How COVID has impacted event sustainability

Make your events more sustainable post COVID

Event sustainability has been a higher priority for brands and consumers for a while, but the pandemic bought it into a sharper focus.

During this period brands and event organisers have had time to think about their priorities and better understand the importance of reducing their impact on the wider world.

COVID will however also make sustainability even more challenging with the need for single use plastics and throw away items for example. These are very real challenges and ones that need to be considered in plans for 2021 and beyond.

There is though, an opportunity for brands to make small, but continuous steps in improving what they do. There are plenty of options you can consider, but you don’t need to tackle everything at once. To start, choose what’s having the biggest impact and set realistic goals for how to reduce it. Here is some advice from our whitepaper called ‘The Future of Connected Brand Experiences 2021’.

5 ways to make your event activation sustainable

  1. Travel and transport

If cars or shuttle minibuses are necessary, look into electric and hybrid options. Promote public transport links to and within the area, share any cycling opportunities including routes, hire and docking stations. For events with international delegates look into eco-flight options, or better still train travel for your guests and your events team.

  1. Energy and power

Check venue renewable energy credentials (i.e. solar panels), or energy saving initiatives. Investigate alternative fuel green generators. Maximise use of on-site resources to reduce deliveries and trucking. Employ local infrastructure suppliers to alleviate emissions and congestion. Local production and tech crew can also minimise extra travel.

  1. Standards and offsetting

Confirm contractors and suppliers have their own sustainability policy, and track and analyse production and participant travel to measure the carbon footprint of the event. The event and/or production can then be offset or even made climate positive through the planting of trees, or other similar initiatives.

  1. Hybrid and virtual

In the post-COVID world, most events have a significant digital component. This does help limit carbon emissions but does not absolve brands of the need for sustainability, and you may, for example, want to ensure that your digital activations are accessible and inclusive to groups such as the partially sighted.

  1. After the event

Brands can consider activations and workshops that help visitors to take away practical ideas and tools to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle at home and beyond the event itself.

What we’re doing

As an agency we try and track the carbon footprint of every event we manage and are either offsetting or looking where we can cut the carbon. We belong to Ecologi and isla to help minimise our environmental impact as a business.

We can always do more, but it’s an important part of us living our sustainability policy.