Marketing Manager, Gallowglass Group
Green Initiatives Within the Events Industry
With the social awareness of human impact on the environment at an all-time high, we’re beginning to see more and more green approaches within the industry. Whether this is led by event organisers, brands or suppliers, the importance of minimising our collective effect on the environment is something that many more people are aware of within the industry. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most exciting and achievable initiatives that we’re seeing within events and how we can all help to promote them.
Venue & Supplier Selection
When choosing a venue for an event, there are many different considerations to bear in mind – something we have addressed in a previous blog article here. In addition to those considerations, you should also think about the venue’s commitment to green practises and any initiatives they have in place. For example, a venue may have strict criteria of where they source their food from or are partly or wholly powered by renewable energy sources. Choosing a green event venue can be a great point to advertise when promoting your venue, so be sure to do your homework.
Similarly, when choosing suppliers and contractors for your event, whether catering, crewing or AV, check to see if they have any green policies in place. The catering company may only source ingredients from the UK to reduce air miles, for example. As a crewing company, we have a number of teams located across the UK, which means that no matter where your event is being held, we can use local crew members and avoid large milage.
When promoting your event, consider the impact that your materials will have on the environment. Although paper and card can be recycled, it would be even better not to use those materials in the first place. Maybe you could opt for an online-only marketing approach? Or only use recycled paper for flyers and poster?
For both suppliers and attendees, the milage of transport will be a big contributor to your event’s carbon footprint. Depending on the size and location of your event, you could choose to offer a free shuttle bus service to avoid individuals travelling in cars. An alternative take on this could be taxing those people a set amount for each spare seat they have in their car, to encourage attendees to travel together and share cars. This could also be a part of the social media campaign, to allow attendees to engage before the event has even started.
During the event, make sure to offer reusable items and contract suppliers that can provide this as well. This will avoid the consumption of single-use plastics and reduce your carbon footprint. Things such as water bottles, coffee cups, straws and bags are all single-use and will likely be thrown away or recycled after the event. Beware though, although many people are advocating the use of paper alternatives such as straws, these can’t be recycled due to the food/drink residue. These will have to be sent to landfill or composted.
To avoid single-use plastics, you could offer attendees refillable bottles to take home with them, along with fabric tote bags and reusable straws. This way, waste from the event can be minimised while giving people the opportunity to have their own impact.
Energy Recycling and Sourcing
How will your venue and suppliers consume energy? This will be another large contributor to your event’s carbon footprint. The Glastonbury Festival made a switch in 2014 to only using bio-diesel generators which are powered using a special type of treated vegetable oil.
For indoor events, consider how lighting, audio, catering and entertainment will be powered. Some venues employ an energy recycling system which allows them to capture lost energy, such as heat from the lights, and use it to generate further electricity for the venue.
Many events look to offer their attendees a range of items to use during their time there. Things such as lanyards, passes and maps all have the potential to be reused. Encourage people to return them at the end of the day or the end of the event and offer an incentive for doing so.
Waste is a natural part of all events. As much as we’d love to work with waste-neutral events, unfortunately, there are just so many variables. It can be common to see events support the tagline ‘no waste to landfill’, although this can often mean that any waste not recycled is incinerated, rather than a 100% recycle rate.
Consider your waste management carefully as this could massively affect your impact on the environment. Offer plenty of recycling bins around the site and make sure to label them clearly.
The transport after the event is just as crucial as the pre-event transport. Encourage people to carshare and to use public transport, rather than driving themselves. You could also offer incentives for those that choose the least impactful forms of transport to encourage more to follow in their footsteps.
If you’re looking for an event crewing supplier that can help contribute to lowering your event’s carbon footprint, why not get in touch? With teams based across the country, including event crews in Birmingham, London and Bristol, we minimise our carbon footprint by deploying the closest teams to support your event.