If you want to plan truly environmentally friendly events, you have to start right at the beginning.

It’s in the pre-planning stages, when event organisers/marketers have the most power to influence their event sustainability. Here, we’ll share our seriously effective ways to lower the carbon footprint of your next event.

1. Find the right people to help you

Finding other sustainability-minded partners/suppliers will allow the process to become a lot smoother and easier for you from the start. This maybe your first time putting together a sustainably-forward event, which may mean that you will miss out on the finer details such as things like recyclable name badges and paperless agendas. Working alongside a business with the experience of working sustainably, will help take the stress away and allow you to focus on the important stuff.

2. Make a plan

As with everything in event management, if you don’t plan properly it will either go wrong or possibly not happen at all. Once you’ve chosen which environmental impacts you’re going to focus on, you should set some realistic goals which you can improve on each year.

Again, make sure you choose the right partners and suppliers to see through your plans.

It might sound obvious, but you need to think about when you’re going to get everything done. This is not just about planning when you’re going to implement your project but when you’re going to achieve the targets you’ve set. Create milestones and stick to them.

3. Look at showcasing/attending at greener destinations

The single most impactful choice you can make for a greener event is where you host it.

As the push for more environmentally conscious policies has intensified over the years, many hotels and venues have embraced these changes wholeheartedly. Start by looking for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified venue or other eco-certifications, such as EarthCheck, Green Globe and Green Seal, and don’t hesitate to ask a venue about just how sustainable its practices are. Make sure you’re working with partners that share your eco-friendly values!

Banks Sadler showcases a few great venues around the UK you could try: https://www.banks-sadler.com/the-best-sustainable-venues-across-the-globe/

4. Keep distance and transportation in mind

Leading on from the last point, the shorter the distance to and from the chosen destination for your visitors, the better—less carbon footprint, less angry and tired attendees! (win, win!)

Other green options includes public transportation such as buses and rail systems. If public transit is available between your chosen venue and around the city, that helps!

Also consider how many hotel rooms are located within walking distance (less than 1 mile) of the venue? What about restaurants? The more accessible the main venue is to attendees on foot or by public transport, the lower the environmental impacts.

5. Remove potential waste from your event

Make it easy for your attendees to go paperless as a priority. 

Send invitations via email or set up digital ticketing, rather than sending paper invitations or tickets. Use these methods to communicate essential info about the event. We have found that event apps are becoming increasingly popular and affordable and they can contain everything that traditionally has been printed. The benefit is, all the information can be updated instantly too, saving on those last minute agenda reprints!

If you are planning on using any materials for your event, such as pull up banners, stands or posters, make sure you that you are having them printed using only sustainably sourced materials. 

And at the event itself, don’t hand out plastic water bottles and individually wrapped items to participants. Instead, look at alternatives that have much less impact environmentally.

6. And of course, recycle at your events!

Naturally, we couldn’t leave good old fashioned recycling off the list! In the events world, recycling comes in many forms:

  • Donate unused materials: Things like vinyl signs and poster boards could be repurposed. Look for organisations or your local “hard-to-recycle materials” facility.
  • Make it easy for attendees to recycle: Place recycling bins next to trash cans so guests can easily deposit recyclables.
  • Choose reusables; stay away from disposables. For example, insist on reusable cutlery and napkins, and collect plastic name badge holders at the end of the event.

Are you ready to take event sustainability planning to the next level? Believe us when we say your commitment to eco-friendly events will pay off, and you will gain so much more exposure from taking the step into the sustainability trend. 

For more information about how you can make your next event more sustainable, get in touch today on thrive@418group.com or on 01256 333446.

Emily Woffindin

Author Emily Woffindin

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