3.19 Sustainable events
Make use of a venue’s sustainability features
Whenever you can, choose a venue that has natural light and ventilation and is one that your guests can reach by public transport or pedestrian paths. These features will reduce your need to use artificial lights and air conditioning and provide your guests with transport choices.
We recommend the information you send to guests includes maps, details of train timetables, bus routes, and bike and pedestrian paths.
Eliminate wasted energy
Common sources of event energy waste are lights left on in break-out rooms; digital projectors left on during breaks; and urns left on at high temperatures. An easy solution is to appoint a staff member to take responsibility for eliminating unnecessary lighting, power and equipment use.
Avoid the disposables
Bottled water is expensive and results in unsightly empty bottles that could end up in landfill. Instead, provide jugs of water and glasses (not plastic or polystyrene cups). Similarly, opt for non-disposable cutlery, plates, cups and serving platters. A venue with a commercial dishwasher will easily cope with the cleaning demand and your event will avoid a large amount of waste. Many ACU event spaces have these facilitates available.
Choose a venue that has a recycling service for paper, plastic and aluminium (often called commingled waste) so your guests can use the right bin for recycling.
Provide sustainable food
For a sustainable table, ask your caterer to provide food that has some or all of these characteristics:
- fair trade tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate. These companies pay producers (farmers in developing countries) with a fair price for their product so they can support themselves and their communities
- free-range chickens and pigs that are not confined in cruel enclosures and lead more humane, natural lives
- local and seasonal foods. The less distance food travels to your plate, the lower its environmental impact
- vegetarian foods have a much lower impact on the planet than animal products, so always provide some vegetarian options.
Paper: less is more
Avoid show bags or copious amounts of printed materials. Always question if the printing of brochures or programs is necessary. When printing is necessary, ask the Design team to talk to the printer about using vegetable-based inks and post-consumer recycled content paper if possible.
Consider your impact during all stages of event planning, implementation and execution. Consider the environment wherever there is scope to do so.
Be proud of your efforts
Inform your guests and attendees of your commitment to environmental sustainability. In addition to introducing the function and explaining emergency procedures, state the venue’s resources for good environmental practice, for example, recycling bin locations and the environmental measures you have taken, such as reduced greenhouse emissions or waste minimisation. Clearly label when food is organic, fair trade and/or local.
For any questions, please contact the Sustainability Office.
Page last updated: 2017-12-13
Short url: http://www.acu.edu.au/445600