11 Ways To Make Your Event More Sustainable & Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Without It costing The Earth!
- Find a Sustainable venue - Look for venues which follow certain practices such as:
- Creating more green spaces
- Maximising use of low carbon energy & renewable energy
- Recycling, using refurbished/ recycled equipment, products & materials
- Reducing the environmental impact of staff & visitor travel
- Directly procuring food & catering products with good sustainability & animal welfare standards
- Protecting venues and preserving national heritage
There are a number of accreditations available for venues across the Globe, look out for what accreditation your preferred venue has and then check what criteria it has met to achieve it. If you’d like more information on finding green, sustainable venues do get in touch with our team, we’re happy to run through the green venues in your chosen location.
- Cut down on transport- Transportation to and from an event, arrange group transfers from airports or train stations, even if that leaves some of the earlier delegates waiting for later arrivals- offer them a voucher for a complimentary coffee from a cafe (a green one of course!)
- Keep distance in mind - Work out where your majority of delegates are coming from particularly if it is a global event – using a map pin the delegates in their home city and choose a venue nearest to your largest cluster of pins, alternatively go through all your delegates and work out flights to your preferred choice of locations, calculate all the air miles (flight search engines usually do this for you) and pick a location for the conference that allows for the lowest total air miles. Ideally, if you a speaker/ delegates coming from a very far flung destination they should attend the conference virtually. NH hotels offer technology that allows speakers to attend on stage in holographic form from another NH hotel anywhere in the world!
- Don’t over order on the food – Everyone when ordering food for events tends to go over the top on amount. Do we really need a substantial morning break snack, as well as a 2 course lunch, and then an afternoon tea snack prior to a 3 course dinner??! Try reducing the amount of food you pre-order and go for smaller healthier snacks for your breaks rather than full on cream cakes! It also has the added benefit of helping your waistlines and may well reduce the post lunch sluggishness in your delegates. Reducing the food wastage in this way can save your budget & the planet – win, win!!
- Avoid individually wrapped items – Don’t put sweets out in single wrappers – ideally don’t put out sweets at all – offer fruit instead. Ask the venue to provide condiments in bulk rather than having salt, pepper, sugar, ketchup etc in single serve packets.
- Recycle - Give each delegate their own re-usable bottle (with your logo/event name on it & preferably not a plastic one) at the start of the conference and request that they be responsible for keeping the bottle filled with water - ensure that glass jugs of iced water are readily available for filling the bottles, this also cuts down on glass washing as everyone re-uses the bottle, glasses don’t need washing.
- Eliminate all single use items - Don’t produce lanyards or print programmes - store everything digitally on an event app that delegates can download and follow the schedule and even chat with other delegates about course content, or use it to ask questions to speakers - you can even have polling so during your talks the audience can participate in live Q & A’s - far more immersive!
- Don’t print your signage - Display it all digitally; the back of the stage could be a back projection or front projection rather than a printed canvas. Banners and printed boards could be swapped for uplighters or projections of your logo on walls and ceilings.
- Offer more vegan options - Offering plant based options rather than meat is much more sustainable and will reduce your event’s carbon footprint. It is also easier to cater for peoples’ dietary requirements if you only offer vegan options because you won’t need to work out the numbers of vegan/vegetarians who are coming if everyone has the same!
- Insist on recycling anything that has to be single use – Ask the venue to provide clearly labelled bins for recycling to encourage your delegates to recycle.
- Cut down on air con use or central heating - For events in cooler months inform your delegates upfront that you won’t be over-heating the meeting room, during summer events open the windows before resorting to turning the air-con on.
Why not include a short talk on sustainability at the end of your conference and demonstrate how the way the conference has been run has had a positive impact on the environment? Encourage delegates to make changes at home too, you could start a 21 day challenge to change 1 or 2 things that they do at home that will benefit the environment, far better than them taking away a ‘goody bag’ of non-recyclables!!!
Have you been tasked with organising a sustainable event? Get in touch our team are happy to advise and assist in sourcing a green accredited venue or managing your event to meet green criteria:
Sunday 20th September 2020