Tips for Hosting an Environmentally Sustainable Event

Hosting an event for your company is an excellent way to spread brand awareness, engage potential customers and achieve your business goals. Making the event eco-friendly creates a number of advantages, including earning the loyalty of environmentally conscious customers.

By working with a knowledgeable event management company, you can minimize potential negative impacts to the environment. Plus, you can promote your business in a manner that is fun and engaging while supporting a positive and far-reaching cause.

As you plan your next event, start thinking about environmental sustainability from the very beginning.

Look for ways to support local communities

Big events like consumer conferences and sporting events can raise the standing of local communities on a global level. But what can company events do to have a positive impact on the local population?

Consider the various needs of your event and look for ways to ethically draw from local resources:

  • Catering vendors:
    Team up with local suppliers to get fresh, local produce. Plus, you can hire catering staff from the community to support the job market.
  • Event supplies:
    Everything from chairs and tables to technology and decorations can be found from local vendors. Plus, sourcing event supplies from the community can reduce expenses associated with bringing in outside suppliers.
  • Charity opportunities:
    Show your support for the community by raising awareness for a local charitable organization. Consider partnering with a local nonprofit organization to ensure your support reaches the people who need it most.

Choose an appropriate venue

Venue selection can have a positive, cascading effect on other local businesses. For example, if you choose to work with a local event center, hotel or restaurant, they will likely source their talent and supplies from the community.

In addition, working with a local venue — rather than a chain — can add a unique flair to your event. Try to scout out a venue that offers a taste of the culture, whether in the form of decoration, food or entertainment.

When possible, look for venues that follow environmentally sustainable best practices. For example, in the U.S., buildings that meet strict sustainability standards receive certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Look for the LEED certification symbol when comparing potential venues.

Select sustainable transportation

If you plan on providing transportation options to event guests, be sure to consider the environmental impact of event-related travel. While you can encourage event attendees to stay within walking distance of the event venue, that is not always possible. However, you can organize transportation that adheres to your eco-friendly standards.

For example, you could hire shuttles to transport groups of attendees from local hotels. This would cut down on the number of vehicles and also help you to prevent congesting the surrounding roads. Depending on your location, you may be able to employ electric vehicles that have a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Reduce event waste

Unmanaged, corporate events can produce a substantial amount of waste in the form of leftover food, disposable decorations and cleaning supplies. By planning ahead, you can reduce the amount of waste generated by your event and even save on costs at the same time. Some tips include:
  • Use recyclable materials:
    Try to purchase food supplies in bulk to reduce packaging and opt for recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Donate leftovers:
    If you have a substantial amount of leftover food, donate it to a local charity.
  • Rent decorations:
    Rather than throwing away used decorations, rent items from a local company that can be used again.
  • Hire an eco-friendly cleaning company:
    Toxic cleaning chemicals can harm the environment. Choose a cleaning company that uses non-toxic cleaning supplies.

Balance your carbon footprint

Some carbon emissions are unavoidable — however, they can contribute to global warming. To offset your event’s carbon footprint, there are a few steps you can take:
  • Calculate your carbon footprint:
    There are a number of free tools online that can help you to estimate the carbon footprint of your event.
  • Find an offset project:
    By investing in a sustainability project in a developing country, you can offset your carbon footprint and benefit the environment at the same time. Ask your travel agent about local carbon offset projects.

Work with a partner that understands environmental consciousness

Events are some of the best ways to promote your brand and support your business goals. With the right mindset and the support of a knowledgeable partner, you can benefit the environment and local communities.

Ready to plan your company’s next event? Get in touch with the experts at JTB to learn more.