2015 has gone down as the hottest year since the beginning of modern record keeping in 1880. You know this and your company knows this. So as good and interested global citizens with high standards of Corporate Social Responsibility, of course you want your event to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. Here are three things to consider in order to make that a reality.
Balance Your Options
It is very easy to say “reduce your carbon footprint”. There are a variety of ways, online especially, to calculate the rate of your emissions and equally, there are many bits of advice you can find on how to reduce them. So I won’t be a bore and repeat those. Instead, let’s consider the underlying issue here – that is, the management of choices and opportunity costs.
Say you are flying in your guest(s)-of-honor from a distant land. In order to be a magnanimous host or simply not to “lose face”, you then sit them individually in big-name luxury cars and ferry them everywhere for the duration of your event and then maybe more. All this while, you’re racking up the carbon count and throwing your green-targets out of the window.
And therefore a balance between trying to impress and being responsible is needed. Consider choosing special guests from within your country or at least an area near enough to it. Also, perhaps have a number of guests share vehicles or even be adventurous and escort them through your country’s public transport system. Sure, that may not be conventionally glamorous, but it has three immediate benefits. Firstly, it’s environmentally friendly; secondly, it allows your guests to get a real feel of the country and presumably the audience he/she will be speaking with; and thirdly, it shows your company or event is in touch with the man on the street. That, I need hardly remind you, is good PR in an age of increasing polarity between the have and have-nots.
Empower Your Guests
Admittedly, that may seem like a bit of a tough pill to swallow for some of your guests. So here is my suggestion – put the power into their hands and involve them in your green intentions. Inform them early that your event is aiming to be an environmentally friendly one and empower them with the opportunity to make some of the decisions for themselves. This can include them indicating in their RSVPs if they want to choose a “paperless” option for the duration of the event. Instead of receiving endless piles of paper for programs or advertisements, guests can simply be led to download an electronic package on their tablets, phones or laptops. Another idea may be to include tours of the location outside of event activities. These tours can act as a way of transporting guests from their residences to the event venue by taking in sights along a public transport route.
It’s Not Easy Being Green
The truth is that it is immensely difficult to accomplish lofty environmentalist goals for your event. Even what seems ostensibly a dedicated green event like Earth Hour is not without its criticisms and controversies. My tip, therefore, would simply be this: when considering what environmentally-friendly options to take, go a step deeper and research to see whether what, on surface, seems a logical decision can actually have, at best, no effect or at worst, a detrimental one. If you and your company are truly interested in running an event with the best pro-environment intentions, then don’t spare the effort in finding out if your choices are truly what is best or not.
Being green will have many benefits – not simply from an environmentally-responsible point of view, but also in the positive ways your event will be viewed by customers and guests. Hopefully, these three ideas will help you on your way to achieving a green event!