5. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING VENUE SPACES?
Creating an overarching branding strategy and incorporating it into all aspects of your event with the intention of inspiring your guests to act sustainably, will make it a unique, immersive experience that they will want to share and remember.
Engage in a dialogue with the venues about sustainability measures and set high standards for the climate profile of the event. Sustainability often spurs innovative ideas and solutions (and often cuts costs). Drive up demand for ambitious sustainability to make it the new standard!
6. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING SUSTAINABLE ACCOMMODATION?
Check the national and international sustainable standards of hotels. Evaluate how willing they are (or not) to play an active role in your guests' experience: are they happy to support your sustainability efforts or would they prefer to stick to their own standards?
7. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL & TRANSPORT?
Copenhagen is a city perfect for green transportation solutions. For airport transfers or in-city transport, ensure to identify the most sustainable options: walking, cycling, public transport, electric cars, taxis and buses and look to create partnerships when possible. This can become a key part of your event’s green strategy.
The Copenhagen market is short on fossil fuel-free busses, so plan well ahead if you need to transport a larger group by bus.
Identify at a very early stage how you want to calculate and to compensate for the transportation emissions of your event. Make it a priority and raise awareness on the registration platform, on your website and on the event’s app. If you are dealing with a large number of international guests, consider tracking modes of travel on the registration platform in good time.
8. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING SUSTAINABLE FOOD?
The key is to establish a partnership with the caterer and to co-create the offer. Choose seasonal and local products, and organic ones when possible. Adapt the offer so that food waste is kept to a minimum at buffets. The easiest way to lower the carbon footprint associated with catering is to serve only vegetarian food and to include several vegan options.
Part of the success is ensuring that your delegates know why you’ve made that choice. Be an educator and share information -- such as the event’s CO2 impact -- in a simple and visual way with your guests. This is how they can become more aware and adapt their behaviour accordingly. You could include the origin and quality of the food and encourage them to take two servings, rather than not to be able to finish their plate. Using tap water and avoiding single use items should also be promoted throughout. Because this all was presented as a sustainability decision, we receive no complaint from anyone. On the contrary, these catering choices were praised as “walking the talk”.
We worked with the venue, who weighed the wasted food each day, and we sought to raise awareness about the wasted food the following summit day.
9. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF MATERIALS AND COMMUNICATION?
Strive to apply the “reduce, reuse, recycle” principle to all stages of your event: before, during and after. Deliver a close to zero-paper event: avoid any leaflets or brochures, limit printing to only the necessary paperwork, avoid goodies, collect waste, recycle, and make all this policy visible so that everyone can endorse yours efforts and contribute on an individual level.
Use digital options wherever possible: screens instead of paper signage, tablet computers instead of paper (registration, seating plans, etc.).
Scenography can also be built using all the above principles: local and recyclable materials, plants and flowers, no single use plastic, etc.
10. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ORGANISERS REGARDING SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
Having a socially responsible approach implies not only paying attention to all possible environmentally friendly solutions, but also to the inclusive ones. Ask yourself: who are the people behind these products? It may surprise you how many amazing ideas and actions a little curiosity can lead to. By asking yourself that question you can contribute to social inclusion and an ethical, local circular economy. Making your guests aware of your creative solutions and your commitment to inclusion will in turn make them direct supporters, and hopefully later direct promoters, of local socially inclusive quality projects. This in turn can give a great sense of meaning to your event. It is this unique pursuit of social justice and taking responsibility as an organisation that will make people remember you. Not simply being professional event organisers, but event organisers with a purpose, will make you stand out.