With global warming, carbon emissions and the environment at the forefront of the world's mind, we thought it worthwhile to put together some advice on creating eco-friendly corporate events. Whether your event is for team building, client entertainment, staff incentive or a conference there are ways do reduce its impact on the environment without detriment to its success as a memorable occasion.

Event Choice

One of the first elements that should be considered when booking an environmentally friendly event is the choice of activity. If you want to reduce your carbon emission an obvious one is to avoid motorised activities. Events like EMG's Team Sailing Regatta, Country Pursuits (ask for laser clays not real clay shooting!) and New Forest Experience are perfect as they don't require fuel and are outdoors so there's no need to think about heating or electricity.

Pre & Post Event Organisation

  • Ensure that all pre and post event communication is done electronically and that printing is avoided at all costs!
  • Online registration is a must as it avoids the need to print out and distribute sign up sheets (and saves your guests time) – we use online registration as standard for all of our events.
  • Send joining instructions and directions to guests via email and ask them to avoid printing out where possible.

Transport to your Event Location

Where possible hold your event near your place of work so that attendees can arrive by foot or bike. If this isn't possible then there are other ways of reducing your carbon footprint:

  • Use public transport to reach your event
  • Hire an eco friendly coach
  • Car share

Event Catering

Catering for your eco event is hugely important. If you are eating at a restaurant or hotel ensure that:

  • It is close to your activity
  • They source their food locally
  • They cook using foods that are in season and produced organically
  • The restaurant disposes of scraps in an environmentally way i.e. they recycle and compost organic waste

If you are having packed lunches during your event, in addition to the above your main concern should be packaging. Ask your cater to provide the food using minimal packaging and in recyclable or reusable containers. If your attendees drink bottled water, canned soft drinks of bottled beer make sure that the bottles and cans are collected up and recycled. Watch out for plastics that are non-recyclable. A slightly more obscure one to consider is hot food. Where possible avoid having hot food cooked offsite using generators.

Event idea! Why not sew in an organic cooking theme into your day and get your participants to forage for their own food?

Other Concerns on the Day of your Event

Challenge Packs

If your event requires 'packs', for example a treasure hunt pack, ensure that the packs are printed double sided on recycled paper. Also, ask your event organiser to dispose of your paper responsibly.

Clothing

In terms of team clothing for team building days, ask your participants to wear items of clothing in a particular colour that they already own, buy t-shirts made from recycled materials or ensure that the t-shirts are recycled or reused for another event.

Gifts & Prizes

If you are providing attendees with gifts or prizes investigate gifts that have a low carbon footprint and buy them from a local supplier. Also, try to ensure that your gifts or prizes are presented in recycled or reusable bags/packaging.

Wildlife

If during the course of your event you pass through a conservation area, like much of the New Forest, remind your attendees to stick to the paths to avoid harming the wildlife.

The points above are just a sample of some of the things that should be considered if you want to make your event an environmentally friendly as possible. For more ideas just call one of the EMG team on 01590 670 999 or email info@emg.co.uk.