ACF Teambuilding & Events

8 Ways To Organise Sustainable Events

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Eco Event Planning

The demand for sustainable events has never been greater as more and more companies act on their social responsibility and reimagine the way they do business. Here at ACF Teambuilding and Events, we’re committed to organising environmentally friendly events that accommodate the growing needs of our clients who are steadily switching to green alternatives.

A recent study by Greengage Solutions revealed that 81% of companies surveyed felt sustainability would play a very important role in their 2022 business planning. After navigating the global pandemic with a variety of virtual events, we wanted to build back better. And for us, that meant adopting greener practices and minimising the negative impact of our event operations.

When exploring the sustainable practices we could adopt, we took great care to align our processes with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

In response to the ongoing climate crisis, the UN set 17 sustainable development goals. From ending poverty to embracing global partnerships, these goals provide a blueprint for prosperity for people and the planet and act as a rallying call to action for all participating countries.

After contextualising the SDGs for event companies, we made a list of things we could do to offer conscious company fun days and eco team building events. 

 

So, how do you organise eco-friendly events?

We’re taking significant steps towards sustainability that positively impact not only our clients, but our employees, suppliers, industry peers, and local communities too.

Here are 8 powerful ways we’re organising more sustainable and eco-friendly events in the South West

 

1. OFFERING WORKPLACE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

ACF continues to support youth workplace internships, providing young people with the chance to kickstart their CVs and work on their transferable skills.

We’ve also facilitated work placements for university students looking to escape their student digs and gain valuable experience in the events industry. 

Goal 4: Quality education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities

 

2. PROMOTING WORKPLACE EQUALITY. 

We’ve nurtured a fair workplace culture that promotes equal opportunities, dignity and respect, all thanks to our equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

ACF values the unique skill sets and insights of our employees. Team members are encouraged to use their voices and share their ideas, whether good, bad or just plain questionable. These ideas - well, at least the good ones - then get turned into fun activities for our clients to enjoy!

We also support fellow businesses with their productivity, efficiency and workplace wellbeing through our mindful event offerings.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

 

3. ELIMINATING SINGLE-USE PLASTICS FROM OUR EVENTS. 

ACF has committed to the Meeting Industry Association’s plastic pledge to eliminate single-use plastic by November 2023, and we’ve already made a significant effort towards achieving this goal.

In 2019, we swapped disposable plastic bottles for reusable cups and water tanks at our events.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

 

4. USING GREEN OFFICE SUPPLIES AND PROCESSES. 

Investing in green office supplies was another simple switch. We use 100% recyclable printing paper, which we recycle using our site-wide system, and we’ve swapped chemical cleaning products for eco-friendly alternatives.

There have also been changes to the way we operate. Notably, we’ve eliminated unnecessary printing and no longer keep physical files for each event. In terms of digital resources, the team use Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees, as their default search tool. We also use an online signing system that means our clients can sign contracts in just a few simple steps.

As ACF HQ is based on a farm set amidst the rolling Mendip Hills, we didn’t need to worry about sourcing green energy. There’s a large wood burner that keeps us nice and toasty in the winter, and we buy our wood from sustainable suppliers.

Goal 13: Climate action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

 

5. ADAPTING OUR EVENTS TO BE MORE MINDFUL.

We've adapted some of our existing team building activities to be more mindful of resources. For instance, we now use recycled materials in our craft-based activities, and we changed the finale of our 'One Tribe' event from a cardboard-based challenge to a virtual photo mosaic challenge.

We aim to further expand our sustainable event offerings by developing eco-conscious event ideas that focus on workplace wellbeing. The mental health benefits of interacting with the natural world are well-documented. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that 70% of UK adults say being close to green spaces improves their mood.

In response to these findings, we now offer forest bathing. This super soothing activity encourages participants to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy some much-needed respite from the stresses of daily life. The perfect choice for companies looking to address their workplace culture.

Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

Mindful Events        

 

6. WORKING WITH SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIERS. 

Sustainability doesn’t only concern how you operate as a business. We try to work with suppliers that demonstrate sustainable practices that align with our values. 

With caterers, for example, we ask that they use eco-friendly consumables in place of single-use plastic, and we ask that ingredients are free from palm oil and, where possible, locally sourced.

From toilet hire companies who stock recycled toilet paper to glitter artists who use biodegradable sparkle, we want to support like-minded companies who also champion a green ethos and encourage us to do all that we can.

Our clients can rest assured that their event is as planet-friendly as possible.

Goal 12: Responsible production and consumption. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

 

7. MINIMISING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT.

We’ve adapted our events operations to minimise our carbon footprint. We measure our emissions through a carbon calculator that helps us make conscious choices, and we’re keen to offset the impact of any carbon output that we can’t eliminate.

We’re continuing to reduce emissions by encouraging employee carpooling, retiring some of our older activity vehicles, and ensuring the number of vehicles we take to events is kept to a minimum. The team are also encouraged to work from home, a development that has seen a decrease in emissions and an increase in jogging bottoms as workwear! 

Our quest for lower emissions goes beyond our internal operations. We give our clients the opportunity to measure their events through Greengage’s EVENTSmart carbon calculator, and they're encouraged to offset their carbon footprint through various environmental programmes.

Goal 13 - Climate