Events such as conferences, galas, dinners, and meetings have an impact on the environment through:
  • Resources consumed directly during its occurrence. Such as electricity, water, food, etc; and
  • Resources consumed indirectly. Such as the energy and CO2 related to transportation for the event,  the waste created by the event, and broader issues such as the dishes, equipment, and paper that is used.
All these elements together make up the ecological footprint of an event.

Lowering an event's footprint

Environmental considerations have to be taken into account before, during, and after the events.
  • Before the event
    Most of the ecological footprint reduction can be achieved through good planning at the start. This is when you can really define the parameters, framework and degree to which you can lower the impact of your event.
  • During the event
    This is when you need to make sure that the strategies agreed with venue’s managers and other stakeholders are properly implemented. It is also the time when attendees and participants can make their own individual efforts in contributing to the event’s ecological footprint reduction.
  • After the event
    It is important to communicate what was achieved to relevant people, such as the venue’s managers, the participants, etc. It is also important to spread the message that organizing greener events is a realistic possibility.
WWF's guidelines (which can be downloaded here) aim at providing tools for events organizers/managers in reducing their events’ ecological footprint.

These guidelines are divided in 2 sections:
  1. Questionnaire for Venue Managers
  2. A check list for holding One Planet Events