Reducing Waste With Sustainable Business Event Planning

By Jack Shaw, senior writer and editor at Modded

Business events are crucial components of any industry. They connect entrepreneurs and industry leaders, fostering innovation through collaboration and training. The events can also become sources of environmental waste. Read more about reducing waste with sustainable business event planning to make any professional gathering better for the planet.

What Is Sustainable Business Event Planning?

Sustainable business event planning is the act of organizing any event for a professional purpose while prioritizing its many environmental impacts. Eco-friendly event planners consider the planet’s well-being during every step of planning and executing events.

Why Is Sustainability Important in Event Planning?

Planning more eco-conscious corporate events is crucial for numerous reasons. These are the primary motivators for people making every business gathering better for the planet.

It Makes Companies Greener

Small and large brands all generate trash. Events may increase their average waste by requiring more supplies, attendees, travel and food. Given how sustainability is a top priority for 65% of enterprises, professional events may work against that interest if not planned with the planet in mind.

It Impresses Eco-Friendly Consumers

The latest research shows 78% of consumers prioritize sustainability in their personal lives. They won’t want to buy from or work for an organization that conflicts with that foundational lifestyle value. When corporate events become greener, they meet the needs of sustainably-minded employees, and impress consumers researching companies before purchasing products or services.

It Satisfies Sustainable Investors

Investors want their financial contributions to match their personal goals. A brand with sustainably-minded investors can improve its green practices to better align with its investors’ values. Refining event planning and execution strategies is another way to meet that need in addition to internal practices.

It Leads to More Thoroughly Planned Events

Paying closer attention to what makes each event greener makes every detail more critical. Every decision’s social, environmental, economic and ethical implications require in-depth research when putting an event together. The resulting gathering may present fewer last-minute challenges because the leadership team thought through each step.

Reducing Waste With Sustainable Business Event Planning
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Tips for Reducing Waste With Sustainable Event Planning

Use these ideas to make sustainable business event planning feel effortless. They outline the basic steps for hosting eco-friendly professional gatherings and remove any guesswork in making each event better for the planet.

1. Market the Event Digitally

Many organizations send event invites to employees or consumers through email. Other marketing strategies might rely on single-use resources. Printing posters to hang around town or the office adds to the deforestation destroying global biomes. Marketing the event with digital flyers and online ads is much better for the Earth and provides helpful data regarding each marketing campaign’s success.

2. Select Venues With Sustainable Construction

Any business event happening away from the primary headquarters requires extra consideration. The planning team should choose a venue made of earth-friendly materials. They’ll know the venue didn’t harm the planet during construction and won’t pollute during its use.

Sustainable buildings may also use fewer natural resources in the long term. A building made with eco-friendly fabric can provide 16%–19% more translucency, reducing its daily electricity usage to power lights within each room. Seemingly minor details like a building’s structural design or materials can make it the greenest venue for any upcoming event.

3. Power Events With Green Energy

Venues hosting professional events can use green energy to make every gathering better for the environment. The planning team could choose a venue powered by solar panels or local wind farms to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. If an enterprise’s plans mostly happen in their own building, the leadership team might look into optimizing its own property with green energy resources for long-term environmental benefits.

Event planning teams with bigger budgets and more unique hosting spaces can look into even more creative green electricity options. Installing a temporary kinetic floor underneath an outdoor event tent would generate electricity as everyone walked across each panel. A rental brand can arrange installation and deconstruction if they’re in the area.

Stand-alone power sources are also helpful. Outdoor light fixtures with solar-charged external batteries would provide the same amount of light without plugging into an electrical outlet. A wind-powered generator could provide enough electricity for a food truck outside of headquarters. Getting creative is essential to sustainable business event planning because so many options exist to make any gathering more eco-friendly.

4. Utilize Energy-Efficient Tools

Every event needs tools to be successful. Looking into an upcoming one’s resources and finding energy-efficient alternatives would make it much greener. The planning team could rent equipment like standing speakers that use modern technology to reduce electricity consumption.

