Event Planning & Sustainable Development

How does sustainability integrate into event planning?

To integrate sustainability throughout event planning and implementation it is necessary to analyse the various factors of event production as they relate to the three tenants of sustainability. (Economic, Environmental, Social)

Before delving into the production logistics and practical matters, an overview of the event and influencing factors as they relate to sustainability should be undertaken. Develop a sustainability profile for the event. The analysis could include;

1) The event type, purpose, nature of activities and size, including:

  • Whether the event content, focus, theme or topic crosses over the key sustainability messages.
  • Whether any sponsors, funding bodies, participants or other stakeholders have inherent positive or negative influence on the event’s potential to be sustainable.

2) Destination and venue in which the event take place, including:

  • whether there is a strong legal framework that regulates many of the activities related to sustainability; and
  • social, environmental and economic characteristics of the destination and/or venue;

3) Characteristics of the workforce or employees, including contracted labour and volunteers;

4) Event industry organisations in which the event participates, including:

  • the activities related to sustainability undertaken by these organizations; and
  • the codes or other requirements related to sustainability promoted by these organizations;

5) Concerns of internal and external stakeholders relevant to sustainability management of the event;

6) Structures for and the nature of decision making in the event management; and

7) The supply chains of the event.

* Creation of this list was gleaned from BS8901/ISO20121.