What Can We Do to Make Event Organising Sustainable?

The events and meetings of our work-life should support life-life, therefore, sustainability should be an evident factor. How often do you think about the sustainability of your meetings? We do think about it, quite a lot frankly.

What are the 3 P’s of HUONE, do you know? Not only profit, but more importantly, also people and planet. Sustainability is an important value for HUONE, and has been ever since we started operating. We take sustainability into account in all of our locations worldwide, but specific to local customs. What does sustainability mean in event organising? How can we be better at it?

What Is Sustainability in Event Organising

Sustainability is certainly growing as an area of concern for event attendees and increasingly the trend set by the LOHAS generation (lifestyle of health and sustainability) indicates a growing demand for organisers to implement an event sustainability policy. — Emma Nolan: Working with Venues for Events

A great event planner doesn’t only think about the success of the event, but also, what it leaves behind. Sustainable event management takes into consideration environmental and social responsibility in event planning. Events can cause a lot of waste and result in a big carbon footprint. What can you do to prevent this? Success to a sustainable event requires some advance preparation and expertise.

Think of Your Energy Usage

Turn the lights off when you’re not using the space. Choose an event space that uses LED lights, as these are a lot more energy efficient. Are you really that cold or hot? Instead of turning up the AC or the heater, dress according to the season.

Location and Sustainability

If all your attendees have to drive to the event venue, your venue choice is not very sustainable. The more central and with better access to public transport your venue is, the easier it is for the attendees to arrive. Overseas colleagues don’t necessarily have to travel to every meeting in person, but can video call in. Therefore, choosing a venue with good AV set up is a must.

Recycling Is A Key to Sustainability in Events

Go paperless in your meetings if you can. At HUONE every meeting room has a proper AV set up for your presentations and workshops. Excess usage of paper is a big issue, same goes to waste management and recycling. The event venue has to have the option to recycle your waste (for example paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, bio, etc), and also a proper plan for waste management.

Event Venues Can Bulk Purchase

Bulk purchasing reduces the unit cost of products and materials. When you book your meeting with a professional event venue, whatever might be leftover from your event can be used for another meeting too.

Food Planning and Sustainability in Events

HUONE organises many meetings and events. We know without blinking our eyes how much food should be allocated per person for different events. Food waste is a big contributor to the carbon footprint of events. Therefore, good planning and know-how is the key to sustainability in event organising.

How HUONE Incorporates Sustainability into Event Organising

We have talked about sustainability in event organising on a more global level, but what about us specifically? Do we talk the talk, and also walk the walk. It’s easy to put together nice words to cover up, but we want to highlight the actions we take concretely in our everyday operations to make HUONE sustainable. Live like you preach, yeah? Damn right.

We’d like to point out that HUONE operates on two different continents in various locations — some of the sustainability actions can be location specific. We do prioritize sustainability in our values globally though. Below we point out transparently the good sides as well as the challenges of our daily operations.

Food and Sustainability

An event without food is like a spicy taco without the guac. Still sizzling, but there’s something missing — what a shame! Therefore, HUONE caters food for all events: to make life easier for you and your meeting a better experience. However, food has a huge impact on the environment. When you want to avoid high food waste and leftovers, it’s a great idea to call us and book your event at… HUONE! We take actions every day to be greener.

  • At HUONE we do not serve any beef, and we aim to purchase only MSC certified fish.
  • Our menu is always seasonal, and we aim to source the ingredients locally. This can be challenging sometimes, hence we do this when we can. However, there’s a lot of thought that goes to our meal planning. Food should be delicious but also seasonal.
  • We serve organic coffee – no synthetic fertilizers and all that mumbo jumbo – it’s just a better option for everyone!
  • HUONE guarantees there are alternative products available to accommodate different allergies and eating habits. For example in all of our locations, we have non-dairy options available. 
  • HUONE menu always has a vegetarian option. Good for you, good for the world.

Materials and Sustainability

In event organising, food has a very important impact on sustainability, but a few other things do too. If you have to print lots of papers for a big group of people, provide everyone with gift bags, and so on, you might accumulate a small Mt Everest of stuff. This can be quite unnecessary…

  • We recycle what we can – this means separating glass, bio, plastic etc. Sometimes it’s quite time-consuming for our operational team, especially in the rush hours, but we do it anyway.
  • Plastic is recycled at HUONE and we try to avoid single-use plastics such as plastic straws — honestly, you can survive without them. This is why we don’t stock plastic straws and instead give you a paper straw. Yes yes, paper ones get soggy after a while, but think about the good deed you do for the environment and drink your drink faster!!
  • HUONE uniform is 100% recycled. And it’s still beautiful and comfortable. There’s so much fabric in the world, that we decided we might as well create a uniform from what already exists. Touchpoint is behind our fabulous outfits of the day every single day, in case you want to read more about them.

HUONE and Corporate Responsibility

While we work to provide you with the most fantastic and sustainable event experience, we also work towards a better world behind the scenes.

  • We touched on food and on our efforts to tackle waste management a bit already. However, even we are not perfect at it. So what happens to food “waste”? It would be a shame to bin it, right. If you live in Helsinki, you can actually purchase HUONE Kamppi’s delicious leftover food from Lunchie Market. During the pilot period of 4 months, hundreds of hungry customers have enjoyed the delicious leftover food. Your day is easier when you don’t have to cook and can buy great food for cheaper, and less goes to waste.  Lucky you!
  • HUONE works with Plan International. If our employee has been working with us for at least a year, we appoint a child for them through Plan International and support them financially. This enables them to go to school and to receive basic education. As a result, children’s chances of building a better future improve greatly.
  • HUONE CEO Evon Blomstedt is an amazing creator, leader and an inspiration. Therefore, she is seen as a speaker at events and seminars around the world. However, she doesn’t keep any of the speaker remunerations she gets, and neither do we. All keynote speaker remunerations are donated towards different causes for Unicef.

Well well, that’s quite an information package on sustainability in event organising. Is there anything you’d like to know more? What tickles your fancy?

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