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How to Host a Sustainable Conference

Hosting a conference presents an excellent opportunity to showcase your organisation’s commitment to sustainability. By implementing eco-friendly practices, you can reduce the environmental impact of your event while setting a positive example for attendees and stakeholders.


Choosing a Green Venue

Selecting a venue with eco-friendly features is the first step towards hosting a sustainable conference. Look for venues with LEED certification, energy-efficient lighting, recycling facilities, and sustainable catering options. Additionally, consider locations with easy access to public transportation to minimise carbon emissions from travel.


Minimising Waste

Reducing waste generation is essential for a sustainable conference. Provide digital copies of materials instead of printed handouts, encourage attendees to bring reusable water bottles and coffee cups, and use compostable or recyclable materials for any disposable items. Implementing a robust recycling and composting program can further minimise waste sent to landfills.


Promoting Sustainable Transportation

Encourage attendees to choose sustainable transportation options to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference. Offer incentives such as discounted registration fees for those who carpool, use public transportation, or bike to the venue. Providing designated bike parking and shuttle services can also encourage eco-friendly transportation choices.


Offsetting Carbon Emissions

Calculate the carbon footprint of the conference and offset emissions by investing in renewable energy projects or purchasing carbon credits. This demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to mitigating climate change and supports renewable energy development. Communicate your carbon offsetting efforts to attendees to raise awareness and inspire action.


Leveraging Technology

Harnessing technology can help minimise the environmental impact of the conference. Offer virtual attendance options for remote participants to reduce the need for travel. Utilise digital signage for event information and wayfinding to reduce paper usage. Explore virtual networking opportunities to facilitate connections without the need for physical travel.


Engaging Stakeholders

Engage attendees, sponsors, and vendors in your sustainability efforts to maximise impact. Provide educational materials on sustainable practices, organise green initiatives such as tree planting or beach clean-ups, and solicit feedback for future improvements. Collaboration and collective action are key to hosting a successful and sustainable conference.


By incorporating these sustainable practices into your conference planning process, you can demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to environmental stewardship while creating a memorable and impactful event. Together, we can work towards a more sustainable future for conferences and events worldwide.

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