Sustainable Event Management is a collection of many practices the can be employed wholly or in part in an effort to reduce the impact of your event on the environment.
Simply put, it’s all about making events, be they the London Olympics or a backyard wedding, greener and more eco-logically friendly. Festivals such as the Brazilian Arts & Music event SWU (Starts With U) shown above are based entirely on being as green as possible.
And every year new practices, new materials and growing interest makes transforming your events more economically viable and more socially accepted.
To find out more on the roots of sustainable event management, its practices and benefits, check out the Wikipedia article or click through to the resources we’ve linked below in our FAQ.
What is ISO 20121 and what does it mean to my event?
ISO is the International Standards Organisation, and standard 20121 refers is an internationally recognised set of criteria that an event needs to meet to attain that certification. Being able to measure an event’s sustainability against the standard means that events can measure themselves.
To find out more about ISO 20121, check out Crewsaders video – Guide to Event Sustainability Management Systems
How much will it cost to make my event sustainable?
In some instances, sustainable event management (SEM) can cost more than standard services – but it doesn’t have to, depending on what components of the event you want to green. To start with, you may just want to address a couple of high profile areas of your event. Baby steps are better than no steps.
How long will it take for my event to become sustainable?
This depends on your level of commitment and how detailed you want to be. It took the London Olympics 2012 years to comply with ISO 20121. However, just by changing one-use plastic utensils at your next BBQ to vegetable based compostable materials that you can dig into your garden – it’ll take just half an hour!
Will the changes I make be of benefit to the environmental big picture?
Yes, every little bit helps! We can all make a difference…
Can I change my event towards sustainability?
Yes, you can do anything you want! If you feel like changing the way your events are managed using sustainable practices (which will be inevitable in the near future), go ahead and set your corporate social responsibility bar high.
What if my event doesn’t go all green?
There might be difficulties sourcing some sustainable product or service due to the infancy of this practice in Australia, but hey at least you’re making an effort. It’s no biggie – just adjust and do the best you possibly can with the resources you have available.
Will my event be the best?
This is up to you – do you want your event to be the best? Whether you’re organising a BBQ or the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, if your next event is better than the last one, we all win!
Are there awards for sustainable events?
What’s the WORST thing about sustainable events?
The worst thing about sustainable events is that there are not enough of them! It is a proven fact that SEM systems reduce our carbon footprint, including waste to landfill and impact on the venue (particularly with outdoor festivals). As well, increasing media attention raises the appeal of eco-logical events to punters, local government and the broader community.
What issues face the environmentally-friendly events industry?
The supply chain is first and foremost. Most products and services required to fully green an event have few competitors (which is vital to keeping prices competitive). There is plenty of room with in this industry for growth in Australia – we’re lagging behind our European and North American counterparts.
What is the difference between your event and a sustainable event?
Case studies show that applying SEM practices to the organisation of events far outweigh standard, archaic systems that impact on your bottom line, economically & socially. If there is no negative economic or social cost, your visitors will appreciate your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. So why wouldn’t you take the incentive?
Are there many sustainable events in Australia?
There sure are! We’ve put this list together, but if you know of any that we’ve missed, let us know! In alphabetical order:
- Byron Bluesfest
- Earth Frequency Festival
- Island Vibe Festival
- Rainbow Serpent Festival
- Splendour in the grass
- Surry Hills Festival
- Sydney Festival
- Woodford Folk Festival
Do you have a question about sustainable event management, what it involves or its processes? Drop us a line via the contact form and we’ll be sure to answer it.
Image Credit: Greenstyle