Sustainability has become one of the most important concerns in last years, it is such a relevant issue that nowadays it is becoming a mainstay in most companies that are working harder on implementing production systems leading to more sustainable products.
According to experts, companies “must align their business with sustainability. There is no business outside sustainability and there will not be”.
It is a trend that goes beyond corporate social responsibility and which can also be shown in different sectors of activity, such as the organisation of corporate events.
In Spain, a company convention generates a carbon footprint of about 15 tons of CO2 (not counting the attendee trips); a congress with 100 participants travelling from other regions, around 40 tons, while a music festival with 25,000 people, generates around 60 tons of CO2.
The carbon footprint in these events should reflect not only the emissions derived from the celebration of itself but also must take count the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions released into the atmosphere by the development of its activity.
In order to measure the carbon footprint of sustainable events, we must consider three different types of emission levels:
SCOPE 1 EMISSIONS OR DIRECT EMISSIONS
These emissions come from sources owned or coming from the event itself, in which the organisers can determine its reduction. For example, emissions from generators.
SCOPE 2 EMISSIONS OR INDIRECT EMISSIONS FROM ELECTRICITY GENERATION
These are emissions from the consumption of electricity from the supply network, i.e. not from the generator. For example, the emissions generated by the consumption of electricity from household appliances in a catering business.
SCOPE 3: OTHER INDIRECT EMISSIONS
This type of emissions are a consequence of the event’s activities such as emissions derived from the acquisition of materials and fuels, waste treatment, and activities related to the transport of people, goods and equipment.
How to create a sustainable event?
1) Mobility and accessibility
Choose a site well connected to public transport and offer this information in advance to the attendees.
2) Technology, the great ally
All the information of the event can be contained in an app, avoiding the use of paper.
Choose local, seasonal and/or organically grown products. Replace plastic bottles with dispensers and promote the use of reusable containers.
4) Energy and lighting
Make the most of sunlight hours. Choose outdoors spaces or well illuminated by natural light. Make use of low energy bulbs and, of course, if possible get the energy from renewable sources.
5) Waste management
Adjust the resources to the number of people attending the event. Also, avoid single-use plastic and disposable products. If this is unavoidable, you can always look for a recycled and/or biodegradable version of these products.
6) Encourage recycling
Don’t forget to place recycling bins in sight, located in areas of high traffic flow.
7) Offset the carbon footprint of the event
It is really important to offset afterwards those CO2 emissions that could not be reduced.