Throughout the year, you will see a variety of events and campaigns organised by students and staff, in collaboration with the Sustainability Team to drive positive change, highlight impacts and illustrate how we as a University are reducing our environmental impacts.
Take a look at our annual events, and an eye out for their next dates!
Want to Get Involved?
If you want to be involved in our scheduled activities, or have an innovative idea of your own, we would love to hear from you! Contact us so we can work together in bringing about more positive change.
How can Events Themselves be Sustainable?
Any gathering of a large number of people can have a potential negative impact on the air, soil, water, resources and people. But by taking sustainability planning into consideration, you have the opportunity to not only to minimise potential negative impacts but also to influence behaviour by leaving a positive legacy and hopefully inspiring those involved to live more sustainably. That’s why we should encourage everyone to include sustainability into their planning process.
Conserving energy, reducing waste, purchasing local products and simply consuming less – all can result in money saved. Though some resources (financial or human) can be at a higher cost, or requiring more research, applying sustainability principles can bring immediate savings:
- by printing less material
- producing less waste to collect.
- longevity of ‘reusable’ event resources, over single-use varieties (i.e. posters and banners with no dates compared to those that mention the year).
- by offering unique merchandise (tree planting contributions, donations to charity or recycled products over the traditional pens and bags found at most stands and events).
- long-term financial benefits, with more efficient use of resources and easier access to credit lines and sponsors.
Promoting the fact that you are organising or hosting a sustainable event will raise the profile of the event, attract a wider audience and potentially engage the media’s attention. It may also be appreciated by the general public as well as partners and sponsors.
If planned and implemented carefully, your event can influence others to adopt the same practice. Looking for larger scale benefits, then the creation of jobs, encouraging local investment and partnerships can all benefit the community and social inclusion. It can be a catalyst for encouraging environmental behaviour changes.
The Checklist for Sustainable Events
If you decide to integrate sustainability into your event, activity or social, make sure you start early and develop your event well in advance; do not forget to:
- Prepare a plan with clear objectives responsibilities, deadlines and appropriate monitoring actions.
- Research is crucial for better alternatives (i.e. merchandise, paper use, food ingredients etc.). Remember to think outside the box and if you are struggling, ask us for advice.
- Allocate resources (time, and money) – remember, the long-term financial savings and more efficient use of resources will quickly compensate for the initial investment!
- Focus on the areas where you have influence: If you are not responsible for the venue or certain products, that is fine (but remember you can provide feedback and recommendations after the event).
- Communicate your sustainable improvements! Make sure your participants and other stakeholders are aware and engaged in your sustainable activities – use your communication channels.
- Monitor and report: measure the progress of your sustainability activities – to quantify achievements, benchmark weaker areas and set targets and improvements for the future. This can also be used as a marketing and communication tool.