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5 ways to convince your boss that sustainable events are worth it


It can be frustrating when your plans for an incredible event are thwarted because the company that you’re working for doesn’t see that in sustainable events are worth it. Convincing the budget holders to embrace sustainable practices can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll guide you through practical steps and real-world examples to make your case effectively.

1. Remind them of the mission

Demonstrate to your Senior Leadership Team how sustainability aligns with the company’s mission, values, and long-term goals. Whether it’s reducing carbon emissions, supporting local communities, or enhancing brand image, showing a direct connection to the company’s objectives is essential.

2. Sustainable events don’t have to cost the earth

Many managers hear the word ‘sustainable’ and they instantly associate it with ‘more expensive.’  However, sustainability is rooted in using resources wisely and being sustainable often reduces costs and improves efficiency.

Showcase data and statistics that highlight the benefits of sustainable events. This might include cost-saving figures, case studies of your competitors’ successful sustainability efforts and surveys showing that attendees appreciate eco-friendly initiatives.

Resources on the benefits of sustainable events are available on the Legacy Marketplace blog.

3. Speak the same language

Successful negotiators know that the key to success is adapting your language to resonate with the person that you are talking to. For example, if you are in discussion with Finance or Legal colleagues, talk about the benefits of more sustainable events in terms of risk management and resource efficiency.

Working with HR or Internal Engagement colleagues? Show that other staff members are invested in sustainability efforts. Share employee feedback and initiatives already in place. A groundswell of support from within the company can be convincing to senior management.

If you are working with Marketing, Communications or PR colleagues, then remind them that events can often act as the ‘shop window’ to the business. Not considering sustainability when planning your events can result in reputation damage, and lost market share, especially if your organization has publicly committed to carbon or other sustainability targets.

4. Find your sidekick

Propose partnerships with sustainable suppliers, sponsors, or non-profit organisations that can help fund and promote sustainable events. Collaborations can spread the costs and amplify the impact.

You can find a wide range of event suppliers who are committed to sustainability on the Legacy Marketplace platform. Legacy Marketplace is one of 1,600 B Corps in the UK who span a range of sectors.

5. Pace yourself

Keep in mind that you’re not going to change the company overnight. It might take weeks, or months, or even years to shift your company towards sustainability.

If you are not making any headway, pitch a pilot programme or a small-scale initiative to show proof of concept and demonstrate the potential benefits. This can help build momentum and gain support for more significant sustainability initiatives in the future.

An easy example is reducing printing and going digital. Instead of printing 500 event brochures or agendas, opt for digital versions accessible via a mobile app. Explain how this saves printing costs, reduces paper waste, and enhances attendee convenience.

Convincing senior management to run events more sustainably requires a well-researched and persuasive approach. Preparation is the key to successful negotiations so present an efficient timeline and updates so the executive team will find it easier to sponsor your projects. Remember that sustainability is an ongoing journey, and continuous improvement is key to long-term success.

Legacy Marketplace also knows how to gift sustainably – a great read if you are looking for Christmas gift inspiration.