Published
March 3, 2024

Why Event Sustainability Matters In 2024 And Beyond?

Didn't you hear? Green is the new black! Learn all about event sustainability and why it matters in 2024 and beyond in this post!

Sustainability has been a topic of consistent discussion in the events industry for many years. As attendees and event sponsors become more environmentally conscious, event organizers are trying to come up with more sustainable and less wasteful ways of hosting events.

While hybrid and virtual events create a fair amount of CO2 emissions, in-person events are the biggest offenders in this regard. In fact, according to research conducted by MeetGreen, a 1000-person, 3-day event creates about 530 metric tons of CO2 emissions. To put it in context, that is more than consuming 1233 barrels of oil! These harrowing figures not only shed light on our dire situation but also make the need to host more environment-friendly, sustainable events very clear. 

With that in mind, are you ready to make sustainability a goal for your events in 2024? If the answer’s yes, then this is the blog post for you! In it, we’ll discuss what event sustainability really means, why it matters, and what steps you can take to make your events more sustainable and eco-friendly. 

So without further ado, let’s jump in! 

What is Event Sustainability, and Why Does it Matter?

Sustainability in the events industry is all about adopting event management and organizing practices that cause the least amount of damage to our ecosystem. When a lot of people congregate for an event, naturally, there is a spike in the carbon emission levels of the area. From logistics and travel to catering, energy requirements, and water contamination, countless factors contribute to the rise in CO2 emissions during events. As a matter of fact, stats show that a typical conference attendee creates about 1.89 KG of waste - of which 1.16 KG ends up in landfills - and 176.6 KG of CO2 emissions per day!

To bring these numbers down and achieve sustainability, event organizers can do a number of things, including adhering to environmentally responsible event hosting practices, choosing venues and suppliers that are aligned with their sustainability goals, and working with the right partners to ensure the minimum possible carbon emission numbers. 

In the past few years, there has been a sharp shift in attendee mentality. We live in an age where people care deeply about their impact on the environment. From the clothes they wear to companies they do business with and the events they attend, customers are very environmentally conscious. Attendees and sponsors want reassurance that they are part of the solution, not the problem. Therefore, event organizers need to be very careful about the impact of their conferences on the local environment. Furthermore, they should communicate their sustainability goals and the actions they are taking to achieve them clearly to their attendees and sponsors. Because if they fail to do so, they risk alienating a huge chunk of their attendees, who now view them as an organization that simply doesn't care, thus limiting their event success.

Say Yes to 'going green' But Say No to 'Greenwashing'!

As we know, claiming that you've gone green and actually doing it are two different things. As an industry, we must avoid greenwashing. Simply put, greenwashing is when a company tries to come off as more environment-friendly than it actually is. It is a widespread problem spanning multiple industries, including the events industry, because greenwashing allows companies to rebrand themselves for the modern age without putting in the required effort, which can cause a lot of backlash and irreversible damage to a company’s reputation.

Therefore, instead of pretending to have gone green, actually going green with a long-term vision, proper investment, and communicating your sustainability goals to your target attendees and sponsors is a much better alternative.  

So, How Can You Make Your Events More Sustainable?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive, one-size-fits-all guide to hosting sustainable events since every event is different. Therefore, it falls on the organizers to pinpoint the areas they can optimize in their events to be green and more environment-friendly. That said, here are some ways you can make your events more sustainable: 

Proper Solid Waste Management

Solid waste is perhaps the most obvious and visible form of waste during big events. From discarded plastic bottles and pamphlets to disposable utensils and leftover food scraps, in-person events create a tremendous amount of solid waste. Therefore, organizers must start thinking about proper waste management, ethical sourcing, and strategies to highlight fair trade exhibitors during the early planning phase of the event. They should make appropriate arrangements based on the event type and the number of expected attendees. Organizers can also connect with local and non-local event waste management companies such as Wast4Change and Grundon to help them out. 

Sustainable Badge Printing

Many organizers tend to print badges before their events, depending on the number of registrations. However, a significant number of registered attendees don't actually show up for the event, thus leaving a lot of unclaimed and useless badges.

That is why fielddrive offers on-demand badge printing and self-check-in kiosks at event venues, thus significantly cutting back on the number of wasted badges. fielddrive prints badges with no silicone, no glue, and without the use of plastic reinforcing and badge holders. Furthermore, fielddrive also offers badge printing on recyclable paper for those organizers who want to up their sustainability game, thus further decreasing the carbon footprint of the event.

Badge stickers create a lot of waste during events as well. Typical stickers have two parts: the actual sticker and the back portion, which is discarded. fielddrive prints dual-sided, peel-off paper badges, thus eliminating any additional waste. Additionally, fielddrive self-check-in and badge printing kiosks, on top of being highly customizable from a branding perspective, are incredibly environment friendly as well. The kiosk panels are highly customizable and allow organizers to simply change the panels and re-use them for their next event.  

Optimized Logistics Operations

Large events like conferences need a lot of hardware. From basics like chairs and tables and lighting equipment to speakers, power generators, kiosks, etc., a great deal of logistics is involved in hosting a good event. But carrying hardware to and from the venue means a fleet of trucks and often long-distance shipping creating a ton of pollution. 

To decrease logistics pollution, it’s always smarter to partner up with local vendors, which cuts back on the distance traveled by heavy emission-spewing vehicles. The fielddrive partner network is growing fast. We have partners and identical equipment in 11 cities around the globe, which allows us to minimize overseas shipping and help you further bring down the carbon footprint of your event.

Conclusion

In-person events are making a big comeback in 2023. And as organizers get ready to host a slew of awesome in-person events, organizers can make sure that their events are just as eco-friendly as they are exciting. With proper solid waste management, sustainable badge printing, automated check-in kiosks, and smart logistics operations, they can make their events significantly more sustainable.

fielddrive, with its array of sustainability-first services, is committed to helping event organizers become as eco-friendly as they can be. If you’d like to know more about how fielddrive can make your events more sustainable, then reach out to us and chat with our sustainability experts.

With 5 major logistics hubs around the globe, fielddrive has catered to event tech needs in 50+ countries!

Canada
Belgium
USA
Dubai
England

Stay informed with us

Sign up for our newsletter today.