How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Business Event
With climate change and environmental damage becoming a major cause for concern, sustainability is a priority for many, including businesses. Our “The Benefits of Embracing Sustainability as a Business” post highlights that eco-friendly processes at work are not only good for the environment but also good for business. Consumers are more eco-conscious than ever, including considering the businesses they support. But it’s not enough to say you care for the environment; it needs to be shown through your business practices and plans.
Planning a business event is something you can use to demonstrate your eco-friendly ethos. Taking sustainable measures for these occasions also shows your staff or guests the commitment to environmental consciousness.
Here’s how you can plan an eco-friendly business event:
Implement sustainable project management practices
When environmental consciousness is embedded into the entire planning process, it decreases the footprint of your business event and leads to positive outcomes. Project managers are integral in this aspect, as they ensure each process step is aligned with the business’s goals and objectives for the event. LHH’s write-up on project managers notes that these professionals delegate tasks to individuals and teams, communicate with executives and groups, and perform quality control on the project, among many other tasks. With this scope of work, they must make the most effective decisions aligned to sustainability through using appropriate resources, minimizing waste, tracking and compensating emissions, and fair treatment of workers. Considering all these aspects during the event’s planning, execution, and closeout can ensure a truly eco-friendly experience on all levels.
Book a sustainable venue
Choosing a suitable venue is crucial for an eco-friendly business event. When finding a place to host, considering a venue’s recycling or waste management procedures, environmental credentials, sustainability measures, or partnerships with eco-friendly programs can help maintain sustainability for your event. The location is also key, as you’d want the venue to be in a place that is easily accessible by public transport or won’t require a long drive from your guests. Providing shuttle service to and from the venue can also be an efficient and sustainable way to bring your guests to the event. A review from the Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives journal also notes that carpooling has many benefits for travel, and many do it because it promotes environmental concern, convenience, and an opportunity to socialize while minimizing emissions. Finding a venue that can consider eco-friendly transport, waste management, and sustainability measures will improve the environmental impact of your business event.
Offer eco-friendly meals or snacks
Food is an essential part of any event; where you source it can make a big difference in your environmental impact. Offering mainly plant-based options can be good for the environment and is more inclusive for guests with dietary preferences or needs. You can also hire vendors who use organic, seasonal foods from local producers for a reduced carbon footprint. You can also consult with these vendors to see how food is planned to be served and if there can be more sustainable options or alternatives, if necessary.
Reduce waste and encourage reusables
Many materials go into organizing a business event. Invites, decorations, freebies, and more help enhance the occasion, but they can produce a lot of waste when handled incorrectly. Instead of using plastic or paper materials, opt to go digital or use recyclable and biodegradable alternatives. You can use a website or social media page for information and updates instead of sending out paper packages or use QR codes for entry instead of paper tickets. Signs and decorations can be reusable or repurposed, and avoid things like confetti or balloons that can cause mess and waste. Single-use plastics, especially for cutlery or dinnerware, are often used for events but have a big environmental impact. The UN Environment Program’s insights on reducing single-use plastics note that you can turn these items into multi-use items. Once these are done being used, they can be collected and sanitized for future repurposing or reuse instead of being disposed of.
Article written by Katy Pierce