Sustainable Events are becoming commonplace nationally and globally, as public expectation increases for lower carbon emissions and less environmental impacts. A sustainable event can provide a better experience for patrons and demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability. All areas of event management provide opportunities to make environmental and cost savings.
The EPA Division has established a short checklist of ideas for event organisers (see Sustainable Event Guidelines) to assist with planning and holding sustainable events in Tasmania.
Some possible actions that could be incorporated include:
- Choose the right site e.g. select a venue with natural features like windows for ventilation and lighting, or a site with easy access via public transport
- Influence your supply chain e.g. talk to your suppliers about recycled-content, and recyclable materials and packaging, then factor appropriate clauses into contracts.
- Promote sustainably e.g. communicate electronically, print sustainably, re-use promotional materials like banners where possible
- Reduce waste e.g. by recycling as much as possible, investigate potential to compost organic waste, or arrange collection of unwanted usable food for charities
Event organisers in Tasmania are recommended to contact the relevant local Council Environmental Health Officer regarding Public Health Act Public Event licensing requirements.
For many years the only environmental consideration as part of events management was dealing with the waste produced during the event. Around 2004 the Victorian state government developed the Waste Wise Events programme to encourage a more environmentally friendly direction to managing waste from events, primarily minimising waste and recycling.
More recently a range of guidelines and fact sheets relating to broader environmental sustainability considerations for events have been developed both internationally and nationally. Some of these include the UK 'Sustainable Events Guide' (DEFRA 2007), and a number of Australian web-based resources such as the Sustainable Living Foundation 'Sustainable Event Planner' and the 'Green Event Policy' from Great Southern Events. Tourism Australia also has a Sustainability Toolkit and Resources section on their website with a link to 'Green Events' and 'Green Business Events' factsheets.
In 2010 the Peats Ridge Festival won the Australian Event Awards for Best Achievement in Sustainability, through their passion for environmental and social sustainability in planning and holding the event.
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