Swapping the light bulbs in an event space to light-emitting diode (LED) technology could provide more light while minimizing the electricity necessary to provide that light. Energy-Star-certified tools like microphones, tablets and even projectors are other creative ways to make an event greener without limiting necessary hosting resources.

Trying options like these at an upcoming event creates a good opportunity for test-running future office supplies. If guests enjoy the brightness of their LED bulbs, the company hosting the event could use them to power all internal light fixtures within their offices. It would make the brand greener in the long run and simultaneously help with the upcoming event.

5. Provide Virtual Attendance Options

Researchers estimate 30% of personal flier miles result in long-distance business travel. Enterprises could significantly reduce their gathering’s carbon footprint by allowing people to attend virtually. Attendees wouldn’t have to fly in for the event or contribute to the fossil fuels burned during their trip.

This option also expands the guest list to make any event more successful. People from outside the brand could pay a virtual ticket fee to access the livestream. This would generate more revenue without requiring extra seating or creating more carbon emissions via travel.

6. Schedule Company Travel Arrangements

When virtual attendance isn’t possible, event planners can minimize their guests’ fossil fuel usage by organizing sponsored travel. If every attendee gets a ticket for the same flight or train ride, they won’t make individual trips to the venue. Consolidating the fuel necessary to transport everyone reduces the adverse impacts of the event’s related carbon emissions.

7. Use Fair-Trade Supplies

Event planners giving away prizes or free branded swag can buy those items from Fair-Trade-certified vendors. A Fair Trade certification means the manufacturer behind a product met the environmental standards of the Fair Trade organization. It holds brands to high standards so consumers know an item came from ethical manufacturing, eco-friendly materials and responsible business practices.

Any prizes with this certification would ensure the materials didn’t harm the planet during manufacturing or production. It would also make the event more ethical by guaranteeing favorable working conditions for those behind the manufacturing process.

8. Buy Local Food

Any gatherings providing meals and snacks can work with nearby caterers for the menu. Buying from those using local food means the food won’t burn as many fossil fuels during transportation.

Local farms may also have independent practices that better align with an organization’s green values. Farmers could choose to use eco-friendly fertilizers, reduce their water usage and prioritize the planet with other green farming strategies compared to industrial farms. Every bite will be more delicious when guests know it’s just as green as their values and the enterprise’s professional standards.

9. Arrange Event Recycling

Many local recycling companies work with event planners to establish receptacles and pick-up times. They benefit from the short contracts while the hosts get to arrange a greener event. Teams planning a professional event of any size can contact recycling brands around their booked venue to get quotes.

If the space doesn’t already provide recycling options, reaching out helps everyone minimize their overall waste while the event lasts. It may also help professional teams gauge the average costs for recycling services and eventually provide them in offices for daily use.

10. Avoid Single-Use Event Supplies

Single-use event supplies are popular for numerous reasons. They’re budget-friendly and reduce how much work goes into the event. Washing dishes might not be possible at every venue, but that doesn’t mean professional teams are stuck with single-use plastic waste that ends up in landfills.

Event organizers can look into alternatives either from stores near the event venue or brands that ship directly to the event. Compostable dinnerware would be more environmentally friendly than plastic forks or spoons. The team could also provide fabric napkins rather than paper-based napkins. The rental organization might even include washing fees in the quote so the event planning team doesn’t have to arrange laundry services in addition to everything else.

Make Every Business Event Better for the Planet

Sustainable business event planning is a game-changing strategy for brands and consumers. By deciding to organize one with environmentally conscious principles, an organization shows investors, staff and consumers it cares about the world’s well-being. Use these tips to create Earth-friendly gatherings that help the planet, impress sustainably-minded consumers and meet the green standards of any eco-friendly company.

Author Bio

Jack Shaw, the senior writer and editor at Modded, specializes in weaving together the threads of health and wellness with greater concerns about sustainability best practices and industry developments. With a commitment to providing actionable insights and empowering readers, Through his writing, Jack seeks to educate and inspire individuals on their journey toward more eco-friendly decisions. Feel free to connect with him via LinkedIn.