youth retreat centre

7 Easy Changes to Make Your Conference More Eco Friendly

Are you looking to organise an eco friendly conference? The good news is that there are a number of easy changes you can implement to improve the sustainability of your next conference. This is an excellent first step to improving the long-term environmental impact of your business and can help your business stand out from your competitors by prioritising sustainable practices. 

With 60% of companies having implemented sustainable strategies, the demand is rising for event organisers to proactively address their environmental impact, and this has now become the industry standard. As a result, conference attendees increasingly anticipate the presence of specific eco-friendly policies. So if you’re looking for help in this area, explore our easy changes below. 

Why Host a Green Business Conference?

Hosting a green business conference is essential to promote environmentally responsible practices within the corporate world. Such conferences provide a platform for industry leaders to share sustainable strategies, inspire innovation, and foster partnerships aimed at addressing pressing environmental challenges. 

They demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability, attracting environmentally conscious attendees and enhancing the organisation’s reputation. 

How to Host an Eco Friendly Conference

  1. Opt for digital rather than printed resources
  2. Choose an eco conference venue
  3. Reduce waste & single-use plastic
  4. Serve organic and locally sourced produce
  5. Encourage sustainable travel
  6. Go with energy-efficient LED lights
  7. Organise an event recycling and waste program

Eco-friendly conferences are crucial because they address the urgent need to minimise the environmental impact of large gatherings and events. By setting an example for responsible event planning, they inspire individuals and organisations to adopt eco-conscious behaviours, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future. 

1. Opt for Digital Resources

No, we don’t mean online events, we understand the value of in-person events at The Venues Collection but there are a number of easy changes you can make to improve the eco-friendliness of your next green business conference. 

Firstly, ditch printed resources. In a world where almost everyone has access to a smartphone, laptop or tablet, why waste money on printing materials such as brochures, schedules or floor maps? Don’t stop there, explore e-ticket options, encouraging people to have tickets ready on their phones or opt for recyclable badges, there are lots of options available online! 

With 67% of companies having started using more sustainable materials, such as recycled materials and lower-emitting products, there is a clear shift towards environmentally responsible sourcing and production practices. Not only is this going to put the budget towards more important areas of your green business conference but it’s also beneficial for the environment. 

Similarly, are you printing promotional material that ends up on the floor or in the bin? Are you printing giant banners that cost money and the earth? Create a buzz around your eco friendly event online by promoting it through social media and why not partner with a large company in your industry that can help to boost the visibility of your conference? 

Take it one step further and opt for a hybrid event. Hybrid events allow delegates to attend your green conference from further afield without the need to travel in person and avoid putting additional pressure on the environment. 

2. Choose an Eco Friendly Conference Venue

If you’re looking to hold an eco friendly conference, consider choosing the right venue.

By partnering with an eco friendly conference venue you immediately improve the sustainability of your conference and will find great support from the venue and their event coordinators due to their “built-in” sustainable services which will help you to continue with the green initiative for your conference. 

For a guide to choosing a sustainable venue why not check out The Venues Collection’s article on Sustainability Made Easy for a list of what to look for when choosing an eco friendly conference venue, check out our Guide To Sustainable Events.

When trying to plan an eco friendly conference you should also consider transport links to your chosen venue. Is the venue accessible by public transport? Does the venue offer car charging points? Do you have room in your budget or could you add an additional charge to offer a pollution-cutting transport option to your event from key areas that you know a large number of delegates will be arriving from?

Consider venues whose meeting rooms offer natural light and good heating/air conditioning solutions, we understand the British weather isn’t always reliable but opting for a venue with large windows is an easy way to use natural light to cut down on electricity at your event. One easy way to check this is to find out if air conditioning is set at a sensible level to ensure everyone is comfortable rather than using lots of energy by blasting out cold air.

3. Reduce Waste & Single Plastic Use

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to avoid using single-use plastic at your event. 

Encourage people to bring water bottles and offer refill stations. Why not offer tea and coffee in reusable mugs rather than paper cups and remove straws from your event? These are all easy ways to reduce single-use materials to work towards an eco-friendly conference.

If you don’t think you can completely move away from single-use resources at your event why not look into compostable options or those made from recyclable materials that can also be recycled once used? 

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to opt for recyclable or compostable materials. 

4. Serve Organic and Locally Sourced Produce

Food and beverages are a key part of any conference and are one of the best ways to improve the sustainability of your event

Firstly food should be served in eco-conscious packaging, whether that’s freshly cooked food served on reusable crockery or compostable food boxes. 

Secondly, there are a number of caterers available that use a sustainable approach to ensure you’re getting food that is tasty and good for the planet. If you partner with an eco friendly conference venue, they may offer sustainable catering as part of their green conference package so this is an excellent thing to ask about when considering what venue to choose. 

At Yarnfield Park, the carbon emissions of each dish are calculated to help you make the best decision for you and for the planet, we call this carbon labelling.

Another thing you should be asking when talking to sustainable caterers is how they reduce their leftover food waste or what they do with the waste from their food prep. This will give you an insight into how serious the caterer is about their green practices. 

5. Encourage Sustainable Travel

Encouraging sustainable travel when hosting an eco-friendly conference can significantly enhance the event’s overall impact. By promoting eco-conscious transportation options such as carpooling, public transit, cycling, or walking, you reduce attendees’ carbon footprint and contribute to a greener environment. 

This not only aligns with the conference’s eco-friendly theme but also sets a positive example for participants. Sustainable travel reduces traffic congestion and parking challenges, improving the overall logistics of the event. 

It also fosters a sense of community and shared responsibility among attendees, reinforcing the conference’s commitment to sustainability and leaving a lasting impression on participants about the importance of eco-friendly choices in their daily lives.

6. Go with Energy-Efficient LED Lights

Opting for energy-efficient LED lights when hosting a sustainable business conference can have a profound impact on the event’s sustainability. LED lights consume significantly less energy than traditional lighting sources, reducing electricity consumption and the associated carbon emissions. 

This not only lowers operational costs but also aligns with the conference’s green objectives, demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility. LED lighting provides a well-lit and eco-conscious ambience, enhancing the attendee experience. 

7. Organise an Event Recycling and Waste Program

By implementing proper waste sorting, recycling bins, and waste reduction strategies, you not only divert materials from landfills but also educate attendees about responsible waste disposal. This reinforces the conference’s sustainability message and fosters a culture of environmental awareness. 

Minimising waste through recycling and composting reduces the event’s environmental footprint and contributes to a cleaner, greener venue. Showcasing a well-organised recycling program demonstrates your event’s commitment to eco-conscious practices, enhancing its reputation and leaving a lasting impression on participants who are inspired to apply these principles in their daily lives.

Easy Changes to Make Your Conference More Eco-Friendly

When planning a green business conference it’s important to partner with eco friendly businesses that enable you to meet your sustainability goals. The above lists a range of areas that you can look into yourself to improve the sustainability of your conference or you can work with event professionals who specialise in greener conferences and meetings. 

In a 2022 study of 850 companies worldwide, 80% said they plan to increase their investments in sustainability, demonstrating a growing recognition of the importance of environmentally responsible practices in business operations and events.

At Yarnfield Park, sustainability is at the top of our agenda. We’re part of The Venues Collection which offers a variety of green event venues across the UK and have put eco-friendly practices in place including our Green Meetings initiative and our Future First Charter which includes our ‘Meetings For Change’ and ‘Menu For Change’ initiatives.

Promoting sustainability is easy at Yarnfield Park, explore our conference venue facilities

Go back to other articles