Pioneering sustainable event management with QLDC, Wastebusters, and WAO

Recognising the need for greater awareness of sustainable event management, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Wastebusters, in partnership with WAO, are proactively working to improve the understanding of the environmental impact of events.

This case study delves into the role of Environmental Accounting Services (EAS) in participating in the “How to Run a Sustainable Event” workshops, highlighting the journey towards achieving a more environmentally friendly future for events ranging from sports to conferences.

The challenge: A sustainable imperative

In an era where environmental, social, and economic concerns are at the forefront, the demand for sustainable event management is evident. Acknowledging this, QLDC, Wastebusters, and WAO initiated a series of workshops aimed at equipping event managers with the knowledge and tools necessary for hosting environmentally conscious events. The challenge was clear: to integrate sustainability into event planning, thereby addressing the environmental impacts that events can have, including waste generation, natural resource consumption, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The goal: Empowering change through collaboration

The primary goal of the workshop was to forge a collaborative platform for event organisers. Here, participants could engage with experts to learn and brainstorm strategies for reducing waste and emissions created by the event. The workshops were designed not only to educate but also to inspire actionable solutions that could lessen the environmental footprint of events.

Our approach: A hands-on workshop

EAS stepped into this initiative by contributing to both workshops with insightful presentations and interactive sessions. Our focus was twofold:

  1. Quantifying GHG emissions: We explained the importance of determining an event’s GHG footprint, offering a methodology for emissions calculation. This included strategies for mitigating environmental impacts, with a particular emphasis on the predominant role of travel-related emissions.

  2. Sustainable event management principles: Our discussions extended beyond emissions, exploring the holistic concept of sustainable event management. This encompasses planning and organising events in a manner that reduces the impact on the environment with positive outcomes for society.

The outcome: Enlightened event management

The outcome of our collaborative effort was an enhanced understanding among event managers of how to estimate and mitigate the GHG emissions of their events. The workshop clarified demystified the complexities of sustainable event planning, providing attendees with the tools and confidence to integrate better practices into their events. As a helpful resource, a waste and emission reduction guide was developed and made accessible through the QLDC website, serving as a comprehensive reference for best practices in sustainable event management.

The “How to Run a Sustainable Event” workshop, lead by QLDC, Wastebusters, and WAO, with the support of EAS, marks a significant milestone in the journey towards sustainable event management. By fostering a deeper understanding of environmental impacts and promoting actionable solutions, this initiative has set a precedent for how events can be orchestrated with a commitment to sustainability. Through education, collaboration, and practical guidance, the event management industry can lead by example and be part of a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future.

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