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Sustainability matters: Our quick guide to greener meetings & events

Sustainability embodies many factors, from a duty of care to the environment to being socially and economically responsible. More meeting planners than ever are striving to make their events sustainable, with 61% saying that reducing their impact on the environment is the most important part of their strategy. We’ve put together a short guide to help make your meetings and events more sustainable.

Select a venue with sustainability at its core

The best place to start with planning sustainable meetings and events is to select a venue that will support your goals. Look for venues that are certified to the ISO20121 standard - the international standard designed to help organisations within the events industry improve their sustainability. At CentrEd, we are certified to both ISO20121 and ISO14001 standard, helping us go the extra mile toward a greener industry.

Sustainable venues will be able to help in a number of ways, from introducing you to local suppliers to providing crucial in-house services such as AV to reduce your overall carbon footprint. Inclusivity is also a major part of any sustainable event, which is why meeting planners should opt for accessible venues like CentrEd to ensure all delegates are as comfortable as possible.

Promote sustainable transport options

Did you know that the largest source of event-related emissions is due to audience travel? Fortunately, this is one of the easiest areas to improve by encouraging delegates to choose sustainable modes of transport. Connectivity to your venue is essential – the only way to increase the number of delegates travelling via public transport is to make it as simple as possible.

At CentrEd, we have two on-site train stations connecting us to heart of London, including direct access to the Elizabeth line when it opens in 2018. This state-of-the-art new line will enable your delegates to reach central London in under 20 minutes. Plus, these modern high-speed trains use up to 30% less energy, reducing the overall environmental impact of your meetings even further.

Ditch the plastic

According to one study, 81% of millennials expect companies to show commitment to corporate responsibility – including showing consideration toward the environment. One of the key environmental concerns making headlines at the moment is the damage plastic has on marine life, with the government considering taxes on single use plastics.

Make your meetings or training days eco-friendly by ditching plastic wherever possible. Rather than offering bottled water or plastic cups to drink from, opt for recyclable or glass alternatives. You could also ask your venue to refrain from pouring water in advance and allow delegates to serve themselves, so you don’t waste a precious drop.

Go paper free!

Save a few trees by minimising the amount of paper in your meetings or training. In our digital age, it’s easier than ever to share information, provide registration, and communicate with your delegates online. By moving your registration process online, you’ll open up new channels of communication with your delegates.

For example, with the email addresses online registration captures, you could circulate agendas, abstracts, presentations and other important meeting collateral in advance. You could also provide detailed joining instructions or gather important event-related information such as dietary or accessibility requirements. Digital-savvy trainers or meeting planners could even create an event app or a microsite to host all the crucial event information in one place.

Food that does good as well as tastes good

There are three main areas of improvement around event catering: minimising carbon footprint, reducing waste, and having a positive ethical impact.

  • Make your catering eco-friendly as well as delicious by choosing a supplier that puts seasonal and local products at the heart of their menu. The benefit of this is two-fold: avoid the carbon cost of importing food from afar and support the local community.
  • Reduce waste and save money by calculating exactly how much food is required to keep your delegates fuelled. You can also prevent food waste going to landfill by donating food to local causes. At CentrEd, we’ll take care of it for you, by sending any wastage directly to our on-site wormery filled with 300,000 worms.
  • Give your tea break a feel-good element by serving Fair Trade tea, coffee and sugar. Not only are they well-priced and widely available, but this small swap greatly benefits the workers and their communities. We’ll raise a cup to that!

We’re 100% committed to tackling the challenges of sustainable development and we want to help you make your meetings and training as green as possible. To find out more about how we can help you host sustainable events here at CentrEd, contact the team on +44 (0)20 7069 4723 or centred@excel.london.