Event Sustainability: A Guide for Event Planners

Kristen Bradley "The Chic Maven"

May 9, 2023

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of events, event sustainability has become a top priority for event planners. Sustainable event planning incorporates environmental, social, and economic considerations into all aspects of event planning and management. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of event sustainability and guide event planners to incorporate sustainable practices into their events.

Why is Event Sustainability Important?

Events have a significant environmental impact, from using resources such as water and energy to the waste generated by attendees. In addition, events have a social and economic impact on the communities in which they occur. Sustainable event planning seeks to minimize the negative impact of events while maximizing their positive impact.

Sustainable event planning can benefit event planners, attendees, and the environment. By incorporating sustainable practices into their events, event planners can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve the reputation of their events. Attendees can enjoy a more environmentally conscious event and may be more likely to attend future events prioritizing sustainability. Finally, the environment benefits from reducing resource consumption and waste generation.

Establish Sustainability Goals and Objectives

The first step in sustainable event planning is establishing sustainability goals and objectives. Event planners should identify the areas of the event with the greatest environmental impact, such as energy consumption, waste generation, and water use. They should then set targets for reducing the event’s impact in these areas.

Select a Sustainable Venue

The choice of venue can have a significant impact on the sustainability of an event. Event planners should select a venue with a sustainability policy, such as a commitment to reducing energy and water consumption or using environmentally friendly products. The venue should also be easily accessible by public transportation to reduce the carbon footprint of attendees.

Minimize Energy Consumption

Events can be significant energy consumers, from lighting to heating and cooling. Event planners should look for ways to reduce energy consumption, such as using energy-efficient lighting, turning off unused equipment, and using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.

Reduce Waste Generation

Events can generate significant waste, from packaging and beverage to promotional materials. Event planners should look for ways to reduce waste generation, such as using reusable or recyclable materials, providing water refill stations instead of bottled water, and donating excess food to local charities.

Encourage Sustainable Transportation

Transportation is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Event planners should encourage attendees to use sustainable transportation options such as public transportation, carpooling, or biking. They can also provide incentives for attendees who use sustainable transportation, such as discounted tickets or preferred seating.

Use Sustainable Food and Beverage Practices

Food and beverage are essential to events, but they can also have a significant environmental impact. Event planners should look for sustainable food and beverage practices, such as using locally sourced and organic ingredients, minimizing food waste, and avoiding single-use packaging.

Promote Sustainable Behavior

Event planners can also promote sustainable behavior among attendees. They can provide educational materials on sustainability, such as recycling guidelines, and encourage attendees to reduce their environmental impact by taking simple actions such as turning off lights when leaving a room or using a refillable water bottle.

Measure and Evaluate Sustainability Performance

Finally, event planners should measure and evaluate their sustainability performance. They can use tools such as sustainability scorecards or third-party certifications to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Event planners can identify opportunities to improve their environmental, social, and economic impact by evaluating their sustainability performance.


Sustainable event planning is an essential practice for event planners who want to reduce the environmental impact of their events and maximize their positive impact.