Why work on increasing sustainability?

Organisers have the opportunity to reduce the direct impact on the environment as a result of organising an event. In addition, there is the unique opportunity to take advantage of the exemplary function that many events fulfil. By informing the public about the sustainability actions taken, and by inspiring them to contribute to this, the impact is greatly increased.

Nevertheless, concrete actions are often lacking. One of the main causes is the misunderstanding that sustainability carries a hefty price tag. Especially the first steps towards a more sustainable event – in addition to reducing environmental impact – can generate financial savings. At the same time, many organisers believe that sustainable business practices entail complicated changes, which in practice turn out to be simpler. Many actions that make an event more sustainable have to be tackled in the normal course of planning anyway. Sustainability therefore requires a central approach that is steered and coordinated from the organiser of the event.

What is sustainability?

One way in which the concept of sustainability can be defined is through the 3 Ps: People, Planet, Profit. The challenge is to find a good balance between these three pillars and to combine them harmoniously. The ecological pillar is the one most associated with sustainable development, and this is also where the main focus for Green Events lies in making festivals more sustainable.

Co2 measurement

Within the ecological pillar, a number of issues can be distinguished upon which an organiser can exert more or less direct influence (through your suppliers or otherwise). This concerns the issues of public transport, energy, waste, commercial transport and food. A benchmark study from 2013 revealed the main causes of environmental impact among 7 regional outdoor festivals* to be waste (29%), fuels for producing energy (25%), public transport (24%) and goods transport (15%).

*Benchmark study performed by Stichting Stimular.

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