The Business Case for Environmentally Sustainable Events
In a world where sustainability and environmental responsibility are reaching top of the agenda, businesses are under growing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace eco-friendly practices. The business case for environmentally sustainable events is compelling.
From significant cost savings to enhanced brand reputation – we’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact of adopting environmentally sustainable practices in event planning and delivery.
Explore how prioritising sustainability in events can benefit both your bottom line and your brand image…
Cost Savings Through Energy Efficiency
Countless conferences, expos and corporate gatherings are held around the world each year, contributing to harmful carbon emissions.
The UK events industry alone emits over 1.2bn kg of CO2e each year, spending an estimated £230 million on diesel for generators as part of this. Reducing energy use and switching to more sustainable alternatives can result in big budget savings.
Lower Utility Bills
One of the most immediate and tangible benefits of better energy efficiency in events is reduced utility costs. By using energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems and equipment, you can significantly lower electricity and heating/cooling bills. This allows for budget allocation to other crucial aspects such as the design and build.
Did you know that Glastonbury produces 2,000 tonnes of waste? Implementing sustainability practices can reduce the amount of waste generated during events. For instance, using digital signage instead of printed materials not only saves energy but also decreases the need for printing, shipping and disposal of paper materials.
Optimised Resource Allocation
Sustainability in events can extend to smarter logistics and resource management. By using data and technology to streamline processes and reduce resource wastage, you can cut costs and improve operational efficiency.
Enhance your Brand Reputation as a Leader in Sustainability
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, it’s here to stay. The up-and-coming generation of consumers is centring sustainability when it comes to buying decisions and brand trust.
It’s become essential for any business to demonstrate they are doing their part when it comes to carbon reduction.
With this in mind, it’s important not to fall into the trap of ‘greenwashing’. Being called out for false or misleading sustainability claims can be a reputational nightmare so it’s important to take sustainability seriously.
Done right, it can lead to greater brand awareness, consumer trust and authenticity.
Demonstrated Commitment to Sustainability
In an era where consumers and business partners prioritise sustainability, showcasing your commitment to sustainability in events sends a powerful message. It demonstrates that you are aware of your environmental impact and are taking proactive steps to reduce it.
Alignment with Stakeholder Values
Your choice to go green aligns your event with the values of stakeholders, including attendees, sponsors and local communities. This can foster stronger connections and partnerships, positively influencing your brand image.
Positive PR and Media Coverage
Organising sustainable events can generate positive PR and media coverage. Journalists are often interested in stories about companies and events that are leading the way in sustainable practices, helping you reach a wider audience.
Achieve your Sustainability Goals
“We’ve got to stop looking at sustainability as a standalone cost. The value comes in delivering a sustainable event that benefits people and planet.” – Faye Priestley, Sustainability Director, Identity
We all need to reach net zero by 2050, and any corporation that has pledged will need to report annually on progress. The good news is that reporting on sustainable events can help contribute towards this.
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve to develop your sustainability agenda, you can start thinking about how your event will help you reach those goals. We can help by tracking and reporting on emissions and sustainability KPIs, building this into an impact report to help you achieve greater emissions reduction for your next event.
Practical Tips for Achieving A More Sustainable Event
Now that we’ve highlighted the benefits, here are some practical tips for implementing environmentally friendly practices in your events:
- Use LED Lighting – Replace traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting. LED lights are not only more energy-efficient but also last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements
- Utilise Renewable Energy Sources – Whenever possible, opt for renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines to power your event
- Minimise Single-Use Items – Avoid the use of single-use plastics and materials by providing reusable options for attendees, such as water bottles and utensils. Encourage recycling and composting at the event
- Smart HVAC and Temperature Control – Use smart thermostats and HVAC systems that can automatically adjust temperature settings based on occupancy and weather conditions, optimising energy usage
- Promote Digital Communication – Embrace digital signage, apps and communication tools to minimise paper usage and streamline information dissemination
- Optimise Transportation – Travel to events often makes up the majority of carbon emissions. Encourage attendees to use eco-friendly transportation options and provide information about walking, public transportation, carpooling or biking to your event
- Monitor and Analyse Energy Use – This will aid sustainability reporting and provide valuable insights for your next event
- Opt for a Virtual or Hybrid Event to reduce travel-related carbon emissions
- Adhere to Sustainability Standards for events – working with an agency that adheres to industry standards can help to reduce operational costs, avoid objections and give you access to new markets
- Choose vegetarian meal options over red meat to benefit from 7x less emissions
- Hold events during spring or autumn to avoid higher emissions from heating and cooling venues
- Choose a Sustainable Events Agency and Suppliers – Use an event production agency that has experience and expertise in delivering greener events. Check previous case studies and sustainability pledges to ensure you’ve found the right match.
Creating a more sustainable event doesn’t have to cost anything or be overly complicated. It can be as simple as switching your mindset and making different choices.
The Benefits of Sustainable Events are Broad
The business case for more sustainable events is clear: it not only leads to potential cost savings but also enhances brand reputation in an increasingly eco-conscious world. By implementing environmentally sustainable practices, your business or organisation can make a positive impact on the environment while enjoying the many benefits of reduced costs and improved brand image.
It’s a win-win situation for a brighter and more sustainable future.
If you’re looking to make your next event more sustainable, we can help. Get in touch to find out how, together, we can produce an inclusive, accessible and sustainable event that delivers impact.