Making Events Sustainable – Where to Start

We appreciate there are many areas to think about when it comes to delivering a greener event. Some events are already making positive changes towards reducing their environmental impact, however there is a long way to go across the sector. EventLambeth want to help all event organisers move in the right direction and have put together a list of actions to start things off.

It is important to remember simple changes and good planning in the early stages can make a big difference. Look at all areas of your event; energy, water, waste and recycling, products, suppliers, staff, promotion and travel. Keep in mind you will also need to think about how this fits into procurement processes, contracting suppliers, front of house plans, back of house operations and how attendees behave at your event.

Getting Started:

  1. First do some research, there is a wealth of information and ideas out there on how to make your event greener.
  2. Read the Lambeth Green Guide to Events. This will give you a clear understanding of all the areas you need to consider and build into your planning process. All events are required to meet the ‘Essential’ criteria.
  3. Review your event section by section – look at waste, water, travel, energy, food and serve-ware. Think about the current impact of the event and identify key areas you need to make changes.
  4. Involve your contractors and suppliers early to ensure they have time to prepare and understand requirements they need to meet.
  5. Start simple. For example, audience transport is one of the greatest impact areas and one of the easiest ones to address. Encourage walking, cycling and discourage single car use via website and social media communications. Use postcode data to understand where people are coming from and surveys at the event to better understand mode of transport. Even simpler, go paperless on tickets.
  6. Set realistic targets such as percentage of event waste recycled from the event.
  7. Create an Environmental Policy and Action Plan.
  8. Build the Policy into contracts and Terms Conditions with contractors, suppliers & caterers.
  9. List your commitments publically.
  10. Sign up to –Powerful Thinking’s Festival Vision: 2025 Pledge.

Get Inspired

The Lambeth Country Show, the Council’s annual outdoor event, is the highest certified public event in the UK for its policies and efforts on reducing impact on the environment.  The show is leading the way in the events sector and setting the benchmark for all Lambeth Council Events. To find out more about the Show’s approach to sustainability and it’s policies visit Lambeth Country Show website