Last month, the band Coldplay posted an emissions update concerning their Music of Spheres tour, which has so far produced 47% less C02e emissions than their previous stadium tour in 2016-17.
The update also shares that:
- 66% of all tour waste has been diverted from landfills.
- 5 million trees planted – one for each concert goer.
- Power for the show’s production (audio, lighting, lasers etc.) is provided from an electric battery system that uses 100% renewable energy.
- An average of 86% of the reusable, plant-based LED wristbands used by the audience during the show have been returned.
- Each show has averaged 15kWh in power generated by in-venue solar installations, kinetic dance floors and power bikes.
- 3,770 meals + 73 kg of toiletries has been donated from tour catering to the unhoused and unsheltered.
- And more!
How can event managers incorporate some Coldplay-inspired sustainability into events? Here are some ideas:
1. Hold virtual or hybrid events to minimize travel-related emissions. Virtual events can also serve as a way to stay top of mind with attendees in between larger conferences. As well, virtual may cut down on time spent at a conference as some offerings could be accomplished pre- or post- event.
2. Implement a comprehensive waste management system to prioritize recycling and composting. This can be accomplished by minimizing single-use items such as plastic water bottles, straws, and utensils. Encourage attendees to bring their own reusable items or providing eco-friendly alternatives. Provide refillable water stations so guests can refill their personal water bottles.
3. Power the event with renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. Also, utilize energy-efficient lighting and equipment to reduce overall energy consumption.
4. Encourage attendees to use public transportation, carpooling, or cycling to reach the event venue. Provide clear information about available transportation options and incentives for sustainable travel.
5. Opt for locally sourced and organic food options to support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation. Choose caterers who practice sustainability by using biodegradable or compostable serving ware.
6. Use recycled and eco-friendly materials for event signage, banners, and promotional materials. Choose printing services that offer sustainable options, such as vegetable-based inks and recycled paper.
7. Partner with organizations that offer carbon offset programs. Calculate the event’s carbon footprint and invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as reforestation or renewable energy initiatives.
8. Choose event venues that have implemented sustainable practices, such as LEED certification, energy-efficient systems, and waste management programs. Consider outdoor or green venues that minimize the need for additional resources.
9. Use the event as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness about sustainability. Organize panel discussions, workshops, or interactive exhibits that highlight eco-friendly practices and inspire attendees to adopt sustainable behaviors.
Sustainability is an ongoing effort, and every small step counts. By incorporating these practices into your events, you can make a positive impact and encourage others to follow suit. Way to go, Meeting Planner!