One silver lining of staying indoors for the last year has been the positive impact on the environment. Not long after lockdown, calls of “Nature is Healing” swept the social channels, with stories of dolphins and fish being spotted in Venice. But, inevitably, when restrictions ease and economic activity resumes, the greenhouse gas emissions will creep back to normal and the dolphins will creep back out of Venice.
The ambition for more sustainability in events has existed pre-Covid, with an emphasis put on it from both client and agency. However, we now have a real chance to take advantage of this environmental reset.
Here are 5 ways to keep things greener going forward…
We’re all eagerly anticipating physical events again, but the reality is, some may not need to be physical. Lockdown has forced us all to embrace new technologies, meaning some can stay virtual, or be a mixture (Hybrid). This will hugely lower the amount of waste generated, the energy consumption, and the source of 80% of an event’s carbon dioxide emissions, long-distance travel.
Maybe it’s the fact that we no longer have access to the office printer, but we’ve all become less reliant on paper since the pandemic. Even restaurants have found a way to eliminate the physical menu. So it’s time for us to think outside the paper box – facilitating an exchange of e-business cards, providing an interactive schedule online, or making all signage digital.
Photo – Switchit Digital Business Card App
Choosing the right location can massively lower your event’s carbon footprint. Always look for a place who advertise their sustainability credentials, so you know they’re conscious of their lighting, heating and waste management. It also helps to pick a place close to the airport, which has accessible public transport and walking routes, so you can reduce emissions greatly.
Photo – The Crystal, London
Well, don’t ditch it entirely, people love a bit of swag! A large event can produce up to 43kg of waste per person, with a large majority of this being avoidable. So really consider what goes in that goody bag, or if there needs to be a physical goody bag at all. Why not ditch the t-shirt, pens and notebooks, and go for e-gift cards, e-coupons or e-books.
Photo – One4All / Kindle Cards
There’s always going to be food waste at a physical event. But every little helps, and there are some ways to reduce it. It can be helpful to ask ahead of time what attendees like or don’t eat, increasing the likelihood of them clearing their plates. Reducing transportation by going with local vendors is important too. And finally, look into making an arrangement with a food bank for any leftover food.
Photo – Food Cloud App
So as we plan our big comebacks to the physical events arena, let’s all keep sustainability at the front of mind, and actively try and reduce our carbon footprints further. If you’d like to know more about sustainability in events, don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime, we’re going to go and try to spot some dolphins in the Grand Canal.
Until next time,
The Verve Team.
For more ongoing trends and insights, check out Verve’s new podcast: The Virtual Events Podcast. Our team chat about all things virtual. Each episode has tips, hints, what’s new, what works best, hope you enjoy it.
The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts : https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240
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