Solutions for making business meetings and corporate events sustainable | Lifestyle News

New Delhi: Corporate events, often held at different locations, provide a unique opportunity to integrate eco-friendly initiatives into business practices. With the global MICE market expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2028, embracing sustainable practices at these gatherings becomes even more important. This not only reduces the CO2 footprint, but also ensures a positive impact on the environment. Here’s a comprehensive guide to turning your next corporate event into a greener, more sustainable affair.

Paperless approach
Choosing a paperless approach is a fundamental step towards reducing environmental impact. By opting for digital invitations and event communications, companies can significantly reduce paper consumption. Additionally, the use of electronic registration and check-in systems minimizes reliance on printed materials. Encouraging attendees to use digital devices to take notes and providing access to event schedules and information through a dedicated event app further enhances the paperless experience.

Waste reduction
Implementing a comprehensive waste reduction strategy is essential for promoting sustainability at corporate events, especially considering that India’s urban population produces 65 million tons of waste annually, 95 percent of which ends up in landfills. This includes setting up recycling and composting stations and choosing environmentally friendly and biodegradable disposable products for the catering industry. Partnering with suppliers who prioritize sustainable packaging practices helps minimize packaging waste. When setting up event spaces, choosing venues that prioritize sustainability in their infrastructure and operations and using reusable and recyclable materials for decorations, signage and booth setups minimizes waste. Discouraging the use of thermocol and single-use plastics and exploring eco-friendly alternatives such as recycled cardboard or bamboo for display structures and signage further support efforts to reduce waste.

Culinary sustainability
Culinary sustainability plays a crucial role in reducing the environmental footprint of corporate events. By working closely with caterers to accurately estimate guest attendance, food waste is kept to a minimum. Choosing locally produced, organic and seasonal food options supports local communities and reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. Implementing a ‘no single-use plastic’ policy for water bottles and encouraging the use of reusable containers further contributes to culinary sustainability.

Sustainable transport
Prioritizing sustainable transportation options is another important aspect of eco-friendly corporate events. Selecting remote locations that are easily accessible by public transport and arranging carpooling or shuttle services with fuel-efficient or electric vehicles helps reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, offsetting travel emissions through partnerships with carbon offset programs or renewable energy projects mitigates the environmental impacts of event-related travel.

Green Accommodation
Choosing properties with recognized eco-certifications and promoting energy-saving practices, such as linen and towel reuse programs, further improves the sustainability of corporate events. Integrating educational initiatives into event programs, organizing workshops and presentations on environmentally friendly practices, and encouraging speakers to address sustainability in business operations facilitates knowledge sharing and awareness.

Educational initiatives
As part of educational initiatives, sustainability can be integrated into the event program through the organization of workshops or presentations focused on environmentally friendly practices. These sessions provide participants with valuable insights into sustainable business practices and provide practical strategies for implementing environmental initiatives within their organizations. Speakers can discuss the importance of sustainability in driving business success and share inspiring success stories to motivate participants to adopt more environmentally responsible practices.

Sustainable air travel
In light of the increasing global demand for sustainable travel options, which was highlighted by a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council and Group that found that 69% of travelers were actively seeking such options in 2022, it is imperative to promote sustainable air travel becomes clear. Furthermore, the report highlights that 75% of travelers are considering traveling more sustainably in the future, while almost 60% have already embraced more sustainable travel options in recent years. Against this backdrop, encouraging participants to choose airlines that prioritize carbon reduction initiatives emerges as a strategic move. This aligns with the growing environmentally conscious mindset of travelers and underlines the importance of integrating sustainable practices into corporate events. By embracing measures such as offering sustainable event giveaways, minimizing waste and integrating green technology such as virtual participation and energy-efficient AV equipment, companies can not only promote a waste-free event experience but also contribute to a broader sustainability agenda , which meets the evolving expectations of participants while reducing environmental impact.

Carbon neutral initiatives
Carbon neutral initiatives are paramount to reducing the environmental impact of corporate events. One effective strategy is to offset the event’s carbon footprint by investing in carbon offset programs or supporting renewable energy projects. It is also crucial that participants receive information about their carbon footprint related to travel. Encouraging participants to participate in carbon offset programs can further reduce the environmental impact of the event. Collaboration with airlines and transportation partners that have committed to carbon neutrality and sustainability is essential to achieving meaningful progress in this area.

Waste-free giving
Incorporating zero-waste gifting practices into corporate events is essential for minimizing environmental impact. To achieve this, organizers should opt for sustainable and practical event giveaways that reduce waste, such as reusable bags, water bottles or eco-friendly office supplies. Additionally, it is important to avoid promotional items with excessive packaging and instead encourage suppliers to use eco-friendly packaging for giveaways.

By embracing these sustainable practices, corporate events can play an important role in promoting environmental stewardship and promoting a positive corporate image. As companies increasingly prioritize sustainability, incorporating these practices into corporate events becomes a crucial step toward a greener future.
(With inputs from IANS)