The events industry is one of the most wasteful, it's a hard fact. In an age in which the world's resources are running out it's vital that we pay attention to this fact.
This infographic sets out to explain the current ethos concerning green practices in the events industry. We'll see which factors contribute to an event's carbon footprint and why it's important to reduce this carbon footprint.
Most importantly we'll see some top tips on how to run a green event.
Take a look:
GREEN EVENTS GUIDE INFOGRAPHIC
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Now that you have an idea of what it takes to make the events industry greener, let's take a look at some of those top tips in greater detail...
According to the latest trends, more and more people expect eco-friendly actions and policies at events (and in most other walks of life). Green policies therefore may contribute to an event organiser or venue being hired. Participants also may expect a certain level of commitment towards sustainability.
These aren’t the only reasons that event organisers should be prioritising sustainability from the get-go. Almost every aspect of the event can be done in a greener way, which in turn will have a positive effect on the environment and your budget.
Prioritising sustainability means planning green strategies and measuring their success every step of the way. Make it known to events staff, vendors and guests that sustainability is a priority here. This will hopefully result in heightening the commitment of every member of the team, every person you’re doing business with and every guest that attends your event.
GOOD WASTE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
It isn’t news that the events industry produces a lot of waste. Most events professionals know that their events are producing much more waste than they should be. That’s why many in the industry have been discussing a zero waste policy for some time now, a policy that has already been introduced within the construction industry.
According to Fiona Pelham of Positive Impact, however, the idea of zero waste is little more than a dream and there have only been a few instances of good waste management practices since discussions began. For this reason we should be putting a great emphasis on waste management at events.
There are several ways that an event planner can tackle the problem of waste. The first of which is to go paperless meaning that all communications are made digitally. For example, brochures and schedules can be offered to guests in a digital format. Important information can be expressed via email or social media groups as opposed to via letters or memos.
Having a reductionist attitude is also key in preventing the accumulation of waste. That means for example using real plates and cutlery for mealtimes instead of disposable containers. It means not ordering more food than necessary. It means not providing guests with goodie bags that have excessive packaging and contain items that guests may not even use. Instead, do something meaningful, make a donation to charity on their behalf or give a gift that’s worthwhile.
Recycling is of course another way in which to reduce waste. What many event organisers don’t realise is the extent to which they can cut costs by recycling. For example, the Green Meetings Report showed that event organisers could save around $975 by collecting the badges of 1300 event attendees after an event and using them again.
If there is waste despite your attempts then the way in which that waste is handled makes a difference. Food waste can be turned into compost. And as we have already mentioned, recycling can make use of the waste.
CHOOSING A GREEN VENUE
The use of public transport or car-pooling is obviously a much better option if you’re hoping to lower the effect of your actions on the environment. Therefore this must be taken into consideration when choosing the venue that will host your event. You must ensure that the venue has good public transport links to reduce the number of cars on the road as a consequence of your event.
If you want to cut out the need for transport altogether then you could encourage virtual meetings or teleconferencing (especially concerning those guests who must use air travel).
One must also consider the venue's level of commitment to green practices. Because what the venue does in terms of sustainability is out of an event organiser’s control. That’s why event planners who want to go green should choose a venue with green policies in the first instance.
For example, this might concern where the venue sources its food and beverages. Do they use local suppliers? Is the food organic? It might also concern the venue’s policy on air conditioning and heating. Are they energy efficient? There’s a lot to consider when determining a venue’s level of eco-friendliness.
One way of encouraging energy efficiency (that can be controlled by the event planner) is to hold the event during the daytime and possibly even outdoors. This means that you can take advantage of natural light for as long as possible and avoid consuming a large amount of electricity.
OFFSETTING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
One of the main concerns when it comes to going green is greenhouse gas emissions. If an event planner is committed they should estimate the emissions they will be responsible for during the planning process. In this way, the planner can first make provisions to lower the impact of their event on the environment. Where no changes can be made the event planner can offset the event’s carbon footprint thereafter.
Sometimes going green means being highly creative. If you’re passionate about finding green solutions you will find them. Why not try and implement some of these ideas when planning your next event? Or come up with your own innovative solutions for making the events industry greener?