What is your opinion on sustainable events? Do you think they’re necessary and want to organize your future events in a sustainable manner, or maybe you’re already doing it? Or do you think it’s just a current trend that everybody “has” to follow and will eventually fade away? Or maybe you even find it total nonsense…

Well, everybody is talking about “sustainability”. Everything has to be sustainable – the energy, the food, our lifestyle etc. Articles about it are posted so frequently that this topic may get a bit annoying from time to time, at least that’s the case for me.

Of course, I know how important sustainability is (and I suppose most people do). But I’m asking myself, whether I always act sustainable and – if we take events as an example – do I really care if they are sustainable or not? I definitely should!

This is exactly the topic the start-up eventbaxx has written about. In 2 blog articles, the start-up helps you on “your way to organizing a sustainable event”. The texts are definitely worth reading.

So, what do you need to keep in mind while planning a sustainable event? Below are the 7 most important factors…

1. Visitors mobility
You should ask yourself whether a personal meeting is really necessary or whether tech based options like a video conference or online meeting fulfills the same task. Often, it is necessary, but don’t worry! There are plenty of possibilties to reduce the amount of CO² emission that orginiates from travel before, during, and after the event. For example, local transport and German rail services. Here, you can check whether the vendors are signalized with e.g. the “Blue Angel” eco-label. 

2. Facilities, energy and climate – how to decide right
Many providers in this industry have integrated sustainability into their concept and use a so-called environmental management system (EMS). An EMS can be constructed freely or according to the environmental management standard ISO 14001. You save many costs such as heating due to good and efficient insulation. Such partners should be involved in your event.

3. Green Catering
At best, catering should be as fancy and exotic as possible. No costs can be spared in order to ensure the desired taste experience. Consider buying regional and seasonal products, which reduces not only CO² emission but also saves transport costs. Of course, there are still no mangoes or coconuts growing by the Rhine, but with the appropriate creativity, a delicious meal can be served from regional products.

4. Waste Management
Instead of disposable packaging you should take advantage of ecologically beneficial packaging (reusable packaging). The same applies to dishes and cutlery on site. Also, make sure to place wastebins for proper waste separation. The website “Zu gut für die Tonne!” gives you interesting hints on how to avoid food waste.

Another important point, especially at conferences, is the huge amount of paper. No matter if conference booklets or handouts, where should you store all this paper? Sooner or later it will end up in the trash. But there are many digital alternatives that help reduce costs and save the environment along the way!

5. Water
To contribute to the reduction of the waste water load, write a responsible approach with the resource water on your agenda. What you definitely should do: Flush the toilet with rainwater and use biodegradable detergents!

6. Communication possibilities
Define the objectives and contents of your sustainability concept timely and communicate them on all decision-making levels. Makie sure to inform the participants and the public as well.

On one hand, this is an incentive to achieve the set goals with a view on sustainability. Moreover, in doing so you can advertise your sustainable goals and eventually call attention to other event organizers striving for sustainibility as well. In the best case scenario you encourage others to shape their events in a similar fashion.

7. Hospitality gifts
First, you should ask yourself if guests presents are really necessary. If yes, you should make sure that the production and delivery of the gifts strain the environment as little as possibile and are also socially compatible. That means, the gift shouldn’t be thrown away after a very short period of time. Make sure the gift means something to the participants to ensure they will hold on to it. If you revert to food as a gift, you should choose seasonal and organically grown products.

 To get more information, read the articles on blog.eventbaxx.com:

Your way to a sustainable event – chapter 1/2

Your way to a sustainable event – chapter 2