Protecting our environment continues to be top of mind, and as the movement grows, so does the need to make conferences and events more eco-friendly. Today, we will explore the importance of sustainability in the event industry.
Understanding Sustainable Events and Conferences
It’s more important than ever to be conscious of our environmental impact. That’s where sustainable events come into play. Not only do they help reduce our carbon footprint, but they also showcase a company’s commitment to social responsibility.
But what exactly does it mean to host a sustainable event? It involves everything from choosing eco-friendly venues and catering options to minimizing waste and reducing energy consumption. Event planners can positively impact the planet by prioritizing sustainability during the planning process while still providing attendees with a memorable experience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Make it a Point to Reduce Waste
Sustainability has become an integral part of every business strategy. It is essential to make it a point to reduce waste within any organization. Not only does it help minimize our impact on the environment, but it also saves us money in the long run. From finding ways to reuse and recycle materials to implementing a more energy-efficient approach, reducing waste requires a concerted effort from every team member.
As we strive towards a more sustainable future, how can we lead by example and do our part in preserving the planet for generations to come?
1. Utilize Reusable Equipment
Companies can reduce waste by utilizing reusable equipment instead of disposable supplies. Investing in reusable equipment such as containers, coffee mugs, and water bottles can lead to significant cost savings and a positive environmental impact. By making this small change, businesses show their customers and employees that they are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. According to a recent survey, 93% of CEOs surveyed believe that sustainability will be essential to the future success of their business, and 62% of companies are already incorporating sustainability into their regular operations (United Nations Global Company and Accenture Strategy).
2. Choose Eco-Friendly Vendors
By working with vendors prioritizing sustainability and green practices, we can reduce our carbon footprint and support companies committed to protecting the planet.
Last month, our team designed this fully sustainable tradeshow booth with corrugated materials for the CEO Success Community at the WBENC National Conference. Fun Fact: This was the only sustainable booth at the entire conference. Even though it proved more challenging to source and set up, the result was a huge success and inspiring for others!
3. Prioritize Sustainability in Your Planning Process
Recognizing our decisions’ impact on the world is crucial in pursuing sustainable solutions. Here are three ways that YOU can prioritize sustainability in your next event:
- Source sustainable swag with companies like Forest Nation, Recycling Promotions, and many more.
- When creating signage for events, keep them timeless by avoiding including dates and locations. This way, you can easily reuse them the following year!
4. Partner with City-Wide Environmental Commitments
Sustainable event planning is becoming increasingly important for event planners and cities. Partnering with city-wide green initiatives helps to ensure that your events remain environmentally conscious, from the products you use to how you dispose of them afterward. Coordinate with local food banks and your event venues to donate leftover food. This not only benefits the environment by reducing waste and conserving resources but can also promote a positive image for the event and increase attendee engagement. For example, offering bike valet services, using reusable tableware, and promoting public transit can improve the attendee experience while also promoting sustainable living.
As conference planners, event professionals, and venues, we have the unique opportunity to set the bar high by choosing long-term investments in the health of our planet that go beyond talk. Taking these small steps towards sustainability is crucial for us and future generations to create positive environmental changes.
You have the power to be an agent of change – so how will you go green?