Renewable energy

How to plan a green event: our ultimate guide!

Organising green and sustainable events is part of a wider movement of change. Driven by creating decisive and impactful action, we can all make a real impact by making just a few simple changes to how we plan events.

Green Events: Why bother? 

Alongside benefiting the environment, hosting a green event is in the interests of your people and your business. Not only are greener choices more cost effective, but when sustainability aligns with the values of your clients, your event stands out as one that goes beyond just hitting their business goals. 

Putting on a Green Event: Our Top Tips 

Build sustainability into your decision making framework

From the outset of your event planning process, ensure that sustainability is one of the core pillars that is considered when every decision is made. Being proactive from the start means that sustainability becomes an integral part of your event, not just a tagged on afterthought.

Go virtual!

When you look at recent studies that suggest that hosting a virtual or hybrid event can reduce carbon emissions by 99%, making the switch to virtual events feels like a no brainer. 

One of the biggest areas of impact for an online event is travel. Reports claim that travel accounts for anywhere between 70%-90% of an event's total carbon emissions. By removing or at least reducing the need for your attendees to travel to and from an in person event, you’ll be axing the carbon emissions of your event too. 

Check your suppliers 

Working with smaller, local suppliers is a great opportunity to support locally sourced products and services, making green events not just an environmentally sustainable decision, but an economically sustainable one too. It’s worth investing the time into doing background checks on your prospective vendors and suppliers too. Is sustainability part of their values? Have they been verified by third parties such as B Corp? And when it comes to decorators and stagers, find out if they offer biodegradable options. 

Verify the venue

If you’re opting for an in-person event but still want to prioritise sustainability and manage your impact on the environment, this all starts with the venue. By finding out if your chosen venue is LEED certified, you’ll know for certain that the construction, maintenance, and operation of your location is efficient, cost-effective, and better for both your attendees and the environment.

Make the move from print to digital 

Ditch the single use event brochures and programmes for a digital platform that contains all the important information. By creating a bespoke website for your event experience, you can quickly and easily keep information up to date, removing the fear of having multiple print runs of the same assets. Swap physical invitations with online ones, and check with your venue if they offer digital signage opportunities instead of banners space. 

Gift bags: keep em’ sustainable 

Everyone loves a free pen, but no one loves leaving an event with a gift bag full of things they’ll throw away. When it comes to making sustainable swaps for your gift bags, stick to the essentials. Or could you do with ditching the bags altogether? Why not swap physical items that people may or may not use for digital gifts, such as e-vouchers and discount codes. 

Want to know more about the sustainable swaps you can make to reduce the carbon footprint of your event? Or want someone else to do the leg work when it comes to checking your vendors and venues? Get in touch with the First Event team to find out how we can help you, your business, and the environment.