Less than 10 years ago, the average conference attendee was producing more than four pounds of waste and nearly 400 pounds of CO2 emissions a day, according to studies.
The events industry has therefore had to seriously re-evaluate its contribution to environmental damage, and IET London: Savoy Place has been doing exactly that.
Specialising in high-tech events and with an exceptional in-house filming team, Savoy Place already had a head start on the sustainability front as state-of-the-art digital facilities hugely streamline operations. An endless digital aptitude aids cinematic capabilities, professional AV and personalised branding for live or hybrid events, negating the need for additional printing, design and supplier costs.
From the perspective of an event planner with sustainability high up on their agenda, sourcing a sustainable venue is single-handedly the most comprehensive starting point. As we look to 2023 and beyond, Savoy Place shares some of the most pressing environmental priorities and encourages the industry to follow suit.
Reputable accreditations give the booker peace of mind that a venue’s commitment to sustainability is legitimate. Savoy Place was recently awarded the highest prestige from industry body Greengage, gaining the ECOsmart Platinum accreditation. The IET also achieved the bronze Investors in the Environment accreditation in 2021 and is working towards silver in 2023. Aside from raising awareness of the venue’s sustainable credentials, having an ambitious accreditation to work towards provides a great structure for a business’ sustainability planning.
Choosing sustainable suppliers
Positive change comes from collaborative efforts, and in such a complex supply chain, choosing the right partners and products for events is vital. In 2022, Savoy Place adopted a new catering partner that shared the company’s ethos for sustainably sourced, local products. The venue, in partnership with Searcys offers a Food Equilibrium (Food EQ) menu that reduces the amount of meat protein within a dish, without sacrificing flavour. A ‘chef’s choice’ option has also been introduced in favour of seasonal ingredients and to minimise food waste. This is offered at a discounted rate to appeal more to event planners. The venue is well on its way to becoming single-use plastic-free and continues to source new suppliers on a few remaining products.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Waste can be a huge problem at events. At Savoy Place, landfill waste is minimised by incinerating non-recyclables to be used for energy. On-site water purification machines are also supplied with compostable cups that are recycled with food waste. While venues can control their own waste behind the scenes, it’s often not so easy to control the waste from delegates themselves at events. The venue has implemented many clearly labelled recycling bins and signage around the building to encourage visitors to follow suit with its efforts. Educating staff, clients and delegates remains high on the agenda for 2023.
As energy continues to be a necessary talking point, both from a cost perspective and a sustainability viewpoint, Savoy Place has invested in zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply. For the next year, the venue will be powered by electricity solely coming from solar, wind and hydro, therefore carbon emissions for electricity consumption will remain strictly at zero. In addition, all rooms have energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and a building energy management system (BEMS) is used to monitor and control the building’s energy needs. Further ecological suppliers continue to be explored for 2023 in a bid to reach carbon net zero.
For more information, visit https://savoyplace.theiet.org/, or follow @IETvenues on social media.