Want to learn more about how to incorporate sustainability practices in the events you manage? Read 15 things you can start doing right now!
Over the last two decades, corporate responsibility around sustainability has evolved in the meetings and events industry. Now more than ever, we are aware of the impact our roles can leave on the environment, and it’s a cause BCD Meetings & Events is passionate about. There are various best practices that can increase our positive contributions to global sustainability. Here are 15 things event professionals can do now to help create sustainability around meetings and events.
1. Identify one or more sustainability topics to learn about. Possible subjects might include human trafficking, accessibility or climate change. Designate 30 minutes a week to read up on that topic and how it applies events.
2. Add sustainability as an agenda item to internal event planning meetings. Use this time to discuss client needs related to sustainability, and share resources, ideas and challenges.
3. Select one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and brainstorm one way to address it at an event. Have more than one recommendation? Summarize ideas and share them as an internal resource.
4. Join a campaign! Combining forces with others can help gain access to resources and a community of mentors that could partner in event sustainability efforts.
5. Host a Sustainability Happy Hour for an event team with the purpose of generating creative ideas for an event sustainability plan. Consider providing organic food or local craft beverages to promote attendance and stimulate discussion.
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6. Create an incentive that rewards team members who take action to support sustainability goals. It could be simple, such as a thank you gift card, green team wrap party or post-event merit awards. Or recognition could be more formal, such as written endorsements in employee reviews.
7. Think of two or three supplies that are frequently used at events. Signs, name badges and paper products are a good place for organizers to start. Ask suppliers to research a more sustainable option for each and shift purchasing to make the green choice standard, so customers have to opt-out of the responsible choice
8. Adapt a sustainability preference clause into request for proposals and contract templates that requires vendors provide their sustainability policy and best practices. Use this information in decision making and planning.
9. Create a Stop Doing List for Sustainability. Make it simple. List things to phase out that create waste, for example.
10. Eliminate dates and locations from event branding.
11. Research and include green travel tips on the event website, including how to take public transport to and from the venue.
12. Let people know when event products are sustainable by communicating verified recycled content, organic and fair trade credentials on the items themselves.
13. Create a sustainability sponsorship menu to grow financial capacity to pursue new sustainability ideas.
14. Research if an event has a code of conduct. If not, create one. If one exists, review it to ensure it covers important situations that might arise related to harassment, inclusion, fairness and safety.
15. Prepare a few sustainability fun facts to share via social media. Please borrow any from the BCD Meetings & Events Green White Paper.
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