09 Dec 2021

How to make your event more sustainable than the rest

 Sustainable events - Aggreko

The focus on sustainability at events is increasing all the time. As well as complying with local regulations, making your events as sustainable as possible is crucial for both attracting customers and generating positive PR for your company. A recent survey by the National Marketing Institute found that 58% of US consumers consider a company’s impact on the environment when making purchasing decisions - if you can’t position yourself in the top bracket of sustainable organizations you’re going to lose out on significant business.

So what can the events industry do right now to become more sustainable?

Choose clean energy destinations and sustainable venues

When you’re considering the location of your event, it’s important to research where the power comes from in your host city as this will have a direct impact on your carbon footprint.

Bodies such as not-for-profit charity CDP publish data on cities’ power sources and highlights those that generate at least 70% of their energy from renewable sources. For a more eco-friendly event, you should also consider where attendees will be traveling from and choose a destination that will be easily accessible to most without high carbon emission generating journeys.

Buildings and construction account for 11% of emissions so once you’ve identified your destination look for potential sustainable venues that are looking to reduce this by working towards net-zero. If they have their own generators, make sure that they use renewable fuel rather than fossil fuel.

Electrical transport and plant-based catering

Not all cities have electrified public transport but many are weighing up the costs and benefits of the transition. Events boost the local economy so if you push for sustainable transport when negotiating with a region it will help inform their decision-making for the future. If you’re arranging travel or airport transfers for delegates then you can hire zero-emissions vehicles to increase the overall sustainability of your event.

The impact of the meat industry on the environment has been highlighted recently so a switch to plant-based catering at your event can make a significant difference. Meat substitutes are becoming better all the time so, depending on the type of event you’re holding, will people really mind if there are no meat-based meals available at your eco-friendly event?

Cleaner energy solutions

Many events require additional power above and beyond what can be provided by the local grid and this is where you can make the biggest difference in your sustainability. There are still a large number of events that rely on diesel generators to keep them powered but this needn’t be the case.

Aggreko has been investing heavily in alternative fuels throughout this century as we understand how important they are for our future. In fact, in 2020 we invested over $100 million dollars (43% of our total fleet CAPEX) in lower-carbon products to help our customers reduce emissions. Our aim is to reduce diesel fuel in our solutions by at least 50% over the next decade as we continue our journey to becoming a net-zero company by 2050.

By investing in new energy sources such as batteries, LNG, and HVO fuel we’re able to offer cleaner power for your event whatever its size or location. We’ll even provide alternative quotes to show you how we optimize to reduce emissions and give you access to accurate emissions data for your event.

As an example, we recently provided all the power, heating, and cooling for the 43rd Ryder Cup with a solution optimized for sustainability. By minimizing diesel generator use and replacing it with propane and batteries we were able to reduce the carbon emissions of the event by over 200 metric tons.

Final thoughts

It’s easy to think of sustainability within events as an extra hindrance or hurdle to overcome when event planning but why not embrace it instead and make it a key selling point? Whatever industry your event is in, carbon emissions are a factor. So if you can show that you use cleaner and more renewable energy than others you’ll receive fantastic positive publicity and maximize the number of attendees.

Get in touch with Aggreko today, and let us show you how we can make your even the most sustainable around.