From finding greener ways to travel to reducing waste, Managing Director of Unique Venues of London Lisa Hatswell offers seven ways to make your event more sustainable…
Sustainability is a hot topic across the world as a whole, and one particularly relevant to the events and hospitality industries.
Many unique venues and suppliers across London cater to eco-friendly gatherings, and organisers can also take steps to ensure their events are kind to the environment.
Plastic isn’t so fantastic
Plastic is steadily being eliminated not only from the events scene, but from daily life. Reusable cutlery is becoming the norm, and guests can be encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. If the event is a product launch or conference and you want to go further, branded reusable bottles could be handed out on the day.
Tech over traditional
We live in an increasingly digital world, and our love for our computers and phones can be valuable at events as well as in our daily lives. Using projectors and tablets, instead of flipcharts and notepads, is a great way to both help protect the environment and keep your guests engaged through networking on social media.
A breath of fresh air
In the summer, outdoor events are the perfect way to avoid using air conditioning and other forms of energy consumption such as electricity. Also, if the venue already has a seating area or garden, guests will have the chance to (quite literally) stop and smell the roses, which is great for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Greener travel is a big element of sustainability. Getting to and from an event as a group is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions, particularly when the guest list is large. Also, choosing electric cars over vehicles that require petrol, or cycling or walking when possible, is not only beneficial to the environment but your health as well.
There are many caterers on the market that are now implementing minimal-waste initiatives, whereby only locally-sourced produce is offered. Additionally, food portions are becoming smaller so that there are less leftovers; when there are leftovers, they are used either for garnishes (when safe) or are recycled back into the earth.
Given a second chance
Providing receptacles for recycling at the venue is a great way to reduce the number of items that are unnecessarily thrown away. This is particularly useful for bigger conferences, where large amounts of paper, plastic and other waste is often discarded.
To achieve all of the above, it’s important to plan ahead for your event. Liaising with eco-friendly suppliers and informing your guests of commuting options, as well as anything they should bring with them that will make for a more environmentally-friendly gathering, is essential to the process.