Taking responsibility for and caring about the environmental impact of your event is a key asset and a contributor to your image as a responsible event organiser. The City of Tampere is committed to promoting sustainable development and therefore encourages event organisers to consider the environment in their operations.
The Think Sustainably service encourages local companies and events to take steps towards a climate-friendlier future.
Follow these steps to join the Think Sustainably service:
- Go through the industry-specific sustainability criteria in the link below.
- With your own event or company in mind, think about which criteria you already meet and which ones could you work towards?
- Make the necessary changes to meet the required number of criteria.
- Join the service through the Visit Tampere Think Sustainably website linked below.
Tips for organizing a sustainable event
Create a sustainability plan for your event and designate a person who is responsible for making sure everyone follows the plan.
- Educate event-goers about the event’s sustainability policy.
- Engage sponsors, subcontractors and other partners in your event's sustainability practices.
- When possible, use 100% solar, water, bio or wind energy at your event.
- Make an energy reduction plan that can be monitored.
- Make it possible for visitors to compensate for their carbon footprint, or compensate it on their behalf.
- If you are in charge of an event venue, look into producing your own renewable energy.
- Choose venues that are easy to get to.
- Minimize the event’s impact on surrounding nature and water.
- Follow possible weight limitations, grass and other soft surface materials may not be able to take the weight of heavier vehicles and structures.
- Clean up the venue and its surroundings after the event.
- Make sure lights and audiovisual equipment in the meeting rooms are turned off whenever the rooms are not in use.
- Take accessibility into consideration when planning your event.
- If you are in charge of an event venue, look into the possibilities to promote the number of pollinators for example by planting flowers (e.g. lavender or clover) or set up a beehive.
- Encourage participants and guests to arrive on foot, by bicycle or public transport.
- Arrange for a supervised bike parking area for the event.
- Arrange for extra buses if needed.
- Use local providers, this minimizes the need for long distance transportation.
- Avoid unnecessary transportation.
Purchases and materials
- Promote recycling and reuse, avoid the use of disposable products.
- Where possible, use environmentally certified and sustainably and ethically sourced products.
- Reuse signs, banners, employees’ outfits and other materials.
- Repurpose unusable materials, such as old banners, flags and carpets. The materials can be used to make new products such as reusable bags.
- Do not distribute flyers and other marketing paraphernalia that will often be thrown away.
- Communicate without paper. Encourage presenters not to use handouts but instead deliver material online during or after the conference. If something needs to be printed, make sure it is printed on recycled paper and on both sides.
- Encourage exhibitors to bring a realistic amount of promotional material. Ask them to take extra materials back home for later use.
- Distribute brochures and giveaways (pens, pins, notepads and the like) only to those with a genuine interest or need and encourage delegates to only take what they need. Make sure all products are sustainably and ethically sourced and avoid heavily packaged products.
- Provide a drop-off point for name-badges and unwanted brochures and promotional items. Reuse name-badge holders in future events.
Food & Water
- Serve locally-produced seasonal produce and vegetarian foods.
- Where possible choose organic and Fair Trade products.
- Avoid disposable plates, cups and cutlery, charge a deposit for reusable dishes.
- Arrange waste sorting in food service areas or plan food service in a manner that makes it possible to dispose of all waste from food service as organic waste.
- Minimize food waste, look into ways of donating leftover food.
- Provide clean drinking water and a water bottle refilling station.
- Employ people who may otherwise be difficult to place in the work environment.
- Take your events accessibility and equality into consideration.
- Organize free activities as part of your event for example by offering a free stream or side event.
- If the noise from the event causes disturbance, remember to submit a notification of noise.
- Use fixed structures or the shape of the terrain to contain the noise within the venue.
- Inform the people who live nearby and other affected people or organisations about your event.
- Provide earplugs.
- Draw up a waste management plan for your event.
- Arrange a sorting area and staff to assist with the sorting, make sorting easy for the participants.
- Make sure that there are enough clearly marked waste bins in the area, place them along walkways and near food stands, and make sure they are emptied often enough.
- Provide ashtrays in smoking areas.
- Provide enough toilet facilities for your staff, participants and audience.
Event organizers can apply for the EcoCompass Event certificate that involves a commitment to long-term environmental performance and an environmental management programme with tangible measures to be taken.