What Are the Positive and Negative Environmental Impacts of Events?
We’re living in an age where there are increasing concerns about how human behaviour is damaging planet Earth. To safeguard future generations we must collectively address the environmental impact of our actions.
Business practices can have a significant impact on the environment, which is why it’s paramount to adopt sustainable event management practices. By doing so you can more effectively reduce waste, conserve energy, and ultimately fine-tune an eco-friendly approach.
As someone responsible for organising events, the likelihood is you’ll have a lot on your plate. From liaising with vendors to implementing everything necessary to ensure your attendees have an unforgettable experience, the likelihood is you’ll have a lot on your plate. However, nothing should come at the expense of overlooking the impact your event will have on the environment.
Events can generate a significant amount of waste, consume natural resources, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. However, by taking heed of the advice offered throughout this article, you’ll be positioned to embrace practical tips on how to reduce your event’s carbon footprint. We’ll outline the steps to minimising environmental degradation so that whether you’re planning a small meeting or a large festival you can make your event more sustainable. Let’s begin by looking at how your event can achieve a positive environmental impact:
Planning An Event: How to Attain a Positive Environmental Impact
Despite often getting a bad reputation, events can have a range of positive environmental impacts, including promoting sustainability, reducing waste, conserving energy and water resources, protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and raising awareness about environmental issues.
An environmentally aware event encourages green transportation like walking, cycling, or public transportation. Most importantly, you can make a resounding positive environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution.
By implementing sustainable practices like using TRACE by isla, you can minimise your event’s negative impact on the environment and contribute to the protection and preservation of natural resources. TRACE provides real-time impact reports, empowering you to support your clients and stakeholders with accurate environmental cost data from your event. Moreover, sustainable events can enhance the reputation and credibility of the organisers, a fantastic way to provide reassurance and engage your target audience with an environmentally conscious outlook.
The positive environmental impact of events can generate several benefits, such as cost savings, increased public awareness, improved brand image, and enhanced community relations. Sustainable events can provide opportunities for innovation and creativity and foster partnerships with trusted collaborators. To attain the positive environmental impact of events, you can focus on adopting the following sustainable practices:
- Conduct an environmental impact assessment and develop an environmental management plan
- Reduce waste by using recycled or biodegradable materials
- Implement a waste management plan
- Conserve energy and water by using renewable energy sources
- Implement energy-efficient and water-saving measures
- Promote green transportation options like cycling, walking, or public transportation
- Protect biodiversity and ecosystems by avoiding damage to natural habitats
- Minimise the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides
- Raise awareness about environmental issues by integrating sustainability measures
By embracing these approaches you’ll be one step closer to promoting an environmentally aware event. It’s great to be able to operate within a business setting where you can maintain peace of mind and proceed with a clear conscience. Not only this but you’ll be more likely to attract attention if you’re promoting an event as green. Prospective attendees will gravitate towards events that promote eco-friendly initiatives, so if you manage to accomplish this and promote your positive steps you’ll be better off all around.
How Can the Events Industry Be More Environmentally Friendly?
So why is the events industry subject to environmental concerns? Well, conventionally events require high energy consumption, wastage, and emissions. However, the industry can also play a crucial role in promoting sustainability and mitigating its negative effects on the environment.
There are many things to consider en route to ensuring the events industry is environmentally friendly. If not managed properly, waste generation, depletion of natural resources, and carbon emissions can damage the environment. There are indirect influences to consider too, including the travel requirements for attendees and suppliers to reach the location and the transportation of relevant goods and services.
Alongside implementing an ecologically sound infrastructure with a keen focus on reducing environmental impact, you’ll have ample opportunities to spread awareness. From an all-encompassing perspective, doing so can influence people’s behaviour for the better. With a view to the long term, it’s crucial to communicate the importance of acting in an environmentally responsible way. Raising public awareness and speaking through positive actions is a great way to secure the survival of future generations.
You can even organise eco-fairs, green conferences, and sustainability-themed festivals. If you’re coordinating an event about something else, you can incorporate some eco-friendly elements to further promote the preservation of natural resources. This could involve, for example, setting up a stall that covers the relevant information surrounding your social responsibility. Providing you communicate your efforts to be more environmentally friendly, whether that’s sustainable transportation, renewable energy sources, or waste reduction, you’ll be promoting a positive message that elevates your company image to respectable heights.
A great way to reduce waste and carbon emissions is by introducing a waste management plan that includes recycling and composting, and by using tools like TRACE by isla. TRACE helps you understand your impact quicker, providing guidance on additional information you may need to generate your impact report. Recycling is a fantastic way to reuse resources that would otherwise further contribute to harm. You can also promote sustainable transportation options like cycling, walking, and public transport and receive further endorsement if you can get your team on board. The more you focus on the environment the more ethical your practices will become. Additionally, if you have an opportunity to use renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, these can be a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of events.
You should always prioritise sustainability and communicate with relevant parties to ensure this becomes a core focus of your business. Once you’ve accomplished this it will be more viable to set sustainability goals and measure their environmental impact. Consider implementing sustainable practices in every aspect of event planning and execution. This is a great way to ensure the events industry plays a critical role in promoting environmental stewardship, a path to a brighter, more sustainable future.
Event attendees can lessen carbon emissions by leveraging sustainable transport options. Additionally, event organisers can use TRACE by isla to calculate the carbon emissions from an event and take steps to remove or reduce an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere. Walking, cycling, public transport, carpooling with others, or choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle are all sensible choices. Additionally, attendees can reduce their carbon footprint by choosing local accommodation and food options, reducing waste by using reusable water bottles and bags and offsetting carbon emissions through reputable carbon offset programs.
Virtual events are another way to reduce the carbon footprint of events. These eliminate the need for attendees to travel, something that greatly reduces energy consumption and minimises waste generation. Video conferencing and other digital technologies can help virtual events reach a wider audience while reducing the overall environmental impact. If a physical event is preferred, you can focus your attention on energy-efficient lighting, renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, and reducing waste through recycling and composting. Event planners can also source locally produced food and drink, encourage attendees to use public transportation or ride-sharing services, and choose eco-friendly materials for promotional items and event signage.
Carbon offsetting is a practice where the carbon emissions from an event are calculated and an equivalent amount of carbon is removed or reduced from the atmosphere. Many carbon offsetting programs are independently verified and transparent. Choosing a reliable, verifiable offsetting program can help you promote sustainability.
Choosing a venue with green credentials is a great way to ensure an event is hosted in an environmentally responsible fashion. The venue should be aligned with the event’s sustainability goals to ensure it’s executed with a minimal negative impact on the environment. Tools like TRACE by isla can help in measuring and minimising the carbon footprint of the event. The venue should be aligned with the event’s sustainability goals to ensure it’s executed with a minimal negative impact on the environment. Sustainable events consider the entire life cycle of an event, from planning to execution and beyond. Carefully vet the venue you choose and you’ll be poised to demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility, promote environmental awareness, and inspire attendees to embrace sustainable practices in their everyday lives.
Here are some tips on how to recycle and reduce waste during events:
- Provide clearly labelled recycling bins throughout the event space
- Use reusable or biodegradable items like plates, cups, and utensils
- Provide water refill stations to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles
- Encourage attendees to bring their own reusable bags and containers
- Work with vendors and suppliers to reduce waste and packaging
- Compost food waste and use it for gardening or landscaping purposes
By adopting these measures you can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, naturally preserve resources, and reduce energy consumption. These are crucial steps because they’ll encourage attendees to take responsibility for their waste.
What Are the Negative Environmental Consequences of Traditional Business Events?
Carbon emissions at events can contribute to the following negative environmental consequences:
- Increased global temperatures leading to more extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, and floods.
- Melting of glaciers and sea ice, which can lead to sea level rise, flooding, and displacement of coastal communities
- Ocean acidification can harm marine ecosystems and disrupt the food chain
- Increased air pollution can harm human health and the environment
If the potential of these disastrous outcomes rearing their ugly head isn’t a big enough incentive to promote environmental sustainability, I don’t know what is!
Events can have both positive and negative environmental impacts. It is important to recognise the negative impact of events and take affirmative action to minimise them. The success of events should not come at the cost of our environment, so we must strive to promote sustainability in all aspects of event planning and execution. With the help of tools like TRACE by isla, Eclipse Global is committed to creating events that are not only unforgettable but also kind to our planet.
If you’re seeking a responsible event management company that can convert your ideas into reality, you should consider working with an environmentally conscious institution like Eclipse Global. In partnership with isla, a body dedicated to accelerating the event industry’s transition to a sustainable future, Eclipse Global is utilising TRACE, the event industry’s first real-time carbon impact reporting tool. This tool is designed to measure and minimise carbon footprints at live, hybrid, and digital events, making sustainable events more achievable.