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7 steps for greener events

The “7 steps for greener events” document covers in a clear and fun way all the main points an event organiser should consider to deliver a green event.

The Directorate-General for Interpretation is an important enabler and promoter of environmental sustainability at the Commission, encouraging and empowering Commission services to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. In the area of conference management, it gives, among other things, advice on easy actions to make events more sustainable. The “7 steps for greener events” document covers in a clear and fun way all the main points an event organiser should consider to deliver a green event.

28 JANUARY 2022
7 steps for greener events
(974.66 KB - PDF)

Step 1: Consider going online!

  • Do your participants need to be on site at all?
  • If so, make sure you also offer online attendance.
  • Set a target and encourage virtual participation - offer digital participation already in the invitations and on the registration page.
  • Put in place reliable videoconferencing and webcasting.
  • Adapt your programme: make it short, engaging and interactive. Spread out content over several days if need be.

Step 2: Prefer green conference venues

  • Book a venue with good public transport links, preferably close to major transport hubs to cut down on shuttle buses and taxis.
  • Give priority to hotels certified as environmentally friendly (EU Ecolabel, Green key, EMAS, ISO 14001), close to the conference venue and with good  public transport links.
  • Care about energy efficiency and waste sorting: book eco-labelled venues. Find them on convention websites of the host city.
  • Order energy efficient technical equipment.

Step 3: Go for low carbon travel

  • Provide public transport passes with clear directions and timetables.
  • If you need local transfers, use (electric) buses or minibuses.
  • Offset carbon emissions from intercontinental flights, if any.
  • Encourage walking – provide maps to make this easy.

Step 4: Refuse - Reduce - Re-use - Recycle

  • Think twice before you order promotional items or signposting and print material.
  • If you really need them, order only minimum quantities.
  • Go for sustainable production and delivery.
  • Choose a generic design to enable re-use.
  • Go paper smart: move all conference information online.

Step 5: Green the plate

  • Choose organic, local, seasonal menus.
  • Prefer plant-based food for lower carbon footprint.
  • Adapt quantities to number of confirmed participants to limit waste.
  • Avoid disposable tableware. If you really need to, use sustainable materials.
  • Provide tap water or, if necessary, water dispensers.
  • Donate leftovers to charity.

Step 6: Make it beautiful

  • Prefer digital signposting.
  • If needed, use existing, local, reusable signposting.
  • Go generic for easy re-use: produce roll-ups and banners with policy name or slogan rather than event title/date.

Step 7: Spread the word

  • Use invitations to make participants aware of your green choices from the beginning.
  • Use social media to promote your green actions.
  • Place reusable displays at strategic spots (buffet table, registration desk) to tell participants about all the good things you are doing.
  • Ask for feedback and suggestions on sustainability as part of your post- conference evaluation.