Sustainable Events Articles and Musings

Sustainable Events: Building knowledge and a career

Oct 23, 2021
 

Something we're all really positive about when it comes to sustainability and events is that there are now jobs for people in this field, training's available and you can get your competency assessed and recognised.

This is the final instalment of our series of seven snippets this week with fellow sustainable event stalwarts Jill SaveryShawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell, and we're talking about careers in events sustainability.

I'm constantly approached by people wanting to bring sustainability into their events career, start specialising in it, or those just starting out wanting to work out how to have a career in this burgeoning field.

So I'm going to host an info session on Wed 17th Nov, 7pm AEST, 6pm Brisbane, 10am CET, 9am UK. Here I'll talk about my journey in sustainable events, where the opportunities are now to skill up (including my course and resources, plus others'), and answer your questions. 

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Sustainable Events: Research and jumping the academic fence

Oct 22, 2021
 

Over this week I've been sharing some great insights on sustainable event management from gurus in the field Jill SaveryShawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell.

Today's topic is research.

It's a passion of mine and many others - data, data, data....insights and learnings which can be applied. When I wrote the first edition of my book there were barely any research papers in our field.

By the second edition I found quite a few, many referencing my book (hilarious and a shock!).

By the third edition, there had been quite the uptick in numbers of papers, and a recent review of the literature shows it's booming.

But.... barely any of these terrific learnings and conclusions are reaching industry.

There's a great opportunity to match research with events, and events with researchers - and to facilitate the findings into the industry for use.

I've attempted to start this matching service before, but couldn't deliver it. If anyone is as excited about this potential and...

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Sustainable Events: The Devil is in the Detail

Oct 21, 2021
 

The devil is surely in the detail. And the person I go to whenever I want to check in on the detail is Shawna McKinley.

She joined Jill SaverySuzanne Morrell and myself in a big old discussion on sustainable events, where we've come from, where we are now, and what's peeking at us from over the horizon.

I'd say Shawna and I have been tick tacking on sustainable events for more than a decade. I remember connecting with her when I first wrote my books.

She truly was a beacon in those early days. She totally got it. At last I'd found my person! I'm constantly impressed by Shawna's insights and how about her most recent offering, the carbon calculator for digital events.

Check it out here: https://digitaleventcarboncalculator.com/

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Sustainable Events: Save time while saving the planet

Oct 19, 2021
 

Jill SaveryShawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell and I met up for a big old discussion on the state of events sustainability now and in the future, along with a little look back on where we've been.

We've dived into to lots of topics and today's quite snipped is about how we hope the solutions are pulled up through our supply chain, especially our venues and hotels. 

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Sustainable Events: It's all about people

Oct 19, 2021
 

In today's fourth instalment of what I'm now referring to as the sustainable events sector's Agony Aunts (oh God), here's a quick little bit of gold about people.

All the people that have to play their part to get this thing done. Check out the previous three chats in my feed and meet the Aunties....   Jill SaveryShawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell.

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Sustainable Events: We've got to kick those bad habits

Oct 18, 2021
 

I met up with Jill SaveryShawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell, champions in event sustainability, to talk about where we're at in our industry, where we've come from and what's on the horizon.

Today we talked about bad habits and how event planners might be a little stuck in the rut of doing what they've always done. We need to jump the rail and get with the new normal - the sustainability normal!

Suzanne and I met when we co-produced the Sustainable Event Alliance's event re-set hackathon back in April 2020. She's on the board of the SEA and is key in bringing together sustainable event people all over the USA through the SEA. She brings the sustainability edge to prominent meetings and events in business and govt, and has been pushing the sustainability agenda in the meetings sector for so many years. I get to work with Suzanne every week through the SEA and she's such a constant voice of reason!

 

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Sustainable Events: Are you hopeful for 2030?

Oct 17, 2021
 

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with these leaders in events and sustainability to talk through where we're at, where we've come from and what's on the horizon.

Over the next week, every day I'll post some of the gold!

We talk bad habits, research, professional development, supply chain and career opportunities. First up we discussed being hopeful for 2030.

I'm joined by Jill Savery, Shawna McKinley and Suzanne Morrell.

You mightn't know it but Jill is co-author of the book 'Sustainability and Sport'. She's also an ex-Olympian, was deeply immersed in all things sustainability at London 2020 Olympics, and has made her mark on sustainability and sailing. I get to work with Jill every week and it's just so great!

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Climate change impact of Food & Bev at events? It's something we need to get straight.

Oct 14, 2021

Food and beverage is at just about every event, and we know that what we choose to serve comes with a legacy of greenhouse gases.

But whether to include F&B in your event’s carbon footprint, and just how to go about it, is something we need to get straight.

Reducing GHGs of course is key, and regardless if or how you measure, there are steps we can take to reduce the climate impact of serving and selling food at events.

We’ve heard that eating less or no red meat could halve a carbon footprint. And that food grown in hothouses, highly processed, packaged and long-travelled food can have big GHG impacts compared to fresh and local. We’ve even heard reports of lamb produced in New Zealand and sold in the UK might have a lower footprint than lamb raised in the UK.

The truth is though, without a complete Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of every ingredient or category, considering your destination and food sourcing, and including local...

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Sometimes it's just about the loos

Aug 14, 2021

When I was 30 I was given an opportunity to work out how to run a festival sustainably, and I grabbed it with both hands. I had an inkling I'd be able to work it out.

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My first experience with sustainable events came when I took on Cultural Stomp in Newcastle, Australia. And I can tell you, I was just guessing at all this - with a gut feel and passionate optimism. We fumbled through the event testing this and that, but at the end we were really happy with what we achieved. We managed to transition all the serviceware to compostable, and recruit a local community garden to paint a heap of old bins I found and then do a test-compost mound at the gardens - (that's when I found out for sure that PLA DOES NOT compost in home-style compost heaps!).

That job lead to taking on Peats Ridge Festival, then a grand leap to the big ones - Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds. Yes. (thanks A Greener Festival for the recommendation and Melvin Benn for hiring me sight unseen).

That little Cultural Stomp...

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Join us during this down-time and get future-ready!

Sep 20, 2020

As events people, we’re go go go. Organising. Radio wielding. Golf buggy driving. Putting stuff up. Pulling stuff down. Peering into bins. Cajoling good practice. Setting up systems. Whiteboard strategising. 

But most of us have been put into hibernation. Of course, we’ve redirected that energy. Gardening. Craft. Home Renos. Over the top homeschooling. A new home gym. Watching everything on Netflix, A-Z. All with an accompanying spreadsheet.

In the meantime, our global collective of sustainable event freaks have been meeting online to keep our spirits high and our intentions solid. Hundreds of us met in April in a hackathon. New projects have been birthed such as the Global Reusables at Events Hygiene Project.

Together we’ve dove into how to tackle the biggest single-use plastic problem at events - our temporary look and overlay. We are all pledging to #buildbackbetter.

Watch out world, we’ve found some workarounds

The lucky amongst us...

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