Addressing sustainable and ethical issues can seem daunting for businesses. From palm oil to plastic, what to avoid can seem confusing and costly. However, every small change adds up and makes a positive impact on our planet. No matter how small the change seems, it is always worth making.
At Event Essex, we have been working hard to make our events at the University of Essex more mindful and conscious of sustainable issues. We are proud to have been awarded the Green Impact project award for our work around making our summer conferences more sustainable. We wanted to share a few ideas based on what we have found works well for ethical events.
Here are three easy to implement tips from us on how to make your events more sustainable:
Keep it local
Sourcing local suppliers means a reduction in carbon emissions due to the produce needing less transportation. The less food miles a product travels, the less of an environmental impact it will have on the planet. Buying from local suppliers also helps the local area and facilitates making business links with companies nearby. Another great idea to help reduce the number of food miles you accumulate to is to buy your products in bulk and store them. This is a simple tip that reduces the number of deliveries needed and thus helps planet Earth. Buying in bulk can also help to save money, so is an easy tip worth considering if you have the storage space.
Keep it recyclable
Packaging can be a major ethical issue – from food containers to fruit juice cartons, plastic packaging seems to be hard to avoid. However, here at Event Essex we have reduced the amount of packaging we dispose of by removing all black plastic, requesting plastic lunch trays be returned to be reused and switching to Vegware products. Vegware cups and plates are made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials, and can all be commercially composted with food waste. Not only has this reduced the amount of disposable plastic that we use, it has also reduced our palm oil use.
Keep it refillable
In the past, finding a way to make sure every delegate had water available to them at an event could mean the use of large quantities of single use plastic water bottles. Here at Event Essex we now encourage delegates to bring refillable water bottles and direct them to fill the bottles up at the water fountains on campus. This eradicates the use of single use plastic and saves money on catering costs. Other options for our customers include providing water in glass bottles with glasses to drink out of, meaning there is no waste from the process.
We hope you feel that making sustainable changes to your business does not have to be a complete change in the way you operate or a huge extra cost. Your customers and the planet will be grateful for every small, conscious choice you make.
If you have any stories of how you have implemented ethical changes or have suggestions for the way we can continue to address ethical issues, please get in touch. Complete our contact form here or give us a call on 01206 872358 – we hope to hear from you soon.