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Sustainability at Events

We contribute to sustainable events

SUSTAINABILITY IN EVENTS AND CONGRESSES.

The theme of sustainability is becoming increasingly central to events and congresses. In our view this is a very positive development which is also increasingly appreciated by visitors. Sustainability is also an important theme at QuickSpace.

Quickspace contributes to sustainability in 3 ways.

 

1. NO WASTE

Waste is an important issue in the event industry. In a short period of time entire halls are built beautifully, but unfortunately this often results in a large waste stream. For example, printed materials or floor coverings that are used only once, or temporary spaces that are constructed using wood or other sheet material for one-time use.
One of the benefits around sustainability at QuickSpace is that there are no waste streams created when using our products. QuickSpace room in room products are quickly assembled and disassembled, and thoroughly cleaned afterwards in an environmentally friendly manner.

2. RE-USE AND CIRCULARITY

At the end of the life cycle of our products, the textiles are processed into usable products, such as bags and covers, thus contributing to a circular economy. In doing so, we work together with various partners.

3. LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION

QuickSpace works exclusively with devices that are energy efficient. For example, all our lighting is based on economical LED technology, and we work with fans that have a very low consumption. Did you know that a dome for 50 people costs less than € 0.55 per day in electricity?

In addition, QuickSpace can transport its products very efficiently, due to the relatively low weight and volume of the products. We therefore do not need heavy equipment such as trucks, which is very environmentally friendly.

Sustainability at Events

 

THE SUSTAINABILITY TOOLKIT FOR YOUR EVENT

1. TEST HOW SUSTAINABLE YOU ARE NOW

In 2018, research revealed that approximately 351.2 million tons of waste were generated in Germany. And while the amount of waste generated varies by event, the amount of waste released per person still remains high. According to script events Amsterdam, key figures show that at least 1 liter of waste per person, every 4 hours is generated. That is quite a large carbon footprint that is generated. These key figures are based on the visitors during an event and focuses on consumption. But if we look at the total picture of an event, such as the logistics, accessibility location, energy and water consumption, catering (materials), waste management and recycling, paper waste, use of communication in waste prevention, and produced (chemical) waste from cleaning among others, then the actual number of liters of waste per person, per event, is higher. And since these factors are difficult to measure, we can only reduce our impact on the environment by adapting ourselves.

OVAM’s green event scan measures your event based on 8 themes: space, cathering, material, waste, energy, water, mobility and policy, and helps you provide insight into your sustainability. The ISO 20121 can help with a framework to act more sustainable during your event compared to a ‘sustainability checklist’ that falls under greenwashing.
 

2. THINK OF ALTERNATIVES OUTSIDE THE WASTE BIN

When it comes to waste disposal, people tend to think of the trash can. However, recycling is not always sustainable and not everything can be recycled. For example, much of our recyclable waste has been going to multiple countries since 2018 since China no longer wants to take our waste. But that means more transportation and other complex measures such as waste quotas and (higher) tariffs. According to plasticsoupfoundation, only 9% of the total plastic produced has been recycled since 1950. And although there is recyclable plastic (categories 1 to 6), most plastic falls under category 7 (other plastic) that is burned since nothing can be done with it.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives for disposing of waste such as recycling, renovating or donating waste. This does not have to cost money and you do others a favor. For example, as an entrepreneur you can buy, sell, or donate industrial waste through the afvalmarkt.nl (Netherlands), waste-outlet.com, or even through social media such as Facebook marketplace. There are also artists and creative organizations that give waste a new concept (trash art) and some are happy to accept waste. Leftover food from events can be donated to food banks or composting companies.

 

3. CHECK YOUR SUPPLIERS

With countless suppliers of materials and products, a nice price tag doesn’t always mean nice for the environment. According to the OECD, international transport has an impact on the environment, but it is difficult to draw conclusions about how bad the impact is. What is clear is that thanks to the easy availability of products, there is an upward trend in international freight transport. As a result, the upstream visibility in the supply chain is very limited in terms of CSR. Therefore, below are a few alternatives of what you can do:
● Choose local suppliers and partnerships.
● Rent instead of buy.
● Look for sustainability labels with integrity such as ISO 140001 or B-Corp.
● Monitor CSR activities of supplier (annually) with, for example, a Sustainable Scorecard.
● Take a sustainability consultation, for example via meetgreen.
● Involve your supplier with business decisions and expectations.
● Check that your supplier does not engage in greenwashing.
 

4. MAKE USE OF SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY

A green economy can only exist with a clean form of technology and innovations. And that means the need for stable and robust processes, which among other things helps to challenge the waste stream in the event industry. One of the biggest culprits in the event industry according to afvalonline are “single-serve” products, such as plastic cups and plates, plastic bags, disposable tableware, but promotional materials and (plastic) goodies also contribute to the problem. Fortunately, thanks to technological developments, new products and methods have been developed that will make your event green and look good, such as:
● Biodegradable cups, dinnerware, bags and plates.
● Electronic promotional materials.
● Pocket ashtrays as goodies; for example, from cleanpicnic.
● Use of online channels to distribute news such as program booklets, flyers, invitations but also to limit stationery.
● Pour water from the tap, possibly with a tap water cooler.
● Coordinate with catering to replace meat with meat substitutes.

 

5. COMMUNICATE CREATIVELY

Communication is and remains the easiest way to involve participants in your sustainability mission. As an organizer, you have an influential role and can engage people with your sustainability goals. But although communicating in itself is simple, it is still (unconsciously) done ineffectively. This does not have to be due to wrong use of words, text on material or external factors such as sound (noise), but can also innocently arise from misinterpretation or misperception.
Fortunately, there are ways to get your message across effectively even without the use of words. For example, having participants pay for reusable cups and give their money back when they return them. Communicating a sign with your environmental mission so participants see what happens to their (recyclable) waste and feel more involved. Or after an event make the participants more aware of how sustainable they act via https://myeventfootprint.com/.

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