Sustainability is a big word on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the events industry right now.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly events offer many benefits to the overall environmental landscape. It is noteworthy enough that sustainable events work to reduce carbon emissions, but they can also have a positive impact on the local community through increased inclusion, opportunities and financial means.
This article provides an overview of sustainable event practices and the impact of sustainable events on the environment and on communities.
What are sustainable event practices?
For an event to be considered sustainable, it should actively work to reduce negative impacts on the environment and have a beneficial impact on the local community within which it is hosted.
Sustainable event practice is not something that can be passively dealt with; organising a sustainable event should be thought out, intentional, and conducted responsibly. Sustainable event practice is a task that requires you to set and actively work towards meeting targets and goals, and you will need to regularly revisit these goals throughout the planning process to ensure you make sufficient progress.
Eco-friendly events tips
To help you host an eco-friendly event, here are a few sustainability events tips:
- Check that your venue has solid sustainability accreditation
- Demand event sustainability adjustments in your events contract
- Reduce or eliminate single-use plastic
- Keep all information digital to reduce printing
- Supply food with a low carbon-footprint
- Reduce or eliminate food waste
- Understand how you can reuse or repurpose any waste
Sustainability in the events industry: impact on the environment
Sustainable events actively work to reduce the impact that they have on the environment. This includes minimising the amount of waste that is created through the course of the event, reducing the consumption of water and electricity, as well as the levels of air, noise, and light pollution.
To boost your sustainable event practice, venues that make use of natural lighting and clean air are also highly recommended.
Sustainable events help to promote sustainable mobility through using public and shared transport methods.
Catering at sustainable events really has the power to make a difference. Catering companies are instructed to opt for eco-friendly food options, reuse their cutlery and tableware and use local and seasonal produce.
The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is a real impact that sustainability in the events industry can have on the environment. Sustainable events are increasingly also carbon neutral, meaning that they also take into consideration the carbon emissions that could not be prevented. Carbon dioxide emissions can be offset by calculating said emissions and obtaining voluntary carbon credits from a project that is providing external benefits in an environmental, social, or economic way. This results in an event with a net of zero carbon emissions.
Sustainability in the events industry: Impact on communities
For an event to be sustainable it must also have a positive impact on its local community, and not just be eco-friendly.
In order to achieve this, sustainable event practice involves promoting inclusion and equal opportunities. One strategy for this is hiring an equal number of men and women. Accessibility is also achieved by offering the event delivered in sign language and providing equal access for attendees with reduced mobility.
Furthermore, sustainable events impact their local communities by hiring local businesses. Hiring local businesses not only provides them with work but this has a positive impact on the local economy overall. It is also a way of potentially reducing the carbon footprint for the event, as sourcing supplies and labour locally results in less transportation usage.
Sustainable events therefore really show themselves as a worthy approach to hosting events and are a credit to the events industry. Sustainable events truly have a positive impact on local communities as well as on the environment.