Top tips for how to make your event more sustainable

Your event should have an impact on your guests, not the planet.

So, thinking beyond recycling your plastics at home or walking to work, we’ve caught up with the IET Events Team to share four top tips on how you can make your event more sustainable!

Location, location, location

Having a centrally located venue, such as Austin Court which sits in the centre of Birmingham, will ensure that delegates can reach their destination via public transport.

Guests and even staff from the venue on the day of your event will then be able to catch a train, tram, bus or even walk – cutting back on your event’s carbon footprint!

In a post-covid world, encourage attendees to carpool instead of travelling privately, provide a shuttle bus service if you know lots of your guests are travelling to and from a certain place, or even use an incentive to persuade people to commute to the venue more sustainably.

For those with electric cars, who do need to drive to the event, source a venue with EV charging points on-site or nearby.

Want to check how sustainable your delegates journey will be?

Use TCW's carbon calculator that allows you to evaluate the level of greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel to and from venues. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Posters, flyers, badges – events have a reputation of using a lot of plastic and paper, when more often than not they are thrown away at the end of the day.

Combatting this is a key element in making your event more sustainable. Especially in today’s world, technology has opened the door to a whole host of opportunities.

Go paperless – creating an app or a website is not only a brilliant way to connect with your delegates in real-time but is far more sustainable than having hundreds of posters or invites printed.

Also, using AV to brand your event has a big impact on transforming the look of your event without hefty sets!

Go plastic-free – ditch items that can only be used once during your event.

Think straws, name badges, and stage set-ups - could you recycle and reuse these items?

At IET Events, lanyards and name badges are made from recycled plastic bottles which are collected at the end of each event and sent back to the supplier to be recycled and used again.

From seed to plate

We all know what it is like when you cook for lots of people, there is always lots leftover!

So, think what it is like when you are catering for hundreds, sometimes even thousands.

Events are notorious for having a high food waste rate and there are lots of ways to make your catering more sustainable, starting from the seed.

To begin, make sure that the catering for your event is sustainably sourced.

Locally produced food and drinks are kinder to the environment by cutting transport emissions.

Once you have your sustainable menu picked – think about the amount.

To prevent food waste, get an accurate guest count and let the catering company know how many you need.

If you have any left – why not donate to people in need and look into local programs to see how you can help.

 Consistency is key

As an event organiser, you want to think holistically about the sustainability of your event, from the very start of planning, to after your delegates have gone home.

Therefore, it’s important to choose the right supplier who has the same values as you, for every element of your event, to ensure you’re working towards a cohesive, sustainable goal.

When looking to work with suppliers for your event look for qualifications and sustainably approved vendors, ask for proof of what they have been doing to help reduce their impact and even create a green policy in your contract so you all share the same sustainable spirit.  

Ask your suppliers what they are doing to reduce their impact on the planet.

  • How do they dispose of their waste?
  • Do they use green energy?
  • Can packaging be avoided by opting for re-usable glass bottles for tap water?
  • Do they comply with the modern slavery act?

If it helps then make a checklist for everything you want from a supplier, to ensure your event is as sustainable and ethical as possible from end to end.

If you’re looking for a venue to help reach your sustainability goals, then why not see all the sustainability initiatives in place at Austin Court, or get in touch with the team to find out more.