While “going paperless” is a great first step towards planning a green event, it’s only just that – a first step.
A recent blog post published by Adrian Segar (@ASegar) hit the nail on the head with this issue. After seeing his colleagues become the target of criticism for supposedly wasting paper at events and being a target of that criticism himself, he wanted to set the record straight and defend the use of paper.
His post addressed the issue of eliminating the use of paper at events as a strategy for sustainability and the variety of (sometimes misguided or misinformed) opinions that surround it. His argument was that while the use of paper is certainly impactful, it’s dwarfed by the impacts of other critical event elements like food and beverage or travel to and from a venue. He provided the following explanation:
There’s no denying Adrian’s evidence. While going paperless is a great first step towards planning a green event, it’s only just that. It’s a first step towards making more responsible food and beverage purchases, towards choosing a venue close to public transit, towards arranging for a shuttle service to and from your attendees’ accommodations, and towards considering factors beyond CO2e, like solid waste, water, etc.