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Hold a green event

Published on Aug 30, 2009 by David Simpson

Whether you’re hosting an event for a few people or a few thousand, there’s good reason to reduce your event’s carbon footprint. Going “green” may be a trendy phrase but it’s one that will benefit your brand and your bottom line.

With thoughtful planning holding a low carbon or carbon neutral event can be achieved in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Measure the events potential carbon emissions

Step 2: Reduce those emissions as much as possible before the event

Step 3: Offset the remaining unavoidable emissions

Once you have measured your carbon footprint there are a multitude of steps that are both ‘green’ and cost saving. Booking environmentally conscious venues, hiring hybrid vehicles to transport attendees, buying reusable serving ware, buying local food and beverage can save money and carbon emissions.

Even the simplest changes provide considerable savings. For example, collecting and reusing name badge holders can save thousands of dollars.

Using technology can further cut costs. Paperless communication like pre-event e-mails, Web-based notifications and paperless postings at the event will save you the cost of the media and produce less waste.

When attendees see the big picture — making the switch from bottled water to filtered water stations, sugar and cream in bulk rather than wasteful little containers, reduced print materials, eco-friendly giveaways—enthusiasm begins to build. Rather than seeing an event full of “mandatory fun,” your attendees become part of a movement that benefits their lives and your brand.

Virtually all aspects of any event can have a reduced climate impact, including: venue, registration, transportation, offices, food and beverage services, procurement, and production. Here are 4 ways to make your event greener:

  1. BUY LOCAL: Air transport is the highest contributor to an event’s carbon footprint. If given the choice buy local.
  2. RECYCLE. Cardboard boxes and crates can be broken down and recycled. Items can be stored in reusable containers.
  3. PURCHASE CARBON OFFSETS. Purchasing certified carbon offsets balances the CO2 produced by travel, electricity and waste. By purchasing offsets you help fund development of clean renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
  4. POWER DOWN. At all stages of an event lights, computers, printers etc can be turned off when they are not needed.

David Simpson

Co-Founder & Training Director at Team Building Asia

Challenging people to reach their highest potential through experiential, interactive and fun workshops with a strong and meaningful business outcome.


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