Sustainability is a huge focus for organizations and as event professionals we have a responsibility to deliver sustainable events that leave a positive legacy for future generations.
To help with the above challenges, develop our sustainability knowledge, hear from our peers and gain insights we held a sustainability 101 workshop. The workshop was held at ICC Wales and the sessions were facilitated by Worlds Better.
Limited budgets, high workloads, reduced teams, not having stakeholder buy-in and feeling overwhelmed as to where to start were some of the challenges highlighted by our members with respect to managing sustainable events.
Worlds Better aims to make the world a better place with one event at the time. They provide events and experiential industry professionals with bespoke sustainability consultation to help them achieve their sustainability goals.
The ICC Wales believe the future depends on what we do now. They are the leaders in environmental hospitality and this is demonstrated throughout the venue and their approach. Key highlights include:
⁃ Set in 93 hectares of maintained woodland
⁃ Complimentary refillable water bottles and water stations throughout
⁃ Food waste is processed to generate renewable electricity
⁃ 100% of waste diverted from landfill
⁃ Oil waste is converted to biodiesel
⁃ And lots more!
The team will work with you to engage, enable and empower you to deliver a sustainable event from the start of the process to post-event. You can see why this was the perfect venue for us to host our sustainability workshop.
Our accommodation for the event was at Celtic Manor which also has a number of event spaces to hold events. This would work really well when working with ICC Wales as well. Further information on the event spaces can be found here from our previous FAM at these venues.
Across the 24 hours we learnt so much from Chrissie at Worlds Better, the suppliers who contributed including Invisible Cardiff, Caleno Drinks and Make Events, ICC Wales as a venue and each other. Key highlights included:
⁃ Think about the impact your event is having on the local community. How can you support it? For example, Invisible Cardiff is a social enterprise working to end homelessness in Cardiff. You could offer walking tours with one of their guides for your delegates.
⁃ Suppliers are key to helping you deliver a sustainable event. Ask them questions about how they help you, what their policy is and if they are unable to answer these questions they may not be the right match for you to deliver a sustainable event.
⁃ Data is the biggest tool to influence stakeholders and to make change.
⁃ In the not so distance future we will legally be required to report on our emissions and waste from an event. Get ahead and start the process now!
⁃ Think about what you can avoid, reduce and measure when planning events.
⁃ Even with limited budgets there are things you can do to reduce your emissions. For example, use rail travel rather than flying to travel to an event where possible particularly for short haul destinations.
⁃ Be flexible with your event brief to factor in sustainable options
⁃ Research your suppliers. Work with local suppliers or B-Corps. For example, Caleno Drinks is a B-Corp specialising in alternative tasty options to alcoholic drinks. We were lucky enough to try their drinks and they were super tasty. Also a great way to ensure you are being fully inclusive with your drinks offering.
⁃ Offer a higher percentage or a fully plant based menu. Both our lunch breaks were fully plant based offerings. All delicious!
⁃ Incorporate the outdoors into your event agenda – being outside is not only good for your health but it is known to increase creativity and focus! We incorporated a forest walk in our agenda.
ICC Wales has so many amenities to make your event sustainable including lots of digital signage, lots of recyclable points for rubbish clearly setting out what goes where, water stations and so much more. We loved that our welcome letters and menus were printed on seeded paper so we can watch the event continue to grow in our gardens at home!
If you would like know about how Worlds Better can help you achieve your sustainability goals, more information about ICC Wales or any of the suppliers involved please do reach out to us.