What does sustainability mean to you?  Maybe you think about Greta Thunberg?  Is it plastic straws?  The fact is, sustainability means a lot of different things to different people.  Recently it has gone hand in hand with climate change and the harmful effect our way of living has impacted the environment.  Environmental factors are a huge part of being more sustainable but its not the whole picture – we need to consider community (social) and also business (economic) factors too. 

It is such a huge concept and despite being in the news every day, it is still massively confusing – what does it mean?

You could say – the most sustainable event is no event at all.  But that’s boring and as humans, we crave face to face interaction.   Events allow us to learn, discuss ideas or best of all – to celebrate in a shared experience.  And remember being sustainable is as much about driving positive impacts, as it is about reducing negative impacts. 

However, as a moment in time, events are temporary – as soon as you have finished setting up, it feels like you are breaking it all down again.  How can we make our events more sustainable?  Consider the venue you choose and the materials you use.  Where is your food sourced from?  How are you managing your waste?

The UN devised a 17 goal framework to help structure actions towards sustainability. You can see its application is wide and varied. 

Which goals will you choose to focus on for your next event?

Source: United Nations

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