How to Ensure Your Events Align with Sustainability Goals

To meet the growing demand for sustainable business practices, event professionals have an obligation to ensure that their events are as sustainable as possible. But this goes beyond just hitting ESG and CSR targets. Delivering truly sustainable events is about creating long-term, tangible benefits for local and global communities. 

What is a sustainable event? 

There are different principles of sustainable events, including:

  • Economic sustainability: the financial success of an event, for all shareholders involved.
  • Social sustainability: the social impact on both the attendees and the wider community. 
  • Environmental sustainability: the ecological footprint of the event.

But how can brands make sure that sustainability is not just an afterthought, but a key driver throughout their event strategy? In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at how to achieve exactly that, across our unique 360 model.


Brands first need to understand the context behind their event, their audience, and their values. Focus on: 

  • Identifying your key stakeholders: Beyond just the people who attend your event, understand who will be impacted by your event, and establish them as your key event stakeholders. 
  • Finding your attendees’ definition of sustainability: Use social listening tools and feedback from previous events to understand which elements of sustainability are important to your audience. 


With your research done, it’s then time to understand how to translate this into a sustainable event format. This includes: 

  • Defining sustainability for your event: Create a definition of sustainability for your event that will resonate with your audience, and is in line with your wider CSR and ESG strategies. 
  • Establishing key goals: Are you focusing on being completely zero waste, a carbon-neutral event, or both? Clarify exactly what you’re going to be measuring to know if you’ve been successful in hosting a sustainable event. 


With your core message in place, you can now commence your sustainable event planning process. This includes: 

  • Finding the right venue: Your venue is going to be a huge factor in the sustainability of your event. Check for external certifications like the LEED rating system to ensure that your venue hits all the key areas of sustainability.
  • Using local vendors: By sourcing food, materials, and services locally, brands can minimise their event's carbon footprint, support local businesses, and foster local economies.


Now that you’ve planned your event, you need to make sure it’s delivered as sustainably as possible. You can do this by: 

  • Delivering engaging content: Transparently communicate your sustainability goals with your attendees and inspire them to do their bit! Use gamification to incentivise sustainable behaviour, such as recycling, and using greener transport options. 
  • Mitigating waste generated by the event: If any food waste is generated from your event, donate it to local food waste charities or homeless shelters. Similarly, make it easy for attendees to recycle with clearly demarcated recycling points. 


The sustainable efforts don’t stop after your event has finished! Continue your sustainable approach through the measurement phase of your event strategy by: 

  • Tracking and sharing your measurements: Use event technology to measure your key metrics, such as zero waste or carbon-neutral statistics, and share your results with your key stakeholders to maintain data transparency. 
  • Capture feedback: Invite your stakeholders to join the conversation on how you can improve your sustainable efforts in the future. This will inform the understanding phase of your next event, and help to tailor your future event marketing strategy. 

Ready to create an event that truly achieves your sustainability goals? 

Get in touch with the team at First Event. 

Our team of event experts are available to share our skills and experience to create an event strategy that delivers your unique sustainability goals.