When it comes to sustainable events, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of resources out there to help planners make events more sustainable, no matter how far along the journey you are, whether just starting out or ready to implement a more strategic approach…
One of the best places to start is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) – which are 17 important global objectives addressing the challenges we face and a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The goals provide a useful common language for speaking with clients and meeting and event participants about shared sustainability values.
In this feature, the second in our new series of regular features on sustainability, BCD Meetings & Events outlines what the 17 UNSDGs, and what simple actions can be taken to support each goal when planning meetings and events…
- No poverty: Hire companies that provide training and jobs for people who experience barriers to employment
- Zero hunger: Donate unserved food according to food safe guidelines
- Good health and well-being: Provide time and space for fitness and relaxation at meetings
- Quality education: Sponsor bursaries to improve access to conferences
- Gender equality: Ensure all event staff are provided equal pay for equal work
- Clean water and sanitation: Opt for certified organic food grown without chemicals
- Affordable and clean energy: Purchase a carbon offset that supports renewable energy
- Decent work and economic growth: Create policies to ensure fair and ethical treatment of event volunteers and interns
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure: Increase the life cycle of discarded materials by reducing customisation and event-specific branding
- Reduced inequalities: Buy fairly-traded products, such as coffee and tea
- Sustainable cities and communities: Select venues that are walkable or accessible by public transport and promote alternatives to single-occupant car trips
- Responsible production and consumption: Reduce use of packaging in all event supplies and provide recycling and composting onsite
- Climate action: Measure the event carbon footprint to learn where carbon impacts are greatest, and could be reduced
- Life below water: Require caterers serve seafood that is verified as sustainable by a credible, science-based programme
- Life on land: Buy products that do not contribute to deforestation, including post-consumer recycled content paper
- Peace, justice and strong institutions: Support hotels that are taking action to spot and combat human trafficking
- Partnership for the goals: Communicate what your event is doing to support the UNSDGs.
This was published as part of The Green White Paper: Sustainability in Meetings & Events, by BCD Meetings & Events.