Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for all businesses. This also includes the events sector. After all, an event or congress often has an enormous impact on the environment: visitors need to travel long distances to get to the location, they consume an enormous amount of energy and water in a short period of time, and they produce gigantic amounts of waste. In order to reduce the impact of an event or congress, it’s vital to organise them as green and sustainable as possible. Naturally, this responsibility lies with the organisation.
Sustainable organisation of an event
When organising a sustainable event, congress or festival, you can first of all try to reduce the ecological footprint of the event itself. You can also take it a step further and reduce the impact of the visitors. A sustainable organisation is all about making the right choices and clearly communicating the sustainable options to visitors. This not only benefits the environment; as an organisation you also show genuine commitment to the well-being of the earth and this will ultimately also benefit your image. In this article, we will explain how to organise a business event or conference as sustainably as possible.
Compensate flight tickets from international visitors
At an international event, visitors usually arrive by airplane. The total number of those flights lead to gigantic amounts of CO2 emissions. In fact, the biggest part of an event’s CO2 emissions comes from the transportation (by air) of the visitors. This is why providing CO2 compensation can make a substantial difference.
As an organisation, you don’t only show that you care about the planet - CO2 compensation actually has a positive impact. If you offset the carbon emissions via FlyGRN, we will invest in clean energy in India and Chad. In India, we invest in solar panel projects. The energy generated by solar panels replaces energy from fossil fuels. As a result, hundreds of thousands of households are provided with clean energy, which significantly reduces the carbon emissions in two big regions in India. In Chad, we provide refugee camps with solar cookers, which means that they won’t need firewood anymore, so people won’t suffer from harmful smoke fumes.
This project gives tens of thousands of refugees the opportunity to drastically improve their lives with the help of solar cookers.
Suggest buying flight tickets with CO2 compensation
When visitors travel by air, you can suggest buying a flight ticket with free CO2 compensation. You can install a FlyGRN search widget on your website. This makes visitors able to search for flights via FlyGRN, on your website. When comparing these flights, the CO2 compensation is always included in the price. If they book a flight via this widget, the emissions will be compensated, automatically. Click here to see an example of a FlyGRN widget integration. This way, the organisation facilitates the compensation of the emissions from all flights to the annual business event. Interested in the widget? Feel free to contact FlyGRN for more information.
Convenient geographical location
Besides choosing a sustainable location for your event, it’s important to choose a convenient geographical location. By choosing an environmentally friendly location close to a train station for example, you encourage visitors to use public transport. This reduces emissions from passenger cars.
Encourage travel by public transport
If you choose a sustainable event location that is easily accessible by public transport, you need to clearly communicate this to your visitors. Send out an e-mail to your visitors describing the accessibility, and advise them to travel by public transport. This saves a lot of CO2 emissions as they won’t have to use their own cars!
Offer shuttle buses to event locations
Is the location too far to walk to a train station? If so, consider organising a shuttle bus from a nearby train station. This takes away any doubts from visitors who are considering taking their own car. There are even electric buses available, so you can offer a shuttle service that is sustainable as well.
Eco friendly accommodation for visitors
Are your visitors staying overnight? Let them book their hotels and bed & breakfasts with the Green Key quality mark. This way, you encourage them to make a responsible choice for an overnight stay.
Besides transport and location, food is another way to make an event greener. You can include organic, vegetarian food for visitors. Hire a catering company and/or opt for a vegetarian food truck. Wasting food is a very important issue when it comes to sustainable catering. Make sure to clearly communicate the number of visitors to the catering company and donate remaining food to a food bank.
A large part of the waste from events and congresses consists of plastic cups, plates and cutlery. Fortunately, this can be solved in simple ways. Introduce a deposit system for drinking cups, and use biodegradable plates and cutlery. This helps to drastically reduce plastic waste.
Waste segregation is crucial for recycling: product material can only be reused when waste is properly separated. Provide different waste bins, so visitors can deposit their waste accordingly.
Better for the world and for your organisation
A clear sustainability policy for an event or congress contributes to a lower impact on our ecosystem. But it does more. It shows your commitment to the environment. And this is imperative if you want a strong, green image for your company.
Offset the emissions of a sustainable event
No matter how sustainable an event or congress is organised, there is a good chance that it still emits a big amount of CO2 and leaves an ecological footprint. This isn’t only due to your visitors’ transportation methods but it’s also due to energy consumption at the event, the use of materials, and waste management. You can offset these CO2 emissions and even try to organise a CO2-neutral or CO2-positive event. With a CO2-positive policy, you provide more compensation than the event or congress will emit. This guarantees that all negative side effects of the event get compensated. That is what we call sustainable!
When you buy products and services online, there is also this app that automatically plants trees with a large portion of their income.
Do you have any questions about the integration of the FlyGRN compensation widget on your website? Do you have any questions about how to organise a sustainable event or how to offset CO2 emissions at an event or congress? Contact FlyGRN!