23rd February 2009

Demand for green venues 'outweighs supply'

Sustainable events are becoming increasingly popular among conference organisers, with experts claiming that demand for . . .

<p>Sustainable events are becoming increasingly popular among conference organisers, with experts claiming that demand for eco-friendly venues outweighs supply at the moment as businesses seek to reduce their carbon footprint.</p><p>Matt Wilson, events director for the Conference People, says there are various ways organisations can go about staging a green event, even on a reduced budget.</p><p>For those who want to keep their efforts simple, they can implement measures such as recycling or going paperless, while the most environmentally-conscious can book a sustainable facility to take care of all their green needs.</p><p>An example of this is the Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre in Berkshire. The buildings were constructed using recycled, renewable and local materials and it runs on 100 per cent renewable "ecotricity".</p><p>The design of the facility means that it makes the most of natural light and ventilation, while its high quality insulation and Building Management System means its heating and cooling process works efficiently.</p><p>Mr Wilson says that the Conference People tailor their conventions to the requirements of the organiser.</p><p>"For every client that comes along we look at each individual case and offer to make their events as sustainable as possible, not just from an environment point of view, but socially and economically as well," he states.</p><p>Mr Wilson claims that offsetting CO2 emissions is one of the main ways of making a conference more eco-friendly.</p><p>When it comes to international events, when delegates and speakers are flying in from all over the world, organisers can soon build up a large carbon footprint, so it is important to look for methods to remove that deficit.</p><p>"Looking at things like encouraging delegates to use public transport rather than driving to the event. Look at using local suppliers if possible, using caterers or suppliers of food that use sustainable methods or fair trade food," he suggests.</p><p>Organic cuisine is a major element of sustainable event organisation, with most experts citing this as a way of being eco-friendly.</p><p>Businesses that want to be green on a smaller scale can look at other avenues, however, says Mr Wilson.</p><p>"There are other areas, just getting the client to understand the impact their event is having and looking at reducing that. The main one is being paperless," he states.</p><p>Mr Wilson says that his company has an online management system so all of the administrative elements are done electronically, cutting down on resources.</p><p>This is a practice adopted by EcoEvents, which specialises in ethical event management.</p><p>According to the company, conferences can be green even down to the smallest detail of using pencils and pens made out of recycled materials.</p><p>Mr Wilson claims that the hospitality industry is "getting there slowly" when it comes to sustainability, with some of the large hotel chains adopting environmental polices.</p><p>He advises companies to think about the small details they can improve to be that little bit greener.</p><p>"We look at the whole picture and each individual element of the event as we are managing it and the ways of making it more sustainable and reducing the carbon footprint of it as well," he concludes.<br/><img alt="ADNFCR-1753-ID-19039755-ADNFCR" src="http://feeds.directnews.co.uk/feedtrack/justcopyright.gif?feedid=1753&it..." /></p>