With reports of warming seas, melting ice caps, and unprecedented plastic pollution, it’s no surprise that many companies have made tackling climate change one of their top priorities.
As more companies focus on improving their environmental footprint, a rising interest in sustainability in the events industry has started to gain steam.
If you want to learn more about how to make an event sustainable, there are plenty of ways to ensure your next corporate gathering is as green as possible. From the early planning stages to the post-event cleanup, there are several steps along the way that your company can take in order to ensure sustainability is a key focus.
From ticketless check-in to plant-based menus, here are some simple ways you can transform your company’s next event into an eco-friendly success.
One of the easiest ways to set a sustainable agenda from the start is to eliminate all paper materials related to your event. With today’s technology, it’s simpler than ever to deliver all invitations and tickets electronically, either via e-mail or through a custom app that attendees can download beforehand.
Aside from ticketing and invites, you can further eliminate paper waste by getting rid of other printed materials like flyers, speaker bios, panel information, meeting agendas, additional reading, and other communication materials. Instead, make sure all of this information is readily available electronically on your company event’s website or app.
A large number of companies have pledged to eliminate all single-use plastics within the next few years. Stay ahead of the curve and set an example by banning all single-use plastics from your next event to help make it sustainable.
Eliminate all plastic straws, cups, and cutlery, and instead offer everything in reusable materials such as glass, metal, or biodegradable paper. You can also get rid of any unnecessary plastic coverings and packaging on food or utensils.
Make sure all of your event’s banners, signage, goodie bags, and name tags are plastic-free. Instead of balloons, use paper banners and other decorations made from sustainable and recyclable materials.
Consider setting up water coolers and coffee stations in several areas around the venue to encourage attendees to use refillable cups or containers. A metallic water bottle that attendees can reuse later makes for a fantastic event takeaway, which can be emblazoned with your company’s logo and works to promote your event’s sustainable agenda, too.
Whether you’re partnering with a caterer or handling the food and beverage in house, there are sustainable touches you can include throughout your planning process.
Start by being mindful of the ingredients you serve. Try and choose fresh produce from local vendors and farms, favor non-GMO ingredients, and offer several vegetarian or plant-based items on the menu.
Keep in mind that eating a diet high in plant-based foods and low on meat is said to have a significantly lower environmental impact on the planet. If your event lasts for a few days, take a page from the Meatless Mondays movement and assign one day when you only offer plant-based foods on the menu.
When looking for a corporate event venue, choose a place that can host all of your activities, such as panels, meetings, lunch, and entertainment, within the same area.
Keeping your event’s activities limited to one venue will help reduce the carbon footprint of your attendees, since they won’t have to shuttle from one place to the next in a car or taxi.
For example, pick a place where you can easily host a large information session in one area, then walk over to lunch in another room, and finish off with an entertaining performance in an outdoor area nearby. By doing so, you’ve eliminated the need for any form of transportation throughout the day.
When thinking of how to make an event sustainable, timing is everything. Choose a date during months when the weather is mild, and host your event at a venue with a large outdoor area to take advantage of sunny days and warm (but not too hot) temperatures.
Not only will this allow your attendees to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery around them and breathe in some fresh air, but it also minimizes the excess use of air conditioning and heating that takes place when you host an event indoors in extreme temperatures.
Partner with venues that value eco-friendly practices like recycling, composting, and limiting food waste.
Find out if they emphasize energy efficiency by using smart technology, such as lighting controlled by key cards and smart temperature controls.
If you need to book a venue where guests will be spending at least one night, find out if their accommodations and bathrooms have refillable soap and toiletries dispensers and sustainable towel and linen cleaning procedures.
Now that you’ve taken steps to reduce your carbon footprint and waste, it’s time to tackle the other two essential Rs in sustainability: recycling and reusing.
Set up clearly marked recycling bins throughout your event’s venue. Offer recycling stations for different types of materials, such as paper, plastic, glass, and composting. Make it easy for your attendees to understand which type of bin they should use by labeling each of them with pictures and examples of the types of discarded items that go inside each bin.
As for reusing, partner up with local charitable organizations that repurpose decorations and other materials. Instead of throwing away all of those flowers or decorative greenery you only used for a few hours, donate them and bring a touch of beauty to your local hospital, women’s shelter, or senior living home.
Consider doing the same with any unused or extra food and partner up with a local organization that can donate it to a nearby food bank or shelter.
If you want to go the extra mile, pledge to only work with vendors who have environmental certifications (such as LEED and Green Star) or companies with strong sustainability initiatives.
At Celebrity Cruises, conserving the health of our planet and our oceans is part of our company’s mission. We continuously aim to further improve our environmental efforts by reducing our energy consumption and emissions, improving our waste management, and enacting efficient water conservation practices. Our Edge-series ships, the newest vessels in our fleet, are all equipped with solar power technology, high-efficiency appliances, and advanced wastewater purification systems.
In 2016, we partnered up with the World Wildlife Fund to help maintain the long-term health of our oceans. Together, we are working on reducing our environmental footprint, raising awareness on ocean conservation efforts, and supporting ocean conservation work around the world.
At Celebrity, we’re also dedicated to preserving the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands. Our Celebrity Flora ship was specifically designed to leave as little environmental impact on the protected environs of the Galapagos as possible. It features a dynamic positioning system that allows the ship to stay stationed without having to use anchors, a powerful solar panel energy supply, and a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis process that converts seawater into fresh water.
Now that you’ve learned all about sustainability in the events industry, it’s time to start planning your next eco-friendly corporate event with Celebrity Cruises.
Our ships are outfitted with sustainable details such as LED lighting, key-card-powered electricity, and high-efficiency appliances, making them the perfect venue for your next event. We also offer the convenience of hosting your event all within one spectacular location, where you can hold informative panels, host a delicious lunch, and later enjoy an entertaining performance outside.
Learn more about our corporate event venues at sea on our website. Our ships are the perfect destination for luxury corporate retreats, conferences, product launches, trade shows, and fundraisers.
For more information, contact us at 1-800-722-5934 or request a quote on our website.