Environmental issues in event industry

Hi friends! Talk with me, share your opinion and be safe :wink:

Events are considered an essential asset in society, but does society consider the negative impacts that this activity brings? The objective is not to end with events, at all, but to reduce the issues that they bring, such as contemporary environmental issues (EI). The different impacts caused by human beings and industries are well known in the triple bottle line: social, economic and environmental. Considering the environmental impacts and relating them with the event industry, there are numerous examples of issues that can be highlighted here: the carbon emission due to national and international travel to events location, the waste production, the energy and water consumption, air pollution due to the fireworks, noise pollution, environmental degradation due to outdoor events, and much more other issues.

Analysing this problem, there are several stakeholders who contribute to EI but they are also working to reduce them, these are event organizers, supply chain, attendees and participants, including also the local government. Currently, several strategies have been implemented as a way of minimizing the issue, based on different measures implemented by different international standards such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the international ISO 20121, and among others. The government has also defined action measures up to 2025 with the aim of, for example, reducing negative impacts on the environment, measures that can be implemented by any industry, in this case, the event industry. For example, the measures cover actions like innovative ways to reduce water and energy consumption, promote recycling in order to reduce the amount of waste, which I consider a very vague solution. What are the innovative ways? Is there an innovative idea that has not yet been implemented or discussed?
I think it would be strategic if the measures were mandatory by law or if an event was evaluated beforehand by the locality, in order to understand the future consequences!

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Interesting topic :slight_smile: what do you think we can do, as participants to reduce the negative impact of the events on environment ?

Thank you! I believe it would have a huge impact if many of the participants do not attend in less sustainable events, the no-show will reduce the impacts and would cause the organized to rethink their strategies, becoming more sustainable!

Very interesting, thanks for sharing! Indeed, physical events - as we knew them at least - can be very wasteful. Just think of all the fit-out and props that get built for a medium to large scale event, and how they end up being thrown away after every event, as they are not re-usable. The same goes for the impact of travel, if you add up all the attendees/speakers flying to different areas to attend/speak at events, it really adds up.

I believe that virtual events can really help with providing a more environmental-friendly alternative to physical events, and if anything they enable people from remote places and communities, to still attend, thus they foster inclusivity. We think a lot about all this at Balloon (https://www.joinballoon.com), and being environmentally friendly is one of our core pillars.

Hey Vanessa,

I would love to further discuss this topic, I am currently a founder of a nonprofit called Shift Our Ways Collective in Los Angeles. This has been an insightful read that also connects with our mission of growing sustainable communities and part of doing this is being mindful of the waste we create by attending large events.

Stephanie