Blog, Ideas & Inspiration

Planning a sustainable event

December 8, 2021

Planning a sustainable event? Sustainable events are one of the fastest growing trends in the events industry, and with good reason. As a society we’re all far more aware of the impact that our behaviours have, not only our immediate environment, but on our global environment too.

Occasions such as weddings, parties and corporate events have the potential for huge environmental impact. Think travel, invitation processes, food waste, the use of non-reusable/recyclable materials, power consumption and so on. It’s a scary thought.

The sustainable event: A responsibility for all

sustainable eventWhilst it may be the responsibility of events suppliers to rethink the way that they deliver events; to offer their clients alternatives to the traditional/ingrained ways of doing things, the reality is that a shift in societal thinking is also required to make the move to sustainable event production a sustainable process in itself.

Businesses need to survive. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the events and hospitality industry hard. It’s would take a brave business owner to remodel their business entirely around sustainability; consumers want choices, not rules. So, in short, we need to work together, examine our options and look for better ways of doing things.

Creating a sustainable event, reducing its societal and environmental impact doesn’t need to be difficult. It could even be fun, part of the event, something to be proud of and to shout about. We, suppliers and consumers alike, just need to understand our options and start talking and start taking steps in the right direction…

Planning a sustainable event – where do we begin?

Think local

This is a big one. Travel and transportation can have a huge impact when it comes to carbon emissions. Thinking local starts from moment you consider the suppliers that you might use and continues all the way through to the way that your guests might travel to the venue.

Different event types require different thought processes. But at the base level try to consider using a venue that is either centrally located or that requires as little travel as possible for the majority of your guests.

Event location

Consider public transport links. Do your guests have the option of accessing your venue via public transport? Is there accommodation on site or close by? The less need there is for travel the lower the carbon footprint of your event.

Local suppliers

Consider using local suppliers. Not only will this reduce carbon footprint, but it will also support the local economy too. Local caterers are likely to use locally sourced ingredients too – though you’ll need to ask about their sustainability policies in order to be sure.

Choose your suppliers carefully

We’ve already mentioned using local suppliers but dig a little deeper in order to find out what their level of commitment potential suppliers really have to sustainability.

When talking to caterers for example, ask them about locally sourced seasonal, organic and fair-trade produce. Your caterer should be willing to work with you to design a menu that matches your sustainable intentions.

Think about reusable service ware too. Street food is very much ‘on trend’ right now, but plastic plates and cups definitely are not. Whatever type of food or drink you are serving your caterers should be able to arrange for the hire of reusable service ware.

Ask your suppliers where they stand on low-consumption equipment (such as LED lighting). If using a marquee venue then consider connecting to mains power wherever possible to limit the use of diesel fuelled generators.

When talking to potential venues, ask about supplier options and any restrictions. Marquee venues tend to be far less restrictive in terms of the choice of supplier, meaning that you can select those that best suit you and your ethos. Many bricks and mortar venues such as hotels and stately homes have tie ins with ‘preferred’ suppliers such as catering and bar companies. It’s worth understanding this up front if you want to keep your sustainable event ambitions alive.

Minimise plastic use

When it comes to sustainability then plastic cups and plates are out. But there are numerous other areas where single use plastics and other non-reusable or recyclable materials can pop up too.

Plastic water bottles on tables, party poppers and Christmas crackers for example. Confetti for weddings can be an issue too. We don’t want to sound like party poopers, environmentally friendly options or alternatives are available for most things, but a little investigation may be required.

How about paperless invitations?

Sending invitations by post can be expensive and terrible for the environment too. Not only are you paying for design work and materials, your also paying for the delivery service that will drive up your carbon footprint.

Most invitations end up in the bin (recycling at best) as soon as the invitee has RSVP’d. Companies such as Paperless Post offer online, designer digital invitations that are cost effective and a far more environmentally conscious choice. They even offer options for managing RSVPs too.

Planning a sustainable event?

If you’re serious about making your event as sustainable as possible then talk to us and let us know up front. We’ve been creating luxury events for over 40 years and we know the best local suppliers in the industry. More than that, we know which types of suppliers fit best with different type of events too.

If you’re looking for a bar supplier with a sustainable ethos, we will be able to recommend one to you. If you want a caterer that prioritises the use of local and seasonal produce – we can find them too. Creating a sustainable event? Get the right team in place and you’ll be halfway there.

Call us on 01372 459485 to find out more, or email sales@inside-outside.co.uk to start the conversation.

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