The local meetings industry is a pioneer in ecological sustainability, inclusion, and accessibility. Sustainability is considered part of the industry’s DNA.
But, there are still choices organisers can make to improve sustainability. As all infrastructure is in place, we can focus on adding value to make meetings stand out and impress – from a sustainability standpoint.
Steps to Sustainability
- Include sustainability in the early planning stages.
- Plan your meeting to be inclusive for all.
- Involve employees and other stakeholders to identify key areas and set goals for the meeting.
- Collaborate with the destination and suppliers.
- Consider an eco-certification for meetings and events by the Swedish Environmental Base.
- Analyse purchasing practices and place demands on suppliers.
- Inspire others by sharing your ambitions and what you are doing.
- Measure, report and evaluate.
- Share your mishaps and celebrate your successes – large and small.
Travel and Transport
- Calculate and offset your greenhouse emissions. Go to the calculator.
- Travel with emission-free transportation and use public transport at the destination if possible. Encourage participants to do the same.
- Walk or cycle. Distances in Gothenburg are short. You can walk basically everywhere and there are plenty of bikes and scooters to rent.
- Encourage participants to carbon offset their travel.
- Choose an environmentally certified facility.
- Ask the provider how they can help you meet your goals – shared transport, food, waste etc.
Purchasing and waste
- Plan purchases based on reducing – reusing – recycling.
- Have a plan for leftover material.
- Make sure it is easy to sort waste.
- Choose local products that meet eco and ethical labelling standards.
- Choose local suppliers.
- Focus on experiences as give-aways.
Food and beverage
- Serve more vegetarian options.
- Choose seasonal and locally produced products.
- Choose ecologically and ethically labelled produce.
- Serve tap water instead of bottled water and obtain the Kranmärkt event label. Healthy and sustainable, without transport and waste.
- Communicate what you are serving and the origin of food and drink. Remember that information about allergies and ingredients simplify food choices for many people.
- Serve ethically labelled coffee and tea and certify the meeting according to Fairtrade City. If coffee or tea are not served, at least two other products must be ethically labelled e.g. chocolate, sugar, bananas, nuts and wine.
- Choose eco-labelled hotels. Almost all hotels in Gothenburg are eco-certified.
- Make it possible for people with difficulties hearing, seeing, or moving, intolerance toward certain substances, difficulty interpreting, processing and conveying information to participate at your meeting.
- Communicate accessibility already in the invitation.
- Promote gender equality actively in programmes and aim for panels with men and women.
The Checklist for Increased Accessibility at Meetings includes more information on making your meeting more accessible.
Wheelmap is an interactive map of accessible places in Gothenburg to help people in wheelchairs.
The Accessibility Database gathers accessibility information on registered establishments.
Contribute to the local community
- Explore legacy creating opportunities and activities to contribute to your long-term goals and to impact the local community.
- Encourage participants to get involved in activities promoting the local community or environmental organisations.
- Share knowledge and create outreach activities with local organisations such as science centres and festivals.
- Ask the meeting facility to donate surplus food and materials to local non-profit organisations.
Communication and marketing
- Inform participants about sustainability ambitions and sustainable actions.
- Prioritise digital communication and marketing.
- Involve and challenge participants to contribute to a sustainable meeting.
- Hire local hosts.
- Ensure that hosts have good working conditions and are insured.
- Be sure to have a wide diversity among hosts.