Is Your Event Green Enough?

Is Your Event Green Enough?

Have you ever thought how much carbon at your event was emitted? How much energy or clean water was consumed? How many plastic bottles your participants threw away?

While planning an event, usually we do not care about its effects on environment and society. But, events can have a large environmental impact and therefore it is important to understand the basic principles and reasons why we need to change our actions. This needs to become an integral part of our planning and implementation at a micro level, but we also need to understand the bigger picture and an event's relation to surrounding environment.

When did it appeared first?

The first time that environmental concerns were raised by the public was at some sport events like Olympic Games. The focus has however not just been on sports events and some standards were set later on for other type of events too. Many conference venues have also realised the benefits of going green, and even lifestyle events have followed the suit.

Why we need this concept?

The process of incorporating socially and environmentally responsible decision-making into the organisation, implementation and participation of an event is really important. Regardless of the size or type of event, you can make a difference to ensure that it is done in a responsible manner. This process involves including sustainable development principles and practices in all levels of event organisation, and aims to ensure that an event is hosted responsibly. It represents the total package of interventions at an event, and needs to be done in an integrated manner.

Expected Outcome of an Environmental Event Planning

It should start at the inception of the project, and should involve all the key role players, such as clients, organisers, venues, sub-contractors and suppliers.

If an event is hosted in a 'green' manner, the anticipated outcomes are as follows:

  • To improve the resource efficiency of the entire event and supply chain management
  • To reduce negative environmental impacts, such as carbon emissions, waste to landfill, and the effect on biodiversity
  • To increase economic, social and environmental benefits (triple bottom-line)
  • To enhance the economic impact, such as local investment and long-term viability
  • To strengthen the social impact, such as community involvement and fair employment
  • To improve sustainable performance within an available budget
  • To present opportunities for more efficient planning and use of equipment and infrastructure
  • To reduce the negative impact on local inhabitants
  • To protect the local biodiversity, water and soil resources
  • To apply the principles of eco-procurement of goods and services
  • To raise awareness of sustainability issues among all role players is your event green enough wc

To ensure that the aims and objectives are clearly defined and measured organising a green event involves incorporating a combination of the following:

  • Environmental best practice
  • Social and economic development
  • Education on, and awareness of sustainability issues
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the environmentalist initiatives
  • Leaving a positive legacy

The overall principle of green events is the implementation of sustainable living practices, which include a balance between environmental protection, social development, and economic benefit.

There are many areas where organisers can have a positive impact when hosting an event. Particularly the following practices should definitely be considered:

  • Eco-procurement
  • Waste minimisation and management
  • Water conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Emissions reduction
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Social and economic development

I am planning to continue on this topic in my coming blog articles in detail very soon, since, this issue seems to me an important social responsibility as a part of event planning.

So, that's it for now folks !