Sustainable event management is the process of planning and organizing events that minimize the negative environmental, social and economic impacts, while maximizing the positive ones. Sustainable events aim to reduce waste, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and other resources, as well as to promote social inclusion, diversity, accessibility, health and well-being of the participants and the host community.

Sustainable event management is not only a moral duty, but also a competitive advantage for event organizers and venues. According to a survey by Eventbrite, 59% of respondents said they are more likely to attend events that are environmentally or socially conscious, and 38% said they would pay more for such events. Moreover, sustainable events can also reduce costs, enhance reputation, attract sponsors and partners, and comply with regulations and standards.

In Asia, where the event industry is growing rapidly, there are many opportunities and challenges for sustainable event management. Some of the latest trends and best practices in this field include:

– Using renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies: Many venues in Asia are investing in solar panels, LED lighting, smart thermostats and other green solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and save on utility bills. For example, the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore has installed over 7,000 solar panels on its rooftop, which can generate enough electricity to power 1,300 four-room flats per year. MBS has also achieved the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification in 2014, becoming the first MICE facility in Southeast Asia to do so.

– Reducing waste generation and promoting recycling: Waste management is a major challenge for events, especially in Asia where waste disposal facilities are often inadequate or lacking. To address this issue, event organizers and venues can adopt various strategies, such as using reusable or biodegradable materials, providing recycling bins and composting facilities, donating excess food and materials to charities, and educating participants on waste reduction. For example, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) in the UK, which hosted the sailing events for the London 2012 Olympics, reduced its utility costs by 15% from better waste management and energy use. WPNSA also achieved the ISO 20121 certification for its sustainability efforts.

– Choosing eco-friendly transportation options: Transportation is another significant source of emissions and pollution for events. To reduce the environmental impact of travel, event organizers and venues can encourage participants to use public transport, car-sharing services, electric vehicles or bicycles. They can also provide shuttle buses or discounts for green transport modes. For example, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its subsidiary Scoot have announced that they will use a blend of refined jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel for all their flights out of Changi Airport beginning 2022, reducing CO2 emissions by about 2,500 tonnes annually. SIA also offers a programme for passengers to offset carbon emissions from their flights by supporting environmental projects in India, Indonesia and Nepal.

– Engaging stakeholders and creating awareness: Sustainable event management is not only about technical solutions, but also about human behavior and attitudes. Therefore, it is important to engage all stakeholders involved in the event planning and delivery process, such as staff, contractors, suppliers, sponsors, partners, speakers and attendees. By communicating the sustainability goals and benefits of the event, providing training and feedback sessions, rewarding good practices and creating a culture of sustainability, event organizers and venues can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among all stakeholders. They can also use the event as a platform to raise awareness and educate participants on sustainability issues and solutions.

These are some of the latest trends in sustainable event management that can help venues in Asia to accommodate these practices. By adopting these practices, venues can not only reduce their environmental impact, but also enhance their social and economic value. Sustainable event management is not only a trend, but a necessity for the future of events.


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