Sustainable Events are the future and event organizers need to be prepared! Knowing where to start with sustainable event management is no easy task. At Kents Hill Park, we’ve been offering sustainable events for some time now so we’re here to help you with your upcoming event planning.
Why Should Events Be Sustainable?
It’s important for businesses to consider sustainable events for a number of reasons, primarily the focus is to minimise the impact of events on the environment. Protecting the environment is being considered on an individual level but the onus is also being put on businesses to consider their impact. We can see this reflected in a number of environmental policies being implemented by companies across the world.
It’s important for companies to include sustainable events within their environmental policies as eco-conscious events are more likely to be attended. Proving to consumers and attendees that you are considering your business’ environmental impact will encourage more people to interact with your company or join your event whether that’s in person or virtually. Not only will this improve your business’ reputation but by being transparent about your goals to host a successful sustainable event, your company will be helping to raise awareness for protecting the environment.
Event Greening also focuses on the local community, one way this is done is by sourcing food and resources locally. This promotes the economy in the local area which is fantastic for networking and for local businesses.
The events industry’s impact on the environment needs to be considered, as so many businesses look to make improvements to reduce their carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly practices. Start now and be at the forefront of those companies by choosing sustainable events for a better future.
As you dive into planning your next event, here’s how to make events sustainable.
How To Make Events Sustainable
- Reduce energy consumption
- Reduce waste & promote reusable resources
- Choose a sustainable event venue
- Serve responsible food choices
- Consider a Hybrid Event
- Use an event carbon calculator to highlight areas for improvement
- Provide shuttle or carpooling services to your event
Reduce Energy Consumption
One of the easiest ways to reduce your event’s impact on the environment is to consider reducing the energy consumed. This can be easily applied by choosing energy-efficient technologies whether you’re hiring external equipment or you’re using equipment provided by your venue. Modern equipment typically has a lower energy consumption than older technologies. Do you know the energy rating of each piece of equipment?
It’s important to work with your venue to see how you could be promoting a sustainable event. When choosing a venue consider if they use a sustainable energy supplier, LED lighting or even speak to them to consider opting for an event during the day in a naturally lit room to reduce the need for lights in your event space.
Waste Management for a Sustainable Future
One of the main issues associated with events is the amount of waste created. Our first piece of advice would be to check whether your chosen venue has a zero waste or low waste policy. If you think more could be done, consider implementing a low or zero waste policy for your event, things that should be considered are included below.
Remove Single-Use Plastic
One easy way to reduce waste is to remove single-use plastic by using reusable crockery, and cutlery. Encourage event attendees to bring refillable water bottles and provide water refill points around your event or venue. Removing takeaway cups from your event is also an easy change!
At Kents Hill Park we offer reusable resources wherever possible, plus our hydration points use fruit peels and offcuts to flavour water to ensure we’re working towards our zero waste policy.
Take What You Need
Reduce note pads and plastic pens so that people take only what they need. At Kents Hill Park our stationery is kept together rather than being spread out for delegates to ensure people don’t take what they don’t need. We also only offer pencils as they are better for the environment than plastic pens that can’t be refilled.
Consider food waste by working with a caterer that has a policy of using all produce and will create meal plans that ensure you’re making enough food for attendees to prevent food wastage after the event. You can then encourage attendees to only take what they need to ensure they aren’t overfilling their plates.
Digitise Your Event
Have you considered the waste created from events by printing resources such as tickets, maps, worksheets or flyers? Why not consider going digital for your resources?
E-tickets are easy for people to use thanks to smartphones and the development of apps means that it’s easy to ensure all of your resources are easily accessible and most importantly, environmentally friendly!
We’re not suggesting you need to remove swag bags from your events completely but it would be beneficial to consider eco-friendly swag or reduce the number of throw away gifts inside. Could you opt for one sustainable gift rather than lots of useless swag items?
Choose a Sustainable Event Venue
One of the easiest ways to win at sustainable event management is to choose a sustainable event venue. This will take a lot of pressure off of you as the organiser if your venue is already proactively working towards green events. Things to look out for from a sustainable event venue:
- Does the venue recycle? Do they have a recycling policy? Is it easy for anyone at the venue with recycling points throughout?
- Is the venue actively working towards reducing its impact on the environment – what initiatives do they have in place? Are they carbon aware and working towards being carbon neutral?
- Does the venue offer good public transport links? Do they offer electric car charging ports? Does the venue offer safe storage for bikes to promote cycling?
- Does the venue consider CO2 offsetting? Are they part of any schemes such as “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
- Do they work with or offer a sustainable catering service?
Whether you opt for an external caterer or use the catering offered by your venue, food is a fantastic area where you can improve the sustainability of your event.
Choose locally sourced produce, this means it has a smaller distance to travel and will reduce the CO2 emissions.
Choose plant-forward menus, opting for Vegan or Vegetarian dishes helps to reduce your carbon footprint and it’s always a bonus when you can give your event attendees fantastic nutritional dishes!
Choose Fair Trade food to ensure it is responsibly grown. At Kents Hill Park we offer Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance tea and coffee, as well as only choosing Red Tractor assured, British milk and Chicken to ensure our produce is responsibly sourced and local.
We have created menus that consider the carbon footprint of each dish. Our hotel menu already includes this rating but will be coming to all of our event menus by November 2022. We’ve partnered with Klimato to offer this. Find out about our Carbon Footprint Labelling.
Virtual & Hybrid Events
Something to consider is whether your event needs to be in person. If your team are remote and it’s time to get together then we understand why you’d choose to host an in-person event but if in-person isn’t necessary for your upcoming meeting or event then why not consider a virtual event?
Virtual events remove the need for travel which will reduce the carbon footprint of your event if you have employees or delegates spread far and wide.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, why not consider a hybrid event? This is perfect for those meetings that require some attendance in person but allows those who would have to travel a large distance to be present from their homes or offices. Discover the benefits of a Hybrid Event.
Sustainable Event Management At Kents Hill Park: The Future Is Now
If you’re ready to consider the environmental impacts of your events, Kents Hill Park is ideal for a range of corporate events with a variety of meeting rooms, conference theatres and training facilities, we can help your company meet green initiatives by hosting your next event with us.
Kents Hill Park is part of The Venues Collection, we’re consciously working towards green events in the hospitality industry. The Venues Collection have implemented green initiatives such as ‘Meeting for Change’ and ‘Menus for Change’ which incorporate sustainability practices such as reducing waste, promoting the power of plants, ethical sourcing and removing single-use plastics where possible. Plus our venues are Green Accredited. See our Social Purpose promises.
Why not encourage event attendees to travel to your event by public transport? Kents Hill Park is located 10 minutes from Milton Keynes Central train station which has a direct rail line to London Euston in 35 to 60 minutes.
Plan your sustainable corporate events at Kents Hill Park.
If you’re looking for a sustainable venue for events such as weddings and celebrations, please explore our range of venues across the country.