Are you in charge of organising corporate events? Would you like your next event to be more environmentally friendly? If yes, then you have come to the right place.
In the world of business, sustainability has never been more of a hot topic, with companies falling over themselves to showcase their eco-credentials.
That being said, organising a sustainable event is not simply a case of using recyclable cutlery. You need to look at every aspect of the day and see how you can make it greener. Not sure how? Learn eight ways that you can ensure your next corporate event is as environmentally friendly as possible.
- Choose the right destination
Arguably the most important decision you will have to make when organising a green event, you need to choose a city that is dedicated to sustainability. If you are not sure how to find out whether an area is aware of its environmental impact, you should look to see if they have an event sustainability planning department or a climate action plan. If your event is going to take place outside of the country, you may want to consider using an event management company to help you find the perfect location for your global event. Together you can meet your event objectives and ensure the day runs smoothly.
- Pick the right partners
When it comes to organising an event, once you have secured your location, your next step will be to reach out to partners and suppliers. As you would expect, if you want to throw a sustainable event, you need to join forces with like-minded third parties who share your eco-values. Although you don’t need to limit yourself to eco companies that actively promote themselves as green, you should ask them about their sustainability practices before you bring them on board.
- Consider transportation
Although this may not be entirely possible, you should aim to reduce the distance that people need to travel to get to your event. For example, how close is your location to the nearest airport? Can your venue be reached by public transport, or will attendees need to travel by car?
If you cannot get to your venue by public transport, you may want to think about organising a coach or minibus so that many guests can travel together, which will cut down on your overall carbon footprint.
- Limit waste
If you have planned an event before, you will know that, in the aftermath, there tends to be a lot of waste. Food waste, paper waste, plastic waste, the list goes on. Fortunately, with a bit of planning, you can dramatically reduce the amount of waste that is accumulated at your event.
For example, you could decide to send out e-invites rather than paper ones. You could ban plastic water bottles and instead set up water jug stations with recyclable cups.
- Reduce energy consumption
There are several ways that you can reduce both your energy and water consumption at your next event.
Firstly, look for venues that hold sustainability certifications, as these prove that a venue is highly efficient and that they generate minimal waste.
Secondly, check out the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, which shows you a list of hotels that have committed to a minimum level of green event practices. The higher the rating given, the more sustainability programs the hotel has in place.
You can also reduce energy and water consumption at the event itself by keeping the lighting turned low when attendees are coming in and going out, keeping the air conditioning off during this period, and implementing a power down plan at the end of the day.
- Look for sustainable food and drink suppliers
When planning the food and beverages for your next corporate event, try to incorporate as many local and seasonal products into your offerings as possible. If you are not sure where to find good local suppliers, ask your venue to point you in the right direction. They are highly likely to have contacts with the best regional food vendors and can help you to plan a seasonal and sustainable menu.
Other ways in which you can reduce the environmental impact of food and drink at your event include:
- Focus on a vegetarian/vegan menu
- Ask for all condiments to be served in bulk
- Find out if the kitchen composts and recycles
- Recycle as much as possible
Recycling is crucial if you want to throw an eco-friendly event, so you need to make sure that your attendees can recycle with ease. The simplest way to do this is by placing recycling bins next to the regular bins so that people can easily deposit recyclables when they are getting rid of any rubbish. Make sure to clearly label your bin both with text and images so that everyone can see where they should be putting each material.
You may also want to:
Donate any unused materials such as signage promoting the event and any banners so that they can be reused and repurposed.
Banish disposable items such as plastic plates and cups and instead opt for cloth napkins and reusable flatware.
- Communicate via an app
A lot of planning goes into planning a corporate event, no matter how big or small the occasion. This means that you will find yourself communicating with multiple suppliers, partners, clients, and colleagues.
Rather than handing thick pamphlets with all the event information in, choose to communicate via an app and provide a paperless way.
There are plenty of event apps to choose from which allow you to create information pages, post schedules, and publish maps so that you can ensure your event runs smoothly and sustainably.
Don’t forget that you can also email information to people but make sure that you include a note only to print out the email if absolutely necessary.
While you may think that planning a sustainable event would be a logistical nightmare, you actually only need to make a few small changes to make a huge difference. Even if you only embrace one or two of the above top tips, you can create a positive impact on the environment and establish your brand as a socially responsible player.