Britt Jackman, CMP | DES | She/Her – Education and Events | U.S. Green Building Council
Sustainability in events implies preserving, staying the course. Regenerative means creating circular conditions that continually renew, transform and flourish amid change. A zero-waste event plan embraces the regenerative approach – focusing on reuse, renewal and restoration. Regenerative events start with long term goals and planning, but progress is always preferable to postponed perfection!
1. Plan for change – real substantive transformation.
2. Establish meaningful stakeholder goals & communicate them transparently and honestly.
3. Select a green event venue that will actively work with you to achieve your goals – not hold you back.
4. Select sustainable vendors and partners already using green practices.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure – zero waste TRUE events seek > 90% waste diversion.
6. Have a plan to organize, audit and track essential waste to accurately determine Waste Diversion.
7. Educate your attendees before, during and after your event.
8. Enlist volunteers to demonstrate proper sorting at waste stations, real time!
9. Use visually understandable eye level labeling.
10. Make sure you know how waste is being sorted back of house, and where it’s headed after your event!
11. Go veggie and vegan for healthier options and a lower carbon footprint.
12. Use green exhibitor guidelines and recognize outstanding performers.
13. Offer an exhibitor material donation program from the expo floor, coordinating with local NPOs like Habitat for Humanity.
14. Donate and leave a legacy – whether food, materials used on site, unclaimed eco-swag – all can be contributed to reputable food banks and shelters. Avoid return shipping or additional waste at the landfill.
15. Prioritize people first in the donation process.
16. The best décor is green!
17. What are you doing to engage your audience in your plan? Get your attendees excited about your eco-friendly initiatives. Put your sustainability front and center with an attendee pledge board and bring them in on it.
The events and hospitality industry can have a tremendous impact on regenerative events. Event venues are some of the most iconic buildings in our communities – their size and scope allow them to engage, inspire and educate millions of people around the world. How we convene events matters.
Check out our shared GREEN PATH Resource Roundup for information, standards and tools to plan regenerative events.
Photos courtesy of USGBC.