How to Start Planning Sustainable Events

Sustainability continues to be a global concern and should also remain top of mind in the meetings and events industry. This is due to the harmful impact that events can have on our environment and growing importance for corporate social responsibility. For example, one conference participant generates 176 kilograms of carbon emissions per day. That is equal to 1,233 barrels of oil consumed for a 1,000 person, three-day meeting.

Sustainability touches all aspects of meetings and events, providing a diverse menu of opportunities for us planners to reduce impacts and create social benefit. So what are those areas and how can you apply sustainable practices? We're sharing easy tips in five focus areas to help get you started.

Sustainable Events:
Simple Tips to Get You Started

Experience Design

  • Feature a service or fundraising activity
  • Provide an accessibility concierge
  • Create a sponsored scholarship or bursary to support participation from underrepresented audiences

    cvent sustainable is attainable

Hear how sustainable is attainable from
BCD M&E's resident sustainability expert

Audio Visual and Production

  • Request most efficient lighting, sound and projection equipment for event needs
  • Power-off AV when not in use
  • Use reusable staging, decor and production equipment

How to Start Planning Sustainable Events | Global Agency BCD Meetings & Events


  • Prepare a list of green tips for exhibitors
  • Request sustainable alternatives for graphics, carpet and other contractor provided material
  • Provide a donation program for exhibitors to re-purpose gently-used or excess items

Did you know: A typical conference participant generates
1.9 kilograms of waste per day? 


  • Give preference to local, field grown, in-season produce
  • Eliminate single-serving dishware or ensure disposables are composted
  • Serve fairly traded coffee and tea
  • Learn how to avoid food waste

Did you know: 682,000 liters of water are saved by opting to serve chicken instead of beef for a 500-person banquet? 

How to Start Planning Sustainable Events | Global Agency BCD Meetings & Events

Read Eco-Friendly Venues Around the World 


  • Choose accommodations that have a sustainability credential, such as LEED® or ISO certification
  • Ensure the property has a visible in-room sustainability program that guests can participate in
  • Support hotels that are participating in programs to combat human trafficking


Learn more about sustainability in meetings and events by
downloading our Green White Paper.

The Green White Paper: Sustainability in Meetings and Events


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