Developing an event sustainability policy is an integral piece of the sustainable event planning puzzle. Without one, your efforts risk being nothing more than good intentions. With one, you’re setting yourself up for success by arming yourself with a clear vision, goals, and commitments for holding yourself and others accountable.
In terms of complexity, your policy may be as simple or complex as you wish. For small and medium-sized events, a 1 or 2 sentence commitment statement, along with a few goals and objectives, should suffice. That will to give your team the appropriate vision and guidance. For larger events that are more in the public eye, a comprehensive event sustainability policy should be developed (Green Event Ninjas, of course, is happy to help).
Furthermore, it’s important that an individual or team is delegated responsibility for championing the policy. They will be responsible for implementing sustainability initiatives, assigning tasks to other team members, and ultimately reporting on outcomes. They should also be given formal authority from senior management, which will empower them to hold others accountable.
Share your event sustainability policy
We encourage you to publicize your event sustainability policy too, since it demonstrates a certain degree of credibility. Consider the idea that once you and your team have made a public commitment to sustainability, you’ll be much less likely to renege on it. Additionally, once the policy is published (e.g. on your website, blog, social media, press release, etc.), you can begin to reference it in your outreach materials and in your communications with sponsors, funders, presenters, contractors, attendees, and other stakeholders.
The final benefit of developing and sharing an event sustainability policy is a bit of an altruistic one and is in the spirit of transparency. By reviewing your policy, others may learn and be inspired by your positive action, hopefully resulting in the bar for event sustainability being raised even higher across the industry.