Public consciousness and accountability in corporate social responsibility fundamentally underpins the organisation of events. It’s not beginning to take precedence – we are already here. Therefore, event sustainability is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the return of in-person events. Making in-person events sustainable is a powerful movement and one of the fastest growing trends among all stakeholders within the industry, with event planners playing an instrumental role in combating some of the sustainability challenges we face as a planet. The world has changed, and as an Event Agency, we are positioning ourselves at the forefront of a movement to ensure ethical behaviour towards how we treat our planet. Here are the ways in which we are acting towards this common goal of being more sustainable and environmentally conscious.
At Dynamic, being ethically and socially responsible matters to us. We have chosen to use EcoVadis, the ‘world’s most trusted business sustainability ratings’ solution which helps us to benchmark and drive our improvements across four themes:
- Labour and Human Rights
- Sustainable Procurement
We have received a Bronze award for 2022 and are now striving to work for a Silver by carbon offsetting, limiting food wastage, using alternative sustainable materials and educating ourselves further.
One of our many management services includes working with clients to measure and offset the carbon emissions generated by their events. Carbon offsets are voluntary schemes where people can pay to ‘offset’ or make up for the emissions that their flights, and other means of travel, produce. It doesn’t get rid of carbon dioxide which is produced when you travel, however what it does do is try and make up for your share of the CO2 which gets released by reducing it somewhere else instead. We are consistently making our clients aware of our practices with many questions being asked around how long and far flights are to events so that carbon offsetting can be considered.
There are many other factors to consider when working out CO2 calculations, these include, air conditioning or heating rooms, the number of room nights per group, the source of food items, and how the energy is being produced in each country. Using reliable and externally audited carbon calculators, we can create draft footprints before and after events so that clients have tangible targets in offsetting their carbon emissions.
Gala dinners, lunches, coffee breaks, group breakfasts and site visit tastings are incorporated into our conferences and events. With this in mind, a waste management or food rescue plan is hatched out with the venue and caterers. Sometimes our venues and caterers already have good recycling and composting programmes in place which is fantastic. However, whether they do or don’t, it isn’t always part of initial conversations and so we push to understand what exactly is possible. Can they recycle paper, carboard, tins, glass, plastic, and cooking oil? Can they compost?
The responsibility on event organisers lies with education and communication. It’s about attendees understanding why there is enough food but not so many choices, and catering companies understanding that there are better ways to showcase their abilities than to produce mass options. According to a recent study, 71% of travellers (booking.com), want to make more of an effort to travel sustainably, so by providing attendees and suppliers with solutions, this is the first step to being more environmentally conscious. In some countries, this is culturally driven, so having these conversations, requesting information about the supplier’s sustainability credentials, and setting expectations is important.
Simple ideas such as providing waste stations at eye level with clear signage can help delegates and exhibitors sort their waste. Donating to a local food bank or shelter after an event can also be a great way to limit food wastage. Before you create your plan however, you should check your local by-laws around food donation. If this isn’t an option, consider donating leftover food or kitchen scraps to a pig farm in the area as animal feed. This is great for not only diverting waste from compost or worse, landfill, but it can also help the supplier identify areas where they’re over-ordering or over-catering, ready for their next event.
Paper is another factor to consider, from printing agendas for every attendee, to creating signage around the event venue. instead of plastic, other alternatives such as cardboard, electronic lecterns, screens or electronic meeting room signage can be used. This allows attendees access to all event details prior to meetings and conferences. These alternatives also reduce the cost of producing one off designs.
When facing a growing list of global standards, and collaborating with suppliers and clients, each with their own benchmarks, it is challenging to understand how performance compares with peers. Sharing ideas and working collaboratively to understand more about how to be environmentally conscious is essential for making the events industry more sustainable. Our aim at Dynamic is to fully engage our team in driving sustainability to improve our performance, build resilience, and ensure longevity for our business, our industry, our clients, and the world we live in.
If you need help with your next event, we’d love to hear from you! Contact our friendly team to find out how we can make your events more sustainable: https://dynamic-events.co.uk/contact-us.