It is estimated that the events industry contributes 1.2bn kilograms of CO2 emissions every year. This is why sustainability has become increasingly important due to our environmental impact as an industry. As our awareness of this problem grows, it is imperative that we are implementing and promoting eco-friendly/sustainable practices into all our events, meetings, conferences, and congresses where possible.
What can we do to make our events more environmentally friendly?
There are 5 easy steps that we could all be following to reduce our companies carbon footprint.
- Zero or minimal waste policy: Implement ways to reduce waste such as ensuring recycling bins are on-site at events, reducing the use of single-use plastics, using recyclable materials for event signage and limiting the amount of paper being used at events.
- Transportation: When organising an event, make sure you are encouraging attendees to use public transportation where possible. When recommending suitable travel options to delegates for an event, making sure you are ordering these from most to least sustainable to reduce the carbon footprint associated with travel to and from the event.
- Marketing for your event: Go digital! A great way to market and distribute information at an event is by decreasing the need for all your usual printed materials e.g. event programmes, delegate packs and signage. By using digital channels such as apps, emails, social media, and websites you can still provide all of the information to your delegates, without paper wastage!
- Using recyclable materials: It is unavoidable that some meeting materials will need to be printed or that promotional items will be provided for a meeting by sponsors. In this instance, make sure you are tracking your paper usage, that it is minimal and that it is collected and recycled after every meeting. Also ask your sponsors to only provide multiple use promotional materials so that these can be re-used at another meeting.
- Eco certifications: When ordering event materials, ensure you are using companies that are also sustainable such as B-Corp. This will reduce your companies carbon footprint.
So, what have we been doing to make a difference?
CFS Events have been trying to implement the above elements into each of our events. Here are some of the ways that we have been making a change:
- Tracking our printing per event and reducing our printing where possible
- Recycling/ choosing recyclable or sustainable options such as using eco-friendly/ reusable products rather than single use plastic.
- We often use public transport such as trains or car share when commuting to and from events to reduce our carbon emissions.
- Our company travel agent has a carbon offsetting programme where they plant trees to offset the total greenhouse gas emissions for each trip that we book through them for our travel to and from events.
- We source as many of our event products locally as we can to minimise the air miles on our event and try to use B-Corp companies.
- We ask that our sponsors and exhibitors do not provide single use promotional items at our conferences e.g. lanyards without dates and locations on them so that they can be reused for other events in the future.
- Our event badges are recyclable and no longer contain plastic.
- We no longer print programmes for our events, these can be found online via our bespoke event apps.
By incorporating these sustainable practices into medical events, you can reduce your environmental impact, promote responsible practices within the industry, and meet the growing demand for socially and environmentally responsible events. These efforts not only benefit the planet but can also enhance the reputation and success of your event in the eyes of attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. So why not give it a try?
#Sustainability #MedicalEvents #EventAgency
Written by Terrie Austin.
CFS Events Ltd