Managing events through sustainable processes is what defines businesses with a well-developed culture of social responsibility. If a company manages setting up an event that resonates with attendees’ expectations and cutting any negative environmental impacts that emerge as by-products of said organizational processes, this is real sustainability mastery.
The Gold Standard for Sustainable Events definition
The Gold Standard was developed as the framework for leveraging positive climate action and delivering sustainable solutions in business. Three core applications where the standard finds its reflection include large-scale development, environmental market, and corporate supply chains. Obviously, the event industry is not a bystander in the sector of Gold Standard principles, while it connects business and environment in terms of location, energy use, recycling agenda, safety, and the further issues. Let’s explore the art of pollution mitigation and sustainability integration from the perspective of the event world.
Definition of sustainability and why it’s necessary
To understand the events Gold Standard, it’s crucial to clarify what sustainability means. In the broader sense, this is smart utilization of planetary resources that lets the ecology stay in balance. With low appreciation of sustainability solutions, the risks of fossil fuel depletion and climate change can give us a pretty gloomy picture of the future.
Definition of sustainability action plan
To outline the specific goals for sustainability integrity within a business, SAPs are usually created. In the context of sustainability for events, action plans can either be adjusted to a whole range of event groups that are similar in action or each particular campaign separately. Here are the essential points that should be discussed in a SAP for events:
- water and energy;
- sustainable food and beverage;
- sustainable infrustructure solutions.
The introduction to Gold Standard for Sustainable Events
There are two things you, as an event manager, can be proud of when organizing an event. The first one is content-focused and roots at delivering the intended message to the audience through discussions and engagement activities. This is the point, on which many event planners concentrate the most, which leaves no space for elaborating the second aspect. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the mistake endangering our global future. You got that right: the second achievement that the event can boast is integrating sustainability into event planning. In fact, it’s quite possible to achieve the same event results with minimal negative impacts for the environment, if you think about sustainability when attending to each of the following aspects:
- Access. Use sustainable hardware sets and overlaying materials for attendees check-in to mitigate environmental load.
- Local area. Preserve the natural habitat in terms of avoiding any damage for local vegetation and use the model for venue setting, which can be reused in future.
- Energy & water. The measures to be taken in terms of energy and water protection depend on event format. The most common considerations embrace minimizing non-renewable energy use, powering the cooling & heating systems with renewable energies, and utilizing optimal channels for water waste.
- Transport. Encourage the use of public transportation, walking or biking, instead of freight and personnel transport.
- Reduce and re-use. Provide facilities for waste recycling. Use containers, uniforms, and equipment created on the basis of reusable materials.
- Responsible sourcing. Create a platform for communicating your values and let your attendees know that you encourage sustainable behavior at your event to raise the awareness.
- Food & beverage. Encourage the use of organic food and provide vegetarian meal options at events. The promotion of non-alcoholic drinks is one more good step that can help popularize healthy lifestyles.
- Keepsakes. With an appropriate choice of a giveaway, you can emphasize sustainability principles at your event.
- Recycling convenience. Make onsite recycling facilities easy-to-find at your events and claim accounting & invoicing reporting to be sustained in the electronic form to reduce printing wastage.
10. Health, safety & security. Communicate the benefits of renewable energies and reusable materials for personal, as well as global well-being at events.
Why and where the gold standard of events has received general support?
The Gold Standard can be considered the most meaningful legacy of the Olympic Games that took place in 2012 in London. The organizing committee that created an Olympic Park on the basis of heavily contaminated industrial land, gave a start to multiple sustainability campaigns. Later on, the London Olympic Games won gold in the 6th International Sport Event management awards as the top event facilitating environmental well-being.
Principles and objectives of Gold Standard for Sustainable Events
The management of sustainable events requires meeting the goals of the event itself, as well as dedication to the Gold Standard values. Here’s what you have to achieve, based on the balancing of these two commitments:
- minimize any negative impact on the environment;
- leave a positive legacy;
- encourage sustainable behavior;
- positive reputation;
- inspiring change and raising awareness.
Definition of ISO 20121 certification
To provide practical insights on sustainability for events, the international standard ISO 20121 was created. The certification caters for solutions attributed to the dimensions of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. This is achieved through a business embracing the ISO framework, which includes the recommendations for organizational alignment, leadership, planning, support, and evaluation in terms of sustainability. Therefore, ISO 20121 certified companies can better assimilate practices to achieve high event performance and encourage ecology-friendly agenda than those that don’t leverage ISO sustainability standards.
Trends for the future of Gold Standard for Sustainable Events
The patterns that shape the future of event sustainability embrace technology advancements that facilitate change (f.ex. green computing and the Internet of Things). To learn more about event sustainability for the future, consider close interaction with MICE industry expertise. GEVME Xchange 2017 prepares new insights into Gold Standard future that might help you recognize the best solutions for events ahead of time.
Examples of Gold Standard for Sustainable Events
Gold Standard has been favored by many large and small businesses throughout the world. Here’s your portion of inspiration in sustainable event examples:
Sportsworld Group. The company that focuses on hospitality provisions demonstrated the high mark of event sustainability while crafting solutions for WWimbledonFairway Village. The latter became known as a temporary facility for events with the outstanding eco-friendly foundation. Leveraging sustainability ISO, the company took measures for tree protection in the area, organized a large educational session for staff, and set up KPIs for sustainability performance.
Light Marina Bay Asia. This is truly one of the most enlightening examples of sustainable events. First organized in 2012, the event gained the status of the first sustainable light art festival. The key stunning benefit: 210,424 kWh energy saving during the event. Moreover, the show organizers initiated inspiring training programs on sustainability practices to share the expertise.
In case you have any questions or want to tap into the world of event organization following sustainability values, do not hesitate to contact us.