Tips for sustainable event planning

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Regardless of what type of event you plan to organise, you should consider how to make your event as sustainable as possible in terms of the environment, people and economy. Bring aspects of sustainability into the planning at an early stage.

Here are our best tips for organising a sustainable event:

  • As transport is a major contributor to climate change, choose a location based on the transport options available. Recommend visitors to travel by public transportation to the event if possible or highlight the most sustainable transportation available. For example, show the best bus routes and provide links to timetables.
  • Choose an appropriate location for your event whilst bearing in mind how the local eco-systems such as land and water as well as any local residents will be impacted by the increase in noise and traffic. Keep the dialogue going with local residents to avoid discontent and possible complaints.
  • Collaborate primarily with local actors for a better environment and increased employment in the region.
  • Make demands for increased sustainability among suppliers of materials and products. These must not contain any harmful sub-stances and should be as recyclable or reusable as possible.
  • Avoid using disposable products and strive to only use products with approved eco-labelling such as the Nordic Swan (Svanen), Good Environmental Choice (Bra miljöval), EU Ecolabel or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). Keep in mind that crafted small scale local alternatives can be even more sustainable in comparison, even if they lack a certification or approval. However it is much harder to compare how sustainable they actually are in comparison to certified products and communicate those values to the consumer which demands more effort from you as a buyer and seller. 
  • Remember to ask for recycling containers when contacting the waste management company assigned to collect waste from the event site.
  • Prioritise digital communications and avoid printed material as far as possible.
  • Whenever possible, choose locally produced organic food. Remember to mention that it is organic food you sell and charge a little more, if necessary.
  • If serving meat, bear in mind that game and poultry have the lowest environmental impact. By choosing right, the environmental and climate impact of your event can be significantly reduced.
  • Avoid serving bottled water and uphold standards in line with labelling such as KRAV, Fairtrade and MSC.
  • By spreading the word about your sustainability efforts, a positive marketing of the event is created at the same time as you set a good example for other organisers to follow.

Links and further reading

Active checklist for event organisers

This gives you an overall picture of the information you need to submit and permits you need to apply for when arranging an event. Simply answer a few questions to get your own personal checklist. The checklist is not meant for organisers of private events.

Stockholm City's Guide to Sustainable Events

Stockholm City has a comprehensive guide for sustainable events that also includes a checklist.

Pantamera Association Concept

Any non-profit organisation can register, free of charge, with the Pantamera (Recycle More) recycling scheme and start making money on returned bottles and cans.

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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