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Seven Sustainable Things to Consider When Planning Your Event

Hosting an event is a wonderful way to honor or support stakeholders who are valuable to your business. Events bolster all ready loyal relationships and add value and loyalty to new relationships you want to develop.

An event is a great opportunity for a company to remind stakeholders of its sustainable initiatives. Events provide a plethora of opportunities to showcase how a company considers sustainability in its business practices.

  1. Every single part of the planning process can be seen through a sustainable lens.  Before finalizing decisions ask, “Can this be done more sustainably?” The answer may often be yes.
  2. Location. Location. Location. There are many ways to achieve sustainability in venue selection. The event could be held in a USGBC LEED Certified building or a building that has taken into consideration energy use and sourcing. Another way to think about a venue sustainably is to support a local venue or have the venue donated.
  3. Sustainable sourcing is a great way to green your event. If you’re serving food, goods or services or hosting musicians try to hire local and responsible businesses first. Also consider the business practices of companies that supply the sourced goods and whether their business goals align with your own.
  4. Waste not, want not. Consider waste management in every step of your planning.  Cut down on printing waste by sending e-invites and digitally displaying or having links to information during the event. Also be sure to include recycling receptacles and signage during the event. Try to purchase or reuse reusable items.
  5. Minimize resource use. Try to implement responsible resource use. Events are inherently heavy on the resource use. Be mindful of using natural light when possible, only using water when necessary and not using more energy than absolutely needed.
  6. Consider cultures and values of all guests. Try to know or learn the values of the various cultures that will be present at your event. Be mindful that in some cultures, colors and traditions may translate differently than in your own. If having food, integrating the various cultures that are present is a wonderful way to show respect for those cultures.
  7. Promotion. Don’t be ashamed to brag about all of the steps that you took to green your event. You also might consider getting it certified if you have the time to do so; certification can provide concrete proof of the sustainability of your event. The more people who talk about it, the easier it is to create a culture that values sustainability.

Greening your event gives it one more competitive advantage on top of all the value you will all ready be offering your attendees. Your attendees will remember the effort you put into greening your event and they will talk about it to their friends.