The Future of Events is Greener: 5 Tips for Reducing Your Footprint and Building a Sustainable Future for Events

Sustainability has proved itself an essential driver for commerce, with a sizeable growth and a clear consumer shift towards products and services demonstrating stronger sustainable credentials. More than 80% of consumers would choose to buy from a business that demonstrates environmental responsibility with 33% prepared to pay a premium for it (McKinsey). So, it’s clear that good for the planet is also good for business.

At CI Group, we’re committed to working towards Net Zero, and are focused on driving climate change action, making events and conferences more sustainable and reducing their environmental impact. We also understand the potential that events have for promoting sustainable behaviour change. Which is why our Events Team take part in ISLA’s Sustainability Training to ensure any events we propose not only deliver but also promote and encourage sustainable actions.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to reduce your event’s environmental impact.

Track your travel footprint

Choose venues in proximity or easily accessible by public transport and consider offering the opportunity for overseas guests to join virtually. Hire electric cars or even bikes when you can. We automatically calculate the travel footprint of attendees to our events and provide options for the client to offset the carbon.

Choose eco-friendly and local suppliers 

A sustainable and traceable supply chain is a critical success factor in ensuring environmental and social standards are maintained. Local suppliers are particularly important in catering; providing locally grown food. Remember to minimise food waste and go for vegetarian or vegan options when you can.

Create sustainable staging

Thousands of tonnes of waste are burnt or sent to landfills from the UK events industry every year. Brief your team to design sustainable staging and make sets from reusable, modular components. Graphics and signage are essential for every event but look at carbon neutral print options and production alternatives. And don’t forget to deliver eco-friendly or sustainably messaged give aways.

Up your event recycling

A single conference attendee can generate up to 1.89 kg of waste a day, so it’s essential to promote and make it easy for guests to recycle. Have recycling points throughout your event and encourage people to recycle with engaging messages. Collecting recycling from around an event is just another way for your team to engage with your guests.

Use less paper and go digital

The paper industry is evolving to ensure print becomes more environmentally friendly but using digital content will also reduce your impact. Embrace video, projection, and animation options where possible. And if you do print, look at C02 neutral presses, FSC accreditation and reusable items such as name badges with interchangeable inserts. For our recent Climate Action Event at Kew Gardens, we only used paper embedded with wildflower seeds, which could be recycled or planted following the event.

The UN’s recent Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report warns us that ‘the climate time bomb is ticking’ and urges Developed Countries to fast track their Net Zero efforts. So with a 43% increase in the business events industry forecast by 2026 (research commissioned by Cities Restart and carried out by Tourism Economics), it’s time for the events industry to address sustainability and its impact head on. It’s time to Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and most importantly work towards saving our planet.

CI Group is committed to working towards Net Zero to counteract global warming by limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C. Our ambition is to become Carbon Positive, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit.

Our Sustainable Event: Changing Behaviours for Climate Action.

*research commissioned by Cities Restart and carried out by Tourism Economics.

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