If some huge events such as the London Marathon and the festival « We love Green » have made a difference, there are no more excuses left for the other conferences! Through workshops, symposia, seminars, and congresses, we are building the perfect environment to learn, share and network, so why don’t we do it responsibly?
Through this article we do not want only to provide you with advice on how to organize a greener conference, but also to share with you our own experience at PremC, because theory is fine, but practice is the key.
- No actions without good communication
It is obvious that no matter how good any initiative is, it cannot have a real impact if it is not properly conveyed. As in any relationship, communication is the key to success. Agree on achievable and consistent goals and share them with as many people as possible.
At PremC, the environmental issue is at the heart of the company’s DNA. Thus, for each issue, we strive to make the decision that best meets the expectations of the speakers, while limiting our ecological footprint as much as possible. For example, if we cannot set up a reusable cups system with a deposit as it is done in some festivals then we encourage our participants to keep their recycled cardboard glass throughout the day and we provide with pens to write their name on it, thus limiting the “single use” effect.
- Make your goodies a pleasant surprise
Welcome gifts are a must in events, but are they necessary? Both a marketing tool and a source of souvenirs, their excessive use is not without consequences. However, there are alternatives that can meet all these functions without being harmful to the environment.
From plastic to biodegradable, we have reviewed all our goodies: pen, notebook, USB key … to provide our participants with objects that reflect our philosophy. We are convinced that by reducing the “corporate” aspect of gifts and creating more attractive visuals, goodies have a much longer life expectancy. So come and discover our new panda tote bag: as useful as it is cute, this bag will help you in many situations.
- Do a big cleanup and say NO to waste
In events it is extremely hard to make true forecasts, so we make estimates, and from these assumptions could result an alarming percentage of loss. If having an accurate estimate is impossible, there are plenty of alternatives but we need to think about it upfront and spend a little time looking for the most appropriate solution. Let’s be proactive and open our eyes to current issues.
Whether it’s food waste, excess billboards, and goodies … there is always an alternative to the trash, and often it is closer than what you think. During the Compumag conference in July 2019, organized at the Sorbonne University, we met Françoise Pinsard, referent of “Plan Vert”, a great initiative aimed at limiting the environmental footprint of the university. To reduce waste, they have offered to recycle and reuse our sign boards materials. So sometimes you just have to pay a little attention to what is going on around us, you might be surprised at all the initiatives that can be found. There are also associations, such as Zero Waste France, which provide very useful tips on “how to organize a zero-waste event”.
- Plastic is not very chic
In a perfect world, plastic would be banned for a very long time. Unfortunately, the reality is much more complicated, particularly in events. If the performance of the London Marathon remains remarkable, with a decrease of 216,000 plastic bottles in the space of one year, thanks to biodegradable capsules composed of brown algae gelatin and calcium, the fact remains that some sectors are struggling to find a viable solution.
Plastic remains PremC’s biggest challenge today. Sometimes we do not have access to drinking-water source, so it is impossible to set up a fountain or pitcher system, but we are continuously working on the subject. So, if you have any innovative ideas to offer us, especially contact us, it will be our pleasure to discuss with you.
- Single use is catastrophic
Why buy for the purpose of throwing away? By choosing timeless, sober and quality products you will not only save money, but the planet will also be very grateful to you. From choosing dishes to brewing coffee, there are all kinds of one-size-fits-all alternatives. Wooden trays, tablecloths, coffee thermos … are the beginning of a non-exhaustive list, so use your imagination, your participants will be even more touched.
There are no small actions, there are only beautiful actions. The margin for improvement on the environmental issue is enormous and we all have a role to play, but that is the beauty of the thing. So join the #Green&Geek movement.