temperature controls or water-efficient systems? These are all things that your attendees will notice.
Another thing to consider is does the venue use green energy? Try to select a venue that has solar panels installed or uses other forms of sustainable energy to power their facilities.
Struggling to find a venue that meets all your criteria? Trying moving outdoors! During the summer months outdoor venues are an ideal choice for making your event more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Outdoor events allow you to save energy and money on lighting, air-con/heating and other electrical appliances.
Get smart with your tech at your next event to boost efficiency and lower your environmental impact. LED lighting is the most energy efficient and eco-friendly lighting option - as well as being incredibly versatile giving you the option to get creative! Use LED screens as signage so you don’t have to throw away branded or outdated signs post-event.
Waste is a massive problem facing event organisers, with the average conference event attendee producing almost 2kg of waste a day, which can add up fast at national events! It lies in the hands of the event organiser to keep waste-levels under control.
Going plastic-free is an obvious step that everyone should take. But what about taking it one step further by going paperless?! Keeping printed materials to a minimum and going digital keeps both costs and wastage low.
Where printing can’t be avoided, use recycled paper that can be recycled again once you’re done. Freebies are another major waste issue, if you’re giving away swag at your event, opt for reusable and useful gifts like travel mugs made of sustainable materials or metal water bottles.
Another main contributor, not only to waste but also the carbon footprint of your event is food. Many people overlook the fact that everything has a carbon footprint, even the canapes!
Try to serve only organic and locally sourced food as to reduce the need for national and international shipping. Take it one step further by serving vegan food at your event, which is known to have much less environmental impact plus is generally healthier!
Keep track of how many people are coming to your event in advance so you can get the right amount of food and reduce wastage.
Transport and travel
Avoid making people travel far, especially internationally, to your event. Allow the option for people to join digitally by making your event hybrid, or if that isn’t an option, look for ways to offset people’s carbon. Look for and encourage attendees to use local public transport links when travelling to and from your event, reducing individual carbon emissions.
Be aware of greenwashing
Finally, be aware of greenwashing. Greenwashing is a relatively new term used to describe brands who claim to be sustainable but aren’t actually making any real positive changes. You don’t want to claim to be running a sustainable event then once people do some digging they uncover conflicting truths. Scope out your external suppliers and understand their processes, if they aren’t environmentally friendly this could undo all the hard work you’ve put into making your event sustainable.
Here at Associate Events we take pride in our extensive experience in hosting and organising sustainable events. Our team will guide you through the process of holding a green event and make sure everything is taken care of. Get in touch today by email email@example.com or give us a ring on 0116 464 5995 to start your sustainable journey!