Sustainability in the Events Industry must become mainstream not boutique focused.
We are thrilled to see sustainability is becoming a much more widely talked about topic within the Events Industry. Zest are huge supporters of sustainable events and wellbeing but have often found a challenge to implement. With this topic high on client agendas and venues and hotels focussing on this area, it is the perfect opportunity to produce more sustainable events and protect our planet for future generations.
Until recently, the pioneers have been small boutique venues who forge ahead and prove it is possible to run a business successfully with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. These venues tend to be smaller in size and unable to accommodate larger or multiple events and are much better suited to away days and offsite meetings.
Take for example Sheepdrove Eco Centre in the UK or West Lexham in Norfolk. Two amazing venues that truly embrace sustainability. This is evident from the electric car charging ports, the locally sourced organic food, eco friendly conference facilities, treehouses and yurts for accommodation. A great experience for smaller groups but what about the large organisations who are driven by location and want the same experience for multiple events? Where can they go?
The hotel, venues and ultimately events industry has been a large contributor of waste, be it food waste, plastics or energy consumption. Much needs to change across the globe to protect those countries most at risk from climate change. The hotels in these countries are making great strides with water filtration systems to purify and bottle their own water in reusable glass bottles. Live cooking stations, cooking food to order and reducing pre cooked food wasted food on buffets. Where there is excess food waste, some produce is donated to local farmers for use as animal feed.
Use of electric vehicles to transport guests around resort style properties charged from solar panels or smart lighting turning on only when the sensor is activated by a person. These changes are great to see, but the rest of the world needs to catch up. The hospitality and events industry has the opportunity to help support changes to consumer habits.
So how do mainstream hotels, venues and events become sustainable venues and what lessons can be learnt from boutique venues? There are some hotel chains who are improving their sustainability credentials and doing it well. For example, Accor is leading the way by promoting eco designed beds that are made from wood from sustainably managed forests and provide bedlinen made from recycled plastic bottles. They are introducing energy efficient electronic equipment, using certified paper suppliers and providing stationary supplies which are 100% recycled or made from recyclable material. The list goes on.
There are so many simple solutions which contribute to sustainability, whilst building great relationships with local communities and saving the planet. We excited to see clients making it a top criteria for their events and seeking our support for their events.