Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly present in the corporate world, as individuals themselves are more aware of the environmental emergency we are facing.
In this approach, the world of events is often singled out: events by nature are intended to welcome the public (except in the case of virtual events), and they can generate waste and wastefulness. But the good news is that this industry is innovative, and therefore able to improve!
So we've listed a few tips and service providers to help you organize more eco-friendly events! To quickly self-diagnose, ask yourself: what kind of organizer would I be among these three profiles?
- Informed: The Informed event organizer is aware of the ecological repercussions of his activity and will therefore try to move (where possible) towards the most eco-responsible options, by raising awareness among participants and service providers.
- Oriented: An Oriented event organizer will look from the outset for alternatives to as many polluting components of his event as possible: a short-circuit caterer, bamboo or stainless steel straws, reusable decorations, etc. This type of event organizer is clearly prioritizing ecological consciousness.
- Eco-design: An organizer concerned about his/her CSR policy will eco-design an event and focus on environmental issues first and foremost: this is clearly an objective of 0 waste, which can help to address the ISO 20121 standard, which is the most recognized in terms of sustainable events.
The ISO 20121 standard and the charter for eco-responsible events
To standardize the efforts of event organizers in a CSR approach, the ISO 20121 standard was created. It helps to improve the reputation of the company abiding by it and aids in applying a sustainable methodology for its events.
What are its key points?
- Identifying and collaborating with eco-responsible partners and service providers.
- Establish and document a CSR policy with roles and responsibilities assigned to management.
- Identify and assess the issues at stake and then define concrete action plans to pursue these issues.
- Ensuring that the necessary resources and the right level of competence of stakeholders are made available for effective action.
- Monitoring and optimizing process performance through internal audits and management reviews.
The charter of eco-responsible events :
Why not set up your own eco-responsible event-organizer chart? This document will allow you to improve your employer brand and really evolve your structure to an ecological and societal approach. Here are some ideas and commitments that you could easily implement:
- X% (e.g. 80%) of transportation to your events must be by public transportation.
- X% of your service providers must be committed to a CSR approach.
- 1 action to promote parity between men and women when organizing and welcoming your guests to your events.
- 1 sustainable development referent in your company.
- 1 action program over 6 months to make your employees or guests aware of sustainable development.
- 60% of disposable utensils must have been recycled or reused.
- 1 program to ensure that all your events are accessible to the disabled.
- Mandatory organization of selective sorting in all your events.
- Use short circuit caterers and avoid food waste.
- Donate unsold goods to charities
- Reuse your booths and decorations for several events
- Replace bottled water with water fountains (and why not offer an eco-friendly French Gobi bottle as a bonus?).
- Gather opinions and new ideas from your participants on the sustainability approach you have put in place.
- Find partnerships with Green Key hotels (synonymous with a strong commitment to sustainable development) near your event.
- Use of reusable dishes to limit the ecological footprint.
- Carry out carbon assessments of your events in a logic of follow-up and continuous improvement.
Good ideas to make your events better for the participants and for the planet:
Some event service providers have understood the need for a committed approach, focused on more progress and less plastic.
- For your stands :
Ephemere Square offers reusable stands made of eco-responsible materials.
- For food waste and catering :
The Phenix association redistributes unused food destined to be thrown away.
- For goodies and equipment :
Try to use reusable accessories (such as the famous Ecocup festival glasses) and for corporate events, why not offer an eco-responsible Gobi water bottle to your guests or employees?
For the distribution of goodies within your events or onboarding within your company, companies such as Panopli and Ta belle Mer allow you to choose a simple and ecological alternative to the usual solutions.
- For transportation :
You can make your guests aware of the carbon cost of their travels with the GoodPlanet travel calculator.
- For flyers and communication :
Favor digitized event management solutions (such as Digitevent) with integrated emailing solutions rather than printing flyers to promote your event.
What about Digitevent?
At Digitevent, we are also trying, at our level, to manage our own actions...
We have chosen servers that run on renewable energy, both internally and during the deployment of our SaaS solution on the cloud and the creation of our customers' sites.
We use our own crockery (no disposable cutlery at home): we have banned asking for it in the (excellent) restaurants in the neighborhood.
We use recycled paper to print our documents and we obviously limit our paper prints as much as we can.
We ride our bicycles, use public transport, or carpool to get to the office or to appointments.
We also try to limit our energy consumption as much as possible and we sort our waste, while our offices are cleaned with healthy and environmentally friendly products.
As you can see, there are often service providers hired to organize more eco-responsible events, so what are you waiting for to become an actor of change too?