Sustainability in events and business conferences

 Sunday, August 14, 2022 


The world that we live in today is never going to see a halt to events or business meetings. At the same time, we are witnessing the degradation of our planet, that too, at an alarming rate.

For this reason, the importance of sustainability in the event industry is paramount! Having said that, industries and companies are stepping forward in an attempt to preserve the environment.

Planning of Sustainable Meetings

Green meeting planning is the new norm for event professionals around the world. Event planners and companies are embracing sustainability as an opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of their events while still delivering on expectations. Empowering attendees to make a positive impact on the environment while still enjoying the amenities of an event has created a new generation of green events, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.

Cost Efficiency Meetings

Sustainable meetings have become the new normal in the world of event planning. Rather than the traditional focus on maximising profits and keeping costs low, today’s most successful event professionals are planning their events with an eye toward sustainability. The latest venue technology and the growing number of event professionals planning green meetings have paved the way for a new era of sustainable conferences and events.

What Do We Mean By Sustainability?

A sustainable world is one that preserves the environment and its natural resources to make it a healthier place to live. It is important to adopt eco-friendly practices and plan sustainable events in order to achieve this result.

Similarly, a sustainable event is one planned and executed with consideration for the environment, the economy, and society as a whole. After the 1992 Winter Olympics, sustainable events, also known as “green events” or “event greening,” have gained popularity and impact.

Choosing Sustainable Destinations

For a green event, choosing the venue where you host your event or conference is critical. There are now many counties and cities that have developed a climate action plan or a dedicated event sustainability planning department. This indicates a greater awareness of the community’s impact on the planet. You might even be able to take advantage of initiatives the city is running that support sustainable living.

Considering the Distance and Travelling

It is important to keep in mind the distance of the airport or hotel from the convention center. If it is located farther away from the center, there will be greater use of vehicles, which means increased pollution. On the contrary, events or conferences must be held in centers that are conveniently located, near the airport or the hotels with minimum use of vehicles to commute.

Go Plastic Free
Plastics are the worst enemy of the environment and the planet. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans and TCF Center, Detroit consider plastic free meeting as a top priority. As we speak today, they are clogging our landfills and oceans and choking our marine life. Some ideas to go plastic free in your next event are –

• Plates and cutlery that are not disposable should be used. Here, the caterers will be of great help in providing washable cutleries and crockery.
• Use glass cups or reusable water bottles instead of plastic cups for water and other beverages.
• Please ask vendors to package their products and marketing materials in non-plastic materials if your event includes vendors.

Reduce the Use of Water
Conserving water to protect our environment is among the top sustainable actions for a healthier planet. Practicing it while designing an event is of crucial importance. Here are some tips to reduce the wastage of water in an event –

• At your event, instruct wait staff, not to pre-fill individual glasses of water from the pitchers. In this way, guests who want water can get it without adding to the waste stream since pre-poured glasses often go untouched.

• Also, ditch the flavoured water stations. Uneaten cucumber, fruits, mint, and water go to waste.

Choose Sustainably Designed Event Spaces
Nowadays, many venues furnish meeting rooms with sustainable materials (either completely or partially). Consider handcrafted, repurposed or upcycled items. Local suppliers and craftsmen also contribute to eco-friendly venues’ lessening of carbon footprints and supporting local economies. The desired ambience is built using natural ingredients and materials. The inspiration is taken from the natural beauty around. Also, maximising the use of the natural source of light acts as a bonus. A great example of one such venue can be Sweden’s Sigtunahojden Hotel and Conference Center which draws inspiration for its décor from a nearby forest.

Say No to Food Waste
Another very important element of sustainability is zero food wastage. The more food we waste, the more pressure there is on the environment to produce more. Some ways to reduce food wastage are –

• If possible, choose menu items in biodegradable or recyclable containers with minimal packaging.
• Seafood that is sustainably sourced and locally sourced is the best.
• In order to prevent food waste, it is necessary to obtain guests’ dietary needs in advance.

These are some of the ways that you can incorporate into your next event to make it a sustainable one! Solving for a shared purpose – instilling an awareness of planetary issues and the common humanity people share – is a critical step toward achieving the sustainable goals of a successful green event. Therefore, do think of a few sustainable measures before planning your next event!

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