Commitment to Sustainable Conferences
At NetNada, we are committed to promoting sustainable practices in event planning and management. In this article, we will delve into the significance of hosting sustainable conferences and provide you with valuable insights on how to organise sustainable events. Our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to not only make a positive impact on the environment but also enhance your event's reputation and attract a climate-conscious audience.
Why Sustainable Conferences Matter
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and businesses and organisations are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their environmental impact. Hosting sustainable conferences demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and positions you as a leader in your industry. By implementing eco-friendly practices, you can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your event and inspire others to follow suit.
1. Venue Selection
Choosing a sustainable venue is crucial to hosting an eco-friendly conference. Look for venues that prioritise renewable energy sources, have efficient waste management systems, and utilise green building practices. Additionally, opt for locations that offer easy access to public transportation to minimise carbon emissions from travel.
2. Waste Management
Implementing effective waste management practices is essential to reduce the environmental impact of your event. Encourage recycling by providing clearly labeled recycling bins throughout the conference venue. Minimise single-use plastics by offering reusable water bottles and promoting the use of compostable or biodegradable food containers.
3. Energy Efficiency
Reducing energy consumption not only benefits the environment but also helps lower costs. Consider using energy-efficient lighting and equipment throughout the event. Encourage speakers and attendees to turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Additionally, explore the possibility of utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines to power your conference.
4. Sustainable Catering
Food and beverage choices can have a significant impact on the overall sustainability of your event. Prioritise locally sourced, organic, and seasonal ingredients to minimise transportation emissions and support local farmers. Offer vegetarian and vegan options to cater to diverse dietary preferences and reduce the environmental footprint associated with meat production.
You can see the impact of changing catering options in our NetNada Carbon Emissions Event Calculator.
5. Transportation and Accommodation
Encourage attendees to choose sustainable transportation options, such as carpooling or using public transportation, by providing information and incentives. Collaborate with hotels that have eco-friendly practices in place, such as energy-saving initiatives and recycling programs.
The Benefits of Hosting Sustainable Events
By prioritizing sustainability in your conferences, you can reap various benefits that extend beyond environmental conservation:
- Positive Brand Image: Hosting sustainable conferences showcases your commitment to sustainability, enhancing your brand's reputation and attracting environmentally conscious attendees and partners.
- Cost Savings: Implementing energy-efficient practices and minimizing waste can lead to significant cost savings, allowing you to allocate resources to other aspects of your event.
- Networking Opportunities: Sustainable events often attract like-minded individuals and organizations, creating valuable networking opportunities and fostering collaboration in the realm of sustainability.
- Attendee Engagement: Sustainable conferences provide a platform to educate and engage attendees on pressing environmental issues, inspiring them to take action and make a positive difference.
Carbon offsetting – an option for sustainable conferences and events
In a perfect world, a zero-waste, carbon-positive conference could take place without offsetting. We don’t live in that world yet. When budgeting for a conference, set aside funds for carbon offsets.
It’s fast and easy to calculate the carbon footprint of your event and offset the emissions with NetNada. Just add data about the attendees, travel, waste, energy, food for NetNada to automatically calculate the event-associated emissions.
If you prefer not to take on the costs of offsetting your conference emissions, you can strategically find opportunities for partners and sponsors. This is an opportunity for sponsors to get in front of attendees that are already thinking about their environmental impact.
The other option is to share the cost of offsetting with your attendees. This can be done pre-event as part of ticket sales or post event in an activation campaign.
Programs like Solar Slice add a proportion of live event ticket sales into sustainability program. Engaging both the ticket seller and the attendees.
Sustainability and Carbon Neutral certifications in Australia
Not every event and conference needs to be certified in order to be sustainable. At NetNada we like to say that sustainability is just a word, it needs action. With that being said, often it is necessary to have strong credentials to communicate your impact with attendees, sponsors, and partners.
NetNada calculations aligns with the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Events is a voluntary certification that verifies that emissions and carbon neutrality for single day or multi day events.
Add Touch Points To Educate Attendees on the Sustainable Efforts
It's the small details that remain imprinted in the memories of conference and event participants long after the presentations have concluded. Consider the following approaches to curate an unforgettable and sustainable experience:
- Collaborate with an e-bike program to inspire conference-goers to discover the city on two wheels.
- Craft a warm welcome email (or package made of seed paper) showcasing eco-friendly eateries and coffee shops.
- Incorporate sustainable tourist attractions to contribute to the city's sustainability initiatives and boost local revenue.
- Dedicate a tree planting for each attendee or offset event emissions. You can include this expense in the ticket price and inform participants about it.
- Develop a comprehensive impact report post-event to foster transparency and build trust. If the event recurs annually, include your sustainable vision for future years.
- Allocate speaking slots to sustainability professionals in your industry during the conference.
As the demand for sustainable practices continues to grow, hosting sustainable conferences is not only an ethical choice but also a strategic one. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can organise environmentally friendly events that make a positive impact while gaining a competitive edge. Embrace sustainability, lead by example, and contribute to a greener and more responsible future