Small Steps, Large Impact
Don’t feel the pressure to solve all of the world’s issues during your event, focus on what is important to you and your client and conference theme.
Every step, small or large, makes an impact.
Define Sustainability Objectives
Prepare an event commitment to sustainability statement that will be communicated to your delegates, sponsors, exhibitors, stakeholders and association members or organisational teams.
Consider waste reduction, energy efficiency, carbon footprint, community engagement, and social responsibility. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
Consider your budget and what financial goals need to be achieved for this event to successfully take place or run again in future.
Know your conference audience. What can they afford, what time can they attend an event, what value do they expect to gain from your event.
Select A Venue That Prioritises Sustainability
Choose a venue that actively conserves energy, water, and other resources and is accessible to all. It's okay to ask this question of your venues.
This will be proven by the venue if they hold an environmental policy or certification, such as New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), Toitū Envirocare, The Zero Carbon Act etc.
Green Event Design
Hire energy-efficient lighting, sound, and audiovisual equipment.
Opt for sustainable materials and decor, such as reusable, recycled, or locally sourced items.
Reduce or eliminate printed materials where possible. Alternatively, use recycled paper, print without being event/date specific so signage can be used again in the future or on biodegradable materials.
Local Procurement And Sustainable Food And Beverage Services
Request and select locally sourced, seasonal, and organic products when possible.
Offer vegetarian and vegan options to reduce the event's carbon footprint.
Minimise single-use disposables and use reusable or home compostable materials for serving and packaging. Perhaps that is asking for coffee cups at the barista stand rather than the takeaway option or glasses next to the water station rather than plastic disposables.
Request ‘sale of return’ on items that don’t get used, so the supplier can refund and resell.
Donate left over food to a local food bank, charity, hospice or school.
Implement a waste reduction strategy by setting up appropriate recycling and composting facilities.
Educate event attendees on proper waste sorting and management.
Coordinate with your venue and partners for waste diversion and disposal.
Select a venue easily accessible by public transportation.
Encourage attendees to use public transport, carpool, bike, or walk.
Offer virtual participation options to reduce carbon emissions from travel.
Energy And Resource Efficiency
Opt for renewable energy sources.
Conserve water wherever possible. Ask the venue if they use low-flow fixtures and efficient irrigation systems.
Utilise digital solutions to minimise paper usage.
Engage Your Attendees
Create clear sustainability communication through your website and registration process.
Share stories on positive environmental and social initiatives.
Invite feedback from delegates through the event app to improve future events.
During marketing of the event, as appropriate, engage in ethical marketing campaigns
Develop a sustainable procurement policy that prioritises eco-friendly, local, or fair-trade products and suppliers.
Choose socially responsible organisations for partnership.
Incorporate sustainability requirements into contracts with suppliers.
Monitor, Measure And Report
Engage a supplier to provide a pre or post-event carbon quantity metric and dollar value and offset your event locally.
Track and measure your event's environmental and social impacts based on initial SMART goals set.
Assess the success of your sustainability goals and identify areas for improvement.
Share achievements and lessons learned with stakeholders and the event industry.