An Introduction To Sustainable Events Management

In recent decades, the global community has become increasingly aware of environmental issues, and of our responsibility when it comes to addressing them. With topics like climate change, pollution and the depletion of energy sources flooding the media, it is hardly surprising that sustainability has become a focus for all aspects of modern business - including events management.

Planning an event with the environment in mind can seem challenging at first, especially as there are so many elements to consider, from the carbon emissions generated by audience travel to post-event waste disposal. However, with some careful planning, it is possible to improve the sustainability of any event - and the incentives for doing so are manifold.

Support sustainability

Of course, the primary reason for adopting a greener approach to events management is the benefit to the environment. Some of the measures we can take are obvious, like making plans for the prompt removal of leftover rubbish after an outdoor festival, or ensuring that the construction of a stage or temporary structure does not impact on a fragile local habitat.

There are also many less visible but equally effective ways to make a difference. One of the greatest environmental factors of any event is the carbon emissions generated by the transportation of people and goods to the venue. You can reduce this impact by selecting a location that is easily accessible via public transport, by helping to organise ride-sharing, and by limiting yourself to local suppliers.

If you plan on providing refreshments, consider the impact of your menu choices. Cut down transport miles by choosing locally-produced ingredients over imported ones, reduce plastic waste by opting for tap water rather than bottled water, and give back to communities worldwide by deciding on Fairtrade goods where possible.

Reducing event costs

Although implementing greener practices takes time and effort, it may well save your company money in the long run. For example, choosing local providers cuts down on transport costs as well as carbon emissions. In this way, several aspects of your event could become infinitely more affordable, including caterers, florists and entertainment.

Reducing paper waste is another great way to save money. Double-sided printing minimises paper and ink costs, while digital alternatives to ticketing and event programmes render expensive paper-based options unnecessary. If you do decide to provide branded items like notepads, banners and graphics, make sure to use sustainable materials and to recycle these items for future events.

By choosing a venue that employs water-saving policies or uses solar power to generate electricity, you may find yourself presented with a lower utility bill than expected. If you are supplying your own lighting, consider holding your event during the day in order to reduce electricity costs by making the most of natural light.

Improving your brand image

By adopting a greener approach to events management, you set a standard for environmental policies in your company’s day-to-day life - allowing sustainability to become an integral part of its culture. Make sure to capitalise on this aspect by including details about sustainability on the event website, thereby raising environmental consciousness and creating a precedent for future events.

Ultimately, however, the benefits of sustainable event planning go considerably further than the event itself. By becoming synonymous with sustainability and establishing your business as an ecologically-aware social enterprise, you will inevitably elevate the company’s overall image whilst making your services more attractive to environmentally-conscious clients.

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Better is a registered trademark and trading name of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014

GLL operates under a company and VAT group structure:

Greenwich Leisure Limited, IPS Registration Number 27793R and Inland Revenue Charity No XR43398 (parent company); GLL (Trading) Limited, Company Registration Number 04234158 (subsidiary).

Registered address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SX.

Inland Revenue Charity no: XR43398 VAT registration no: 219749179

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