In our first blog on sustainability, we considered the intricacies of plastic recycling and the importance of working with local waste-management facilities to ensure your event is as environmentally friendly as possible.
But the sustainable story goes much deeper than just where your waste goes. Indeed, sustainability should be considered at every level of your event from the beginning of planning, right up to the final wrap report. Starting too late will lead to increased costs and irreversible early decisions. Here we examine other areas that events can reassess to help improve their environmental impact and help make a tangible difference.
TRUCKING & TRANSPORT:
This includes everything from the types of couriers you use, to the number of deliveries and even how consumers get to/from your event. Do you encourage use of public transport or provide eco alternatives to each ticket holder driving to you? How are drinks being delivered? Are you considering eco-friendly RTD cans, or have you opted for space-consuming draught which needs an additional separate delivery of plastic cups?
How is the energy from your event being supplied? Can it be sourced from eco alternatives? Glastonbury has famously only used bio-diesel generators since 2014 to ensure the festival relies on renewable energy. More recently Boomtown has plugged into the mains network and uses large scale containerised batteries to reduce highly-polluting generator fuel usage by 50,000 litres.
Where does your waste get recycled and can they handle the type of waste you’re producing? How can you encourage consumers to help waste management teams? Can you provide waste points where consumers stack their used cups and thereby vastly reduce the space that their waste takes up? Think about whether washing and reusing materials is feasible for your location, and always rely on colour coding/clear signage to help your consumers help you in the recycling process
Where possible, work with local suppliers/locally sourced food outlets to reduce CO2 consumption. Cut down on meat, and even think about digital menus rather than print outs. Accurate forecasting to avoid overordering can also work wonders.
Finally, where possible we should always be considering the Three R’s:
Where you can, use less. This is the most effective thing you can do to help prevent damage to the environment. Stop gimmicky giveaways and replace with digital e-tickets/vouchers. Send information digitally (e.g. via QR codes) rather than using print-outs. Use lighted signs/chalkboards which limit the need to create new print assets.
If you do need to create something, think about how it can be reused in the future. Could your lanyards be un-branded so they can be used for other clients? Can old food be sent to charities rather than binned? Can you hire an item rather than buy it from scratch? Even using items like fake foliage vs real can help reduce the carbon footprint of your event.
If you have to create something that can’t be used again, then it becomes crucial to think about waste management systems (no matter how unglamorous and boring they may seem!). What can be easily recycled in the area of your event? Are you using materials which are bio-degradable? Is glass a better alternative than plastic for some of your items?
At Equals, we pride ourselves on ‘baking in’ sustainability to all of our proposals from the start. Our warehouse means we can store items at cheap rates for re-use further down the line, and our hireable, re-brandable assets allow us to avoid creating unnecessary waste for clients, both big and small. Are you thinking of an event and keen to make sure your environmental impact is kept to a minimum? Please do get in touch to see how we can help.