Organising an event? You can make a difference to the environment and the local community by adopting sustainable practices.
Planners are increasingly waking up to the impact they can make by incorporating green initiatives at their events, ranging from small-scale, easy-to-implement changes such as serving tap water, through to big commitments like being completely carbon neutral.
Here we take a look at 5 events that went the extra mile to be as environmentally friendly as possible, many of them achieving the ISO 20121 sustainable event standard.
Glasgow 2014 – The Zero Waste Event
It boasted a whole host of eco initiatives, including a zero waste to landfill policy. It achieved this by composting all food waste and disposable cutlery generated during the games and reusing 260,000 items of furniture, fittings and equipment from the London 2012 Olympics.
The organisers also appointed ‘Recycling Ambassadors’; volunteers who helped visitors with recycling and ensured that waste from the opening and closing ceremony parties was cleaned up in an environmentally-friendly way.
However, the reuse and recycle ethos extended beyond the waste created by the event itself – games venues were actually constructed using recycled food waste!
Meanwhile, food and garden waste was collected from households throughout Scotland, composted, and then used to help grow turf for the Athletes’ Village.
Story via edie.net
CIBJO Congress – The Carbon Neutral Event
The event, which took place in May 2015 in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, brought in environmental consulting company Carbon-Expert to measure its carbon footprint.
The calculation included the carbon gas emission generated at the congress venue itself, and also by congress participants in their preparation and traveling to and from the event. In total, about 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were associated with the congress.
To render the event carbon neutral, the CIBJO purchased carbon credits to offset all its emissions. This represented an investment of around £5,000. The money paid towards projects that reduce emissions elsewhere, such as wind farms or methane capture projects.
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri said: “Obviously, our carbon footprint represents just a small percentage of that of the entire jewellery sector, but we hope that we serve as a role model for others, who like us are a committed to our industry operating in an environmentally responsible manner. The feedback so far has been most positive.”
Story via diamondworld.net
ITB Asia – The Energy Saving Event
Travel trade show ITB Asia reduced its carbon footprint by 5% in 2014 by implementing a range of energy and waste saving measures.
Taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore, the event made use of in-room motion sensors at the venue, which ensured lights were turned off when meeting spaces were not in use. Organisers also reduced energy usage by setting a room temperature of 24 degrees.
Meanwhile, food miles were minimised by choosing items from a locally sourced menu. All unused booth giveaways and stationery, such as note pads and pens, were collected from the exhibitors at the end of the show and donated to charity Food from the Heart. Leftover brochures at the booths were also collected and recycled.
Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia, said exhibitors were also urged to display environmentally friendly behaviours: “With a little mindfulness, we can all take measures that reduce the show’s ecological footprint.”
Story via tsnn.com
Oracle OpenWorld – The Give Something Back Event
The 2014 event featured two initiatives designed to meet these goals, including a workshop aimed at the next generation of programmers. The fun, one-day event engaged 150 young people in learning about programming, robotics and engineering.
The participants were students from local underperforming schools as well as children of conference attendees, who paid to take part. 100% of the registration fee was donated to Black Girls Code, a local group committed to increasing the number of African American women in the computer science and technology fields.
In addition to this, a total of 9,390 meals were donated to people in need during the event. Other unused non-perishable items such as soap and toilet roll were distributed to various charities and community projects.
Story via meetgreen.com
The Croissant Neuf Summer Party – The Self Sufficient Event
The Croissant Neuf Summer Party, a medium-sized family festival that takes place annually in Wales, has been voted the Greenest Festival in the UK (UK Festival awards) three times and is entirely run on solar energy.
Everything from the site lighting and sound equipment through to the stalls and catering facilities are powered by renewable energy, provided via solar panels and wind turbines. The event is also extremely energy efficient, utilising the latest LED tech so that the main stage lighting system uses less energy than your average hairdryer!
On top of this, the festival serves solely organic food and drink, recycles 95% of all waste generated and plants three trees for every car which enters its grounds.
Story via theecologist.org