Almost every human activity uses up precious natural resources, resulting in large-scale production of waste, increased emissions of greenhouse gases, inefficient consumption of water and energy use.
To look into a more hopeful and sustainable future, and see one that is truly environmentally and socially responsible for the future of the next generations and our planet, we can’t carry on consuming and throwing away after a single use.
However, if you underscore all your business operations and purchasing decisions having always this simple truth in mind, you will make the right decisions to bring any possible event towards sustainability.
In order to help you make your event really “green” and sustainable, we would need to delve first into all different areas of event planning (which is not the aim of this post), showing you how each management and communications system could affect the natural environment and local community, and suggesting you any possible sustainable alternatives.
Although, before starting the analysis of the major areas of impact that your event could have on the natural environment and society, we want to help you create your green event policy, as it is the first step to make within your company in order to reduce the impact of all your meetings.
Developing a sustainability policy for an event is the most important aspect to focus on, and keep your efforts on the right direction towards sustainability.
A green event policy should be published or otherwise publicly available for any enquiry of employees and stakeholders, as well as to new staff, suppliers and contractors.
There are many models that you could choose from, and there is no right or wrong method of creating your event sustainability policy.
You could give many details or make more of a broad mission statement. Although, you should indicate at least your commitment to sustainable management and describe pathways to sustainability.
Moreover, to be truly sustainable your green event policy should also include the following core points for further discussion with internal and external stakeholders:
- Commitment to sustainability, resource management and staff organization;
- Consultation process, training of staff and education of major stakeholders;
- Statement of goals, key objectives and principles to create a sustainable event;
- Description of Key Sustainability Indicators and performance to be measured.
Your event sustainability policy should then have an overview of the key areas of:
- Use of energy resources and renewables in buildings;
- Impact of transport, event mobility and travel behavior;
- Conservation of water and effluent management;
- Consumption of resources and purchasing;
- Artificial illumination and noise pollution;
- Waste generation and management;
- Conservation of natural heritage.
Your sustainability policy should detail how to undertake these three key points:
- Compliance with sustainable event targets;
- Sustainability audit of meetings and events;
- Monitoring and review of event performance.
In your green event policy, you could also include general observations such as government policies or industry procedures, and national protocols or international standards, which may make an impact on your future operations.
You need as well to keep across any policy development and technological innovation, which may be significant for the evaluation of your organization’s sustainability performance.
Finally, be aware of the best practices or codes of conduct that may be pertinent to the event industry and sustainability management; and, don’t forget to mention the certifications you are planning to achieve in the short, medium and long term.
If you follow these basic principles, you will have sustainability at the core of all your events.
We help our clients and partners address the most pressing economical, political, social and environmental challenges. If you want to learn more about our sustainability practices, please Contact Us for an initial introductory consultation to discuss what management and communications systems you may need for complete sustainability legislative and regulatory compliance, and better measurement and reporting of TBL performance.