How to organise an eco-responsible event?
Events are often sources of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, generate a lot of waste and can degrade biodiversity. However, there is considerable scope for your event to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Below you will find 7 key points to consider when organising an eco-responsible event; to be adapted according to the size of the event:
On average, 80% of the carbon footprint of an event is linked to the transport of goods and participants (organisers, artists, audience, etc.). It is already important to choose an accessible venue for the event. Many actions are possible: pool goods transport, organise shuttles or charter a bus, specify public transport options or car-sharing sites (such as Morzine Co-Voiturage), introduce a preferential rate (a reduction on registration for example) for participants who come by public transport or soft mobility.
Food is often an important part of an event and also a key element for the environment: Favour short circuits, local, seasonal and organic or fair trade products. It is important to always offer a vegetarian alternative and, if possible, tap water.
Avoid food waste by anticipating the management of leftovers (for examples plan to redistribute them to volunteers or organise them in advance with a local association that can collect them).
3/ Waste management
Events generate a lot of waste: it is essential to try to reduce it as much as possible: returnable cups, reusable crockery, ask participants to bring their own water bottles, limit packaging by favouring bulk and large packages.
Then organise the sorting of waste beforehand, by proposing clearly identifiable sorting points in strategic places and communicating on the collection system. Trying to separate bio-waste (depending on the size of the event, to be checked with the local authority, local compost, etc.)
If disposable tableware is really necessary, choose the most eco-responsible one possible like Vaisselle Nature or Ecobiopack.
Reduce or don’t offer those incidental gifts that are often over-wrapped and of relative utility. Some events find the better sustainable way and offer gift vouchers or coupons. Sponsors can have a visibility with an animation, a participation in the restoration etc… rather than with a pen for example.
5/ Suppliers and equipment
It is possible to hire equipment that can be dismantled and reused rather than buying. Find out about and choose sustainable suppliers and service providers such as for lighting and sound systems. (various suggested suppliers in our Green Pages for Events Materials). For the stands, for example, prefer eco-designed and reusable materials that are therefore sustainable or second-hand purchases for decoration. (check green events)
Think about the natural resources to be preserved during an event in nature: for example, plan a route that avoids sensitive areas or communicate to participants for appropriate behavior and restrictions.
Water and energy resources must be taken into account: Energy: limit lighting, choice of location (isolated place in winter for example), adapt temperature, energy saving lamps… And finally, limit water consumption: raise participants’ awareness, set up a water recovery system, set up dry toilets, etc.
7/ Responsible communication
It is important to dematerialise as much as possible to avoid unnecessary printing by communicating via internet, email, organize online ticketing, etc. Digital technology also has an impact, so think about targeting as much as possible. Favour digital for information consulted only once or twice.
If paper distribution is necessary, print on recycled paper or paper with an eco-label. Avoid distributing leaflets, preferring to post them in a few strategic places.
Also use eco-designed, reusable or even homemade signage!
Communication will help to raise awareness of the various points mentioned below.
More info on Zero Waste Event