Sustainable events and meetings

sustainable events

A huge opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history, but in the last century, it has become more than obvious that global warming will eventually have irreparable consequences for the environment.

According to experts, there is enough scientific evidence to ensure that climate change is happening. One of the most unequivocal is the increase in temperature of the planet: around 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit. This change has been largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other man-made emissions into the atmosphere.

This phenomenon, as we better know it, is called the “greenhouse effect”, and according to scientists, its main cause is the expulsion of these gases.  In fact, according to a NASA report, the industrial activities that we completely depend on nowadays have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million over the past 150 years. 

With this proven data, the need to minimize our impact on the environment should be a priority, and this action is irremediably driven by one objective: to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

We can do it individually on a small scale, and it’s no lie that every great change starts with several small ones, but if we want to go further and begin to apply a real and tangible sustainable lifestyle in all aspects of our lives, it is time to ask ourselves what we can do to take this philosophy to other areas.

It’s important to see the advances that are taking place within the events sector. More and more people are responsible for these types of meetings that are committed to applying sustainable practices, initiatives and resources to the environment.

A change of mentality: the axis of sustainable events

Sustainable events are designed, organised and carried out with the main goal being to minimize negative environmental impacts. Those responsible for planning a sustainable event must take into account severla aspects, such as controlling waste management, regulating the sustainable consumption of materials, optimising water and light consumption and reducing the carbon footprint.

This concept is mostly used when talking about eco-friendly events, but first, let’s look at what we mean when we talk about carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint is the indicator used to describe the total impact that an event has on the climate in relation to the emissions of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. In other words, it is the amount of CO2 generated by the event.

Carbon footprint analysis covers all stages of the organization of events (design, preparation, assembly and development) and makes it possible, for example, to calculate the climate cost of conferences.

In order for companies to reduce their carbon footprint, it is essential that they bet on sustainable events that imply a radical change in the mentality of their organizers and, of course, of the attendees. 

These are some of the ways to reduce CO2 emissions during the preparation and holding of a professional meeting:

  • Reduce travel: According to several studies focused on the impact of the carbon footprint during a major event, 145 kg are emitted if long journeys are made. This data shows that the biggest culprit of carbon dioxide emissions in a conference is undoubtedly transport, not only to reach the destination from different geographical points, but to move within the city.

    Therefore, it is essential to limit the number of trips participants are making to the event, applying measures such as collective means of transport or choosing hotels depending on their location.

  • Use of sustainable spaces: Investing in a certified ‘green’ place to carry out eco-friendly events is a very useful measure. In order to be recognised as sustainable, this type of space must make a series of investments in key aspects such as energy efficiency, water conservation or recycling facilities.

    Around the world, there are already numerous places like this, from ecological accommodation to spaces for conferences or large meetings. Thanks to their contribution, the reduction of an event’s carbon footprint is significant.

  • Eco-friendly catering: Food has a huge impact on the environment, and does so in a variety of ways, from the energy and methodology used to produce it, to the amount that is wasted. It has been proven that on average more than a third of the catering for an event is thrown away.


    The type of food also influences the climate footprint. Meat has a much greater impact than fruits or vegetables, so many companies try to have at least 50% of the catering to be vegetarian.

  • Goodbye plastic: Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. The problem, according to various associations, is that about 90% of plastic packaging worldwide is not recycled.

    According to a study carried out in the United Kingdom, the event industry is largely responsible for contributing to the problem, as 13% of the plastic in landfills across the country comes from this sector.


eco-friendly events

Virtual events, unity is strength

Although a priority, it can seem difficult to organize an event that brings together all the keys to reducing the carbon footprint, but in reality it’s not that complicated. Virtual technology has managed to join forces so that all these factors come together.

These benefits are responsible for the fact that more and more companies are asking themselves whether they should eliminate large traditional assemblies and, instead, organize a virtual event as opposed to a traditional one… or at least use them as a complement to the face-to-face events

In fact, it is currently the best tech advancement in the market in order to make an event more sustainable, since, unlike physical encounters, virtual meetings and conferences have the great advantage of connecting several people at the same time no matter where they are in the world. 

This eliminates travel, reduces the tons of waste generated in large meetings and limits energy consumption.

These advantages, together with the economic savings involved in the organizational and developmental stages, is making companies more liekly to hold conferences, workshops, webinars or any type of meeting in a virtual environment.

This has been clearly demonstrated by the increase of platforms that are responsible for the design and development of virtual events adapted to each company. Among them, Virtway Events stands out, a company that offers advanced 3D technology and innovative ways for all types of meetings to take place.

This platform allows attendees to meet in a virtual space with life-like interactions between them. Although they are separated by thousands of kilometers, they can have real-time conversations, send messages or even be represented by realistic 3D avatars

We all have a big role to play in protecting the planet from the dangers of climate change. Reducing the carbon footprint is in the hands of companies, and it is not an impossible challenge. It’s important to know how to use the necessary tools and rely on opportunities that tech developments are making available.