Research states that 7 out of 10 brands are upping their investment in sustainability. It is now essential that we see this as integral to excellence in event management and production. How do event managers approach this so that the industry benefits and our own company’s reap the rewards?
1. Consider environmental, social and economic issues from the very beginning
Does your business have any specific requirements? Most companies these days have a corporate policy they would like to support and the board may request meaningful KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that they can include in Annual Reports.
2. Be creative
Integrate sustainability throughout the life cycle of the event – into your design, chosen materials and all communications (pre, during and post event) so that corporate values are experienced and you meet the event’s identified objectives.
3. Most sustainability issues link to financial issues
So get the quick wins in the bag…simple measures for maximum return will always be there. Think about transportation, energy, waste, water and purchasing controls when it comes to achieving easy cost savings. Manage your resources to protect your profit margins whilst providing added value to your clients!
4. Conduct a waste audit
Know what you and your team are handling. Is there any hazardous waste on site? And keep in mind that waste begins when we buy (most people forget this.)
5. Comply with the law
Explore www.netregs.gov.uk and find out what legislation applies to your event. Most legal breaches involve incorrect disposal of effluent and illegal waste disposal. This can lead to fines and brand damage. The waste producer, which could well be you, is legally responsible (i.e. not your waste carrier as most people assume).
6. Make sure you risk assess
Assess your event and related supply chain for environmental issues, and make sure controls are in place to mitigate risk. Emergency response procedures are equally as important and make sure you document any incidents so that you can provide an audit trail if necessary and also make sure you identify causes and implement appropriate corrective actions.
7. Give consideration to the venue
Consider the venue and location of your event as this will define what you need to consider as a priority (is it in a park and therefore exposed to the outside elements, a fixed build, or a temporary structure?)
8. Training. Training. Training.
Provide training at all levels, procedures are not worth the paper they are written on if no-one knows about them and what they need to do. Identify Roles, Responsibilities, and Authority so that accountabilities are clearly understood.
Identify your key stakeholders – as well as your own team and any relevant authorities. Make sure you communicate your objectives up, down and across the supply chain. Issue risk and method statements as necessary and collect the objective evidence that is relevant to them. Check that people are doing what they say they are doing and most importantly, get them engaged.
10. Make sure your KPI’s are meaningful
For example, do not just measure KWH (for electrical consumption) – measure KWH per person, so that your benchmark has relevancy and purpose.