With the launch of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it has become increasingly crucial for companies to put sustainability at the forefront of all their events. Whether it’s a large-scale international exhibition or a regional conference for your company, here are some top tips to ensure your event ticks off the key sustainability boxes.
One of the first steps in organizing a sustainable event is to make an action plan covering the key implementation points and targets to be met. Better yet, event organizers should keep a full report of post-event results, in order to target key weaknesses and set new goals for upcoming events.
Simply providing separate bins for various forms of waste (paper/plastic/organic) can make a big difference in recycling and waste management. With food being the top waste creator in the MICE industry, special attention should also be paid to managing food portions, while any organic waste should be separated for composting.
KEEP IT LOCAL
Increase the social benefits of your event by sourcing locally, whether it’s hiring local staff, using local SMEs for services like catering and cleaning, or providing locally grown food on the menu. This way, your event will help to give back to the local community, providing support for a sustainable cycle.
Reduce paper use by sharing documents online, as well as using computerized registration systems and digital billing forms. Not only does this save paper, but it makes the process quick and convenient in the growing online world.
Start off by choosing venues that have been certified with a recognized sustainable building management system (BREEM, LEED, ISO 14001, EMAS, BS8901 or equivalent). On top of that, venues that provide easy public transport access can help reduce car use in the area.
SPREAD THE WORD
Creating a sustainability-forward mindset among staff and participants is already one step in driving its success. A "sustainable participant" guide, gentle reminders in pamphlets and announcements, and useful signage can help everyone keep the sustainability goals in mind.
The Thailand Sustainable Events Guide
The Thailand Sustainable Events Guide by TCEB is a follow-up to the organization's Green Meetings Guideline: Advancing the Future of MICE from 2012, which sourced tips from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). It consists of six sections of innovative sustainability strategies for the MICE industry, based on the self-sufficiency philosophy of HM King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, in a determined effort to encourage Thailand’s MICE industry to go green.