Meaning: A Sustainable, Zero Waste Event.
Meaning takes sustainability seriously. But they also take seriously the importance of inspiring change amongst attendees.
At Creative Bloom we are helping give Meaning to sustainability by putting policies into practice. Crucially, as an eco-marketing agency, we have also assisted Meaning to spread the word.
Meaning will be a zero avoidable waste, carbon minimised event. It aims to set a benchmark by which it can be measured in future years and seek to engage with people on how to make events sustainable through small changes.
The London 2012 Olympics put in place a series of frameworks to manage the event sustainably. ISO 2012-1 was developed as a result. (For a more detailed practical framework based on ISO 20121, contact Bloom for further guidance)
We have extrapolated a set of principles that are a quick and easy introductory approach. It will help make your next conference, external meeting or event booking a brighter and greener activity. The checklist is partly based on Brighton & Hove City Council Checklist, which forms the basis of the approach by The Dome, Meaning’s event venue.
- Communicate, communicate.
The single biggest way to improve sustainability is to ask your suppliers and talk to your delegates. Explain that this event is to be a green event and waste is to be eliminated or minimised. Have that conversation. We find that simply talking to each other leads to fantastic initiatives and cost saving ideas. Then amplify your measures over social media. Share your approach and gain recognition from your customers. Let them know that you are a responsible business.
2. Measure, measure.
You can’t get everything right first time. But you can measure it. Collect information: the number of fliers printed, the amount of waste generated and the carbon footprint of delegate travel. Then manage it and reduce it in the future. Beat the benchmark.
3. Give delegates information and evidence to make informed decisions.
- Engage with the travel decisions of the attendees in an interactive manner, at the event.
- Help delegates reduce their impact in the town where your event is being held.
- A list of approved suppliers (e.g. the Brighton Council green document) for hotels and events providers.
- Give a list of sustainable cafes/restaurants e.g. members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)
- Provide information on notable retailers or other businesses in the area. For example, in Brighton this would include HiSBE & Infinity Foods.
4. Engage with the venue, the suppliers and the caterers about the following impacts.
- Energy & Water
- Travel & Transport
- Food & Beverages
- Community and Ethical Employment
- Carbon Footprint
- Single-use containers – in particular plastic.
5. Make a list of all of the waste streams you will generate at the event think of ways to reduce them. Consider ALL waste streams, not just what ends up in the bins. Consider the following:
- Design display materials (signs, stands, banners, lanyards) without dates so that they can be reused.
- Think carefully about what publications you are giving to delegates. Will they keep it, or just note your details and throw it away? If so, delegates would probably keep a business card – so why not just give out business cards instead?
- Don’t leave leaflets on tables for people to pick up – most of them end up in the bin.
- Bring products in reusable crates rather than cardboard boxes.
Meaning is the annual gathering for people who believe that business can and must be a force for positive change in our dynamic and volatile world. Curated and hosted by journalist Paul Mason, speakers include the CEO of Good Energy Juliet Davenport and Hilary Jones ethics director at Lush Cosmetics. It’s happening on 17 November at The Brighton Dome & Corn Exchange. Tickets are available here.