Events – Can they be sustainable?

Becoming more sustainable is essential.

In Wales the World Wildlife Fund challenged the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to make Wales sustainable and the ‘One Planet Wales’ campaign was created.

The challenge is for,
“WAG, business and industry and also to the people of Wales to lead happy, healthy, prosperous lives within their fair share of the Earth’s natural resources.”

We welcome a challenge and when holding events you can focus on a number of issues that can reduce the environmental and social impact.

I always want to have the highest high ‘green’ standards but I needed more help. I have picked the brains of an expert Rebecca Colley-Huck MCIWM Director of Ynys Resources Ltd and we have come up with a few suggestions to make your next event more sustainable.

Some ideas we have been exploring are:

How will people travel?
Find a venue with good public transport links.
Encourage delegates to use public transport.
If folks have to travel by car could a car sharing systembe set up?

Marketing materials
If you print use 100% recycled paper, double sided.
Could communications be sent via e-mail and available on a website to minimise waste?
Delegate bags should be reusable and biodegradable.
Provide a clearly marked recycling point ensures that badges are returned and any unwanted materials can be reused or and recycled.

Desk drawer of shame
Desk drawer of shame – every event I go to I try and hand my name badge in – doesn’t look like I am very good at it!

All food and refreshments should be served using crockery and cutlery that isn’t disposable
Could you avoid using bottled water and ask for carafes or jugs of tap water?
Could Fairtrade refreshments be served?
Does the venue source organic and/or locally produced food?
Minimise food waste by getting numbers right, a few won’t turn up and maybe a few unexpected guest will show up.
Ask if your venue recycles food waste or has composting facilities?
We always ask for feedback from delegates, exhibitors and contributors could you ask them if they spotted or know of ways to make future events ‘greener’.

Rebecca and I are working together to develop ideas and to help others put them into practice.

Check out #greenmeetings on Twitter

Big reuseable bad fuill of reusable bags!
The kitchen draw of shame used to be filled with plastic bags, I am getting better this, I have a big reuseable bad fuill of reusable bags!

Do you have any ideas to help make events more sustainable?

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