The events industry and sustainability are far from synonymous. Name badges, lanyards, printed itineraries, plastic cups, Glad Wrap-bound trays of finger sandwiches – all hallmarks of a sector that has a tendency to choose single-use over sustainable.
But that’s changing.
Where it was once more time and cost-efficient, particularly for large-scale functions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this ‘disposable’ approach is simply not sustainable.
So, how do you plan more sustainable events?
First things first, cut out the superfluous.
Do people really need printed schedules or can you send mobile-friendly versions?
Do beverages have to be served in disposable cups or can you invite guests to bring their own drink bottles and reusable cups?
Does every guest require an individual menu and place card, or could you use a digital seating chart?
Everything from advertising and decorations to catering and merchandise has the potential to help you minimise your broader environmental impact, so begin by asking yourself if there is a more sustainable alternative for every finer detail.
Here in Victoria, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by a smorgasbord of fresh local produce that feeds cuisines from all over the world. This makes a paddock-to-plate culinary experience a feasible option when it comes to sustainable event planning.
Serving a locally-sourced menu has several environmental benefits that extend far beyond the delicious flavours. For example, the fewer products you need to import, the lower the food miles. And the more consideration put into portion sizes, the less waste you’ll produce.
When it comes to deciding where you host your event, there are sustainable event venues that go above and beyond in the pursuit of prioritising the environment. This means growing their own produce, organically treating waste, and actively reducing and recycling wherever possible.
Opting for a proactively low-impact venue immediately makes your event greener.
Just because a venue’s website says it’s green, doesn’t mean it is.
In an era where ‘greenwashing’ clouds our ability to be conscious consumers, it’s important to look at a venue’s credentials when sustainable event planning. It’s all good and well to say your space is ‘environmentally friendly, but when it comes to being a truly sustainable event venue, you need to be able to walk the walk.
This is where the validation of an external body gives a venue’s sustainable claims legitimacy.
One certification to look for is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award, which verifies the sustainability of spaces. It indicates that behind closed doors, ‘conscious’ fixtures and initiatives such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, LED lighting and double glazing are likely at work.
A venue with a certification like LEED puts you one giant step closer to a lower carbon footprint.
Regardless of the effort that’s gone into shaping a more environmentally conscious event, the commute to and from your function will quickly determine just how sustainable it is.
If attendees need to cross town, travel long distances or use inefficient transport methods, you’re undoing your hard work before the event has even begun.
The simplest way to cut carbon emissions is by selecting a central location. Having an event in reach of buses, trains, trams and short walks is what makes sustainable event status truly attainable.
At the end of the day, the environmental impact of your function largely comes down to where you hold it. And when it comes to hosting sustainable events, we’re proud to say that CENTREPIECE ticks all the boxes.
CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park is one of the city’s most environmentally conscious events venues.
Our advanced AV and technological capabilities – across all five spaces – empower a paper-free event, while our Victorian-first approach to seasonal menus ensures a low-impact supply chain. Immediate access to environmentally-friendly transport options minimises attendees’ and vendors’ carbon emissions, while a LEED Gold certification proves ours is a venue designed with a greener future in mind.
When it comes to hosting more sustainable events, we’ve already done the hard work so you don’t have to.
Speak with our team of event-delivery specialists today.