7 tips to make your next event more environmentally friendly

Planning an event? Make sure to do it sustainably with these tips.

Organising an event – big or small – is always a major undertaking involving a lot of planning, people management and coordinating. While everything is usually planned in great detail, something that is often overlooked is the impact events have on the environment. From the masses of food waste to the heaps of single-use plastics.

With environmental sustainability becoming increasingly important in all industries, take your event to the next level by incorporating these tips to create a greener gathering that will leave a lasting impression on everyone involved, while having a much less harmful impact on the planet. Let’s go: 

Promote public transport: The more time delegates spend in cars getting to and from your event, the less environmentally friendly it is. You can, however, make things significantly more sustainable by ensuring that a wide array of amenities (but particularly hotels and restaurants) are within walking distance of your event venue and by ensuring that it’s close to reliable public transport nodes.

Stay away from single-use plastic wherever possible: Left unchecked, big events can generate tonnes of single-use plastic. From name badge holders to bottled water, and brochure covers, each individual item seems innocuous. But when your event has hundreds or even thousands of attendees, it all adds up. So, audit the areas you know traditionally come with a lot of single-use plastic and see if you can simply eliminate it. Do you, for example, really need a plastic name-badge holder, especially if the event lasts a single day? And where elimination isn’t possible, look for more sustainable alternatives. 

Cater with reduced waste: It’s easy to forget that food systems are responsible for more than a quarter of global emissions. But by choosing the right catering options, event organisers can play their part in bringing down that number. Ideally, the event location team should be able to help here. 

Go paperless: On its own, paper is a pretty environmentally-friendly resource. The trouble is, much of the “paper” we associate with conferences, including printed schedules, brochures, and research publications aren’t pure paper. Instead, much of it has a plastic coating, making it all but impossible to recycle. It’s also almost completely unnecessary, especially if all of that information can be uploaded to a website instead. 

Use sustainable swag: How many conferences have you attended where you’re given a welcome pack that includes what can only be described as cheap, branded tat? Rather than giving away pens that’ll only be used once and water bottles that leak the moment you fill them, you’re better off giving away fewer, but more useful things. If nothing else, you’ll reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfills as a result of your event. 

Recruit guests and exhibitors to your green agenda: Explain why environmental sustainability is so important to the event, and set simple standards that they can follow to add to the environmentally friendly nature of the event.  

Choose a venue that’s committed to sustainability: By selecting an event venue that understands, and is committed to, sustainability, half the battle is already won. We love all the work Century City Conference Centre and Hotels have done to be more sustainable. The group uses recycled water in its ablution facilities, sorts its waste for reuse, recycling, and composting, and uses a rooftop solar PV array for some of its energy needs, among other initiatives. Its sustainability strategy is paying off too, as they took home a Silver for Positive Climate Impact, at this year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Award.

Find out more about sustainable event offerings at Century City Conference Centre and Hotels. 

For more on lifestyle, visit Get It Magazine.

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