Green is Gold: Driving event success through sustainable practices

Are you making these simple logistical and operational changes to create a more sustainable event?

Posted on Mar 28, 2019 By Jana Hofer

Planning for events across gender lines and generations can be difficult, but there is one thing that most everyone can agree on: corporate responsibility and sustainability matters. In a recent Nielsen global online survey, 81 percent of respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. By focusing on both short-term strategies such as simple operational and logistical changes that reduce environmental footprint, as well as long-term goals, event planners can shape the sustainability story for event attendees and stakeholders.

 

Location, Location, Location

From airport logistics to city ordinances, some destinations make it easier to ensure your guests are going green from the moment they arrive. Dallas, for example, is a water conservation leader, most recently named one of five winners in the National Challenge for Water Conservation. The city of Dallas is also heavily involved with Air North Texas, a regional air quality partnership, and Dallas Love Field airport has been recognized for reducing its carbon footprint.  When considering venues, the easiest thing event organizers can do is simply ask what the venue has done in the past. Most venues today have their own green event programs or sustainable alternatives and can provide an event experience that has a smaller environmental impact.

 

Cut out Printing Waste

In today's meeting world, event apps have reduced the need for printed materials. By eliminating handouts altogether and instead focusing on meeting apps, you drastically cut down on event waste. Additionally, digital signage and projection technology cut back on the need for printed signage and banners. And be selective about your swag. Instead of printing items that might end up in a landfill, look for more eco-friendly giveaways, such as organic cotton totes, metal reusable straws or mugs.

 

Be Energy Efficient

Use large format projection instead of scenic, reduce the use of electricity by transitioning from projection to LED, and choose more energy-efficient lighting instruments.

 

Recycling Matters

Using recyclable materials and creating easy opportunities for attendees to recycle goes a long way to reducing event waste headed for the landfill. For décor, choose recyclable carpet and other eco-friendly substrates such as honeycomb or cardboard. And ensure attendees have easy access to dedicated paper and plastic waste baskets throughout the venue.

 

Reduce Water and Food Waste

At many events, meals can generate a worrisome and avoidable amount of waste. If you're serving on all disposable dishes and using plastic cups, switch them out for reusable items. Ask catering partners not to pre-pour water glass for banquet events. And outside of meals, instead of providing plastic water bottles, station water coolers throughout the venue and offer reusable water bottles or cups to reduce plastic waste.