Going green with your events

posted on Friday 1 July

Blog, Hints and tips

Choosing the right venue is one of the most important tasks for any event planner. It’s important to pick a venue that fits with your audience and their values. Increasingly one of the values delegates expect organisers to take responsibility for is the environmental impact of their meetings and conferences. So what are some of the steps you can take to make your events that little bit greener?

Reduce waste and costs

• Pre your event, use website lists and emails to promote the event
• Use double sided printing for promotional materials and use recycled paper where possible
• Use portable display materials that can be easily transported and re-used
• Try electronic registration instead of a paper based system
• Where possible make your own note pads from recycled paper
• Ask the venue to recycle all paper and cardboard waste and make sure recycling bins are in situ around the venue
• Consider whether you really need promotional materials. If a freebie is a must look for green options
• If you are thinking about getting flowers to brighten up a space, investigate hiring or buying potted plants rather than cut flowers.

Venue choice

• Choose a venue that is interested in sustainability issues
• Check a venue which has good access to public transport and access for disabled people
• Ask potential venues for their in-house environmental policy
• Venues offering in-house technical equipment and support (e.g. staging, AV) can reduce equipment transportation
• Consider recording the event for wider access via the internet
• If it is a multi-site event, check if the venue offers sustainable transport options e.g. arranging group coach transportation, hiring of electric bikes etc.

Photo for Green Impact Awards

CO2 emissions

• Take measures to reduce CO2 emissions from delegates travelling to the venue e.g. provide information about local transport including pedestrian routes and encourage its use. Where appropriate promote car sharing e.g. circulate a list of attendees in advance
• Minimise unnecessary lighting and heating
• Offset your CO2 emissions airing from the event.

Food & Drink

• Plan food requirements carefully to avoid unnecessary waste (use event registration info carefully to obtain information)
• Check if the venue can offer a wide selection of interesting vegetarian choices
• Wherever possible ensure fruit is provided as an alternative to desserts
• Minimise the use of individually packaged food and drink items (provide milk in jugs rather than individual plastic cartons
• Ensure Tea and Coffee is Fair Trade and provide tap water as an alternative.