Here at House of Hud, as a group of individuals and a business, we are dedicated to having a positive impact with all that we do. One of our main goal is to deliver engaging experiences and portray ourselves a way in which positively impacts our community, suppliers, client and most of all, the planet.
The events sector has taken a while to take on board the various issues surrounding sustainability. As individuals, we are more able recognize and implement specific measures to enhance sustainability within our day-to-day lives. This in turn effects the way we operate as a business, manage our events, how we do things and who we work with.
LIVE EVENT POLICIES
- Location (Venue/Land Use)
- Local Resourcing
- Financial Impact
This is a point that needs to be carefully considered when you are planning an event. The impact includes all aspects: from how invitees attend the event, to how staff get to and from the event, how suppliers arrive and even how and where waste is dealt with. Below are a list of few things that we are planning to undertake:
- Consider teleconferencing
- Select venues with easy access to transport hubs if long-haul travel is necessary
- Select venues with easy access to public transport
- Provide easy directions and maps to help facilitate usage of public transport
- Provide shuttle service when required to minimise individual travel
- Offer carpooling services for those who do need to drive
- Promote alternative modes of transport, such as cycling
- Offer simple incentives for travelling via more ‘green’ modes of transport
- When possible, offer accommodation options within walking distance of the venues
- Use low emission vehicles when possible
- Offer appropriate Carbon offsetting options
- Select local suppliers whenever possible.
- When shipping in any equipment (furniture) ensure that vehicle space is maximised by either shipping other items on the same vehicle or inquire about sharing the shipment with another client.
- Minimise return shipping by selling/donating as much as possible at the end of the event
- Inquire about use of fuel-efficient vehicles
2. LOCATION (VENUE/LAND USAGE)
- We strive to work with venues who adhere to their own sustainability policy
- We meet with the representative to discuss current strategies
- We ensure that, when applicable, the venue has the appropriate accreditations
- We ensure that the terms of the agreed contract reflect any sustainability requirements we/our clients require.
- Dependent on the scope of the event, we look to hire venues with natural light, good insulation, etc.
- We try to ensure venue selection that reflects the needs of the group size appropriately, so as to not utilise unnecessary space and resources.
- We try to utilise venues that offer in-house services such as catering and A/V so as to minimise transport requirements related to these services.
- Consider contamination risks (chemical, sound, etc.)
- Material damage
- Wildlife effects
- Human effects
- Could we leave the area improved from when we arrived?
- Offer electronic marketing, registration and ticketing
- Utilise electronic solutions for branding/signage when possible
- Create more minimalistic décor/staging solutions
- Consider what items are essential for use at the event. Do you need giveaways such as pens or magnets?
- Consider whether anything needs to be produced/printed to give to guests
- Ask guests to supply items such as pens and pads if writing is required
- Don’t overfeed your guests to minimise waste.
- Try to ensure that suppliers use minimalistic packaging. (Re-use or recycle whatever packaging is essential.)
- This is even better than recycling, as it uses less energy to accomplish
- Reuse meeting collateral materials - name badge holders, pens, generic signage (avoid using dates)
- Hire/create set/staging solutions that can be used again (either by you or by another client
- Work with local suppliers to donate used materials in the community. Eg. If you used AstroTurf at your event, donate it to a local gym or football club.
- Request that the venue/caterer donate unused food items to local organisations, such as shelters
- Ensure that vendors/venues have sustainability systems in place to re-use materials - linen reuse policy, water saving devices, etc.
- Try to employ closed loop recycling. This way, the materials we purchase are already recycled, and can continue to be recycled.
- Recycle mixed paper, aluminium, glass, cardboard, printer cartridges and name-tags
- Assign a team member to monitor venue and vendor compliance
- When used, disposable plates, cutlery and cups made of 100% post-consumer product
- Share “green” practices with attendees
- LOCAL RESOURCING AND SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT
In order to be able to become as sustainable as we can, it’s a must to partner up with suppliers who have the same amount of enthusiasm for green solutions and ethical outlook as the business. The more businesses work together to become more sustainable, the more can be achieved.
- For both sustainability and economic reasons, resourcing as much as possible locally is a smart strategy.
- Local suppliers will know what is available and will have more of a vested interest in your event.
- Supply and deliver of goods and services that will require less travel and as a result, will produce fewer emissions.
- These local partnerships will have a positive effect on the community and could leave a lasting legacy that could improve the entire area.
Suppliers and companies who stand by ethical and sustainable procurement policies will have already done the required due diligence which ensures that all the participating parties are treated fairly and ethically in the process.
Controlling energy usage throughout an event is a more complicated, yet effective way of offering sustainability solutions. The options will rely heavily on chosen vendors as to the means of saving energy, as well as money.
We consider whether the use of the following energy sources can be achieved. We consult with venues and suppliers to review whether these sources, or alternative solutions, can effectively and efficiently be employed.
- Solar technology
- More efficient use of existing energy sources
- Creative energy sources such as used cooking oils
On a smaller, yet more manageable scale, we strive to achieve the following:
- Monitor power consumption
- Select venues with good insulation
- Alter thermostat settings by even one degree
- Select venues with energy saving policies in effect
- Use low energy lighting and equipment when possible
- Ensure all is switched off when not in use
We are proud to have introduced a carbon off-set plan, giving our clients the opportunity to offset the carbon cost of transporting equipment, and the wider impact of hosting an event.
The very nature of an event is an eco-challenge - high impact and temporary, and the event industry is a major culprit in unnecessary landfill and avoidable emissions. Currently there are no practical alternatives to using diesel-fuelled trucks and vans to deliver our equipment, and with Climate Change needing drastic action from everyone, we’re thinking about ways we can all take responsibility for helping with our impact, finding ways to minimise it (ask for our eco-tips for this) and providing an option to off-set where carbon still has to be spent.
We’re therefore introducing a voluntary carbon off-set to out deliveries, and also calculators to look at the wider impact of other elements of an event to enable our clients to be part of the solution.
Water is used in many ways during events, and the overall impact is not always obvious. Water usage in a venue will be very different than water usage at an outdoor event, and we consider each option.
- Unless essential, we request that tap water be used at events.
- When bottled water is required, we source ethical brands, who use minimal packaging. We also ensure recycling of all bottles.
- How are toilet and kitchen facilities set-up?
- Are there water saving solutions already in place?
- Can more alternatives be implemented?
- Are there dual flush or reduced flush toilets?
- Are there sensor activated taps?
Waste Water and Pollution:
- We consult with venue and vendors to ensure that all cleaning solutions and any other wastewater are disposed or appropriately so as to not cause damage to the local environment.
- When possible, we request that all cleaning products be environmentally friendly.
- FINANCIAL IMPACT
We are aware that in some cases, solutions that address all of these issues are more costly. We strongly believe that it is essential that we continue to work alongside our suppliers and vendors in order to ensure that they and we are coming to the best solution possible at the best of prices.
In many cases, financial benefits are not always going to be immediately apparent, but over time there will be a significant difference. As an example, eco-friendly materials which are produced for a wedding event may cost 10% more than standard normal supplies, but if this is used again and again, the price per use is reduced substantially.
Pre/Post Event Policies:
EVERY DAY OFFICE POLICIES:
- We rely on our Sustainability Officer to maintain good working practices, both in our everyday work lives, as well as on-site
- We recycle waste in our office (paper, plastic, glass, and other industrial materials)
- We use energy saving supplies whenever possible
- We turn off all electronics at the end of each day
- We only use lights in rooms where required
- We minimise use of air conditioning and heating
- We allow for remote working when applicable
- We invested in a company car in order to promote carpooling. For example, for site visits and to and from events.