There are many sustainable events on the calendar around the world annually with the number increasing each year. And Greening your event can raise international recognition for your community and put you in the running for green awards like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival received.
- A Greener Festival Award
- The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA)
- International Green Awards
- The Green Meetings Award & more.
These events are greening their acts for various reasons and being driven towards sustainability from different sectors of the community. Most seem to have started from community concerns about the negative impacts events can have on the local environment. Then there are those that make the changes due to local government restrictions and incentives. And it seems now that major sponsors of events are requiring that these new practices are encouraged to align with their corporate social responsibility It seems that for whatever reason and regardless of who is driving this change that the end result is a win-win situation for all involved.
Sustainable events have less impact on local communities because there is more consideration in the planning process to avoid problems before they eventuate. Local government can see the advantages to their resources e.g. less waste going to landfill and corporate sponsors increase their environmental & social credentials which enhance their public perception.
I recently attended a seminar on sustainable events waste guide presented by Leisa Gillham from Queensland Litter Prevention Alliance and hosted by Craig Duncan from Redland City Council. This was a free event aimed at encouraging event organisers to participate in sustainable practices. Gold Coast City Council had hosted this same seminar previously also. It was also great to meet Madeleine Radke from Green Chief Recycling who are approaching waste minimisation from a holistic perspective and doing some excellent work around the country.
On the 18th October I’ve been invited to The Sunshine Coast Council Events Network (scene) who are hosting local event management guru Liz Rivers at their final educational workshop for 2012. Is your local government assisting event organisers to tread the sustainable path with similar programs? Please let me know if they are and especially if they’re offering incentives to encourage sustainable event management.
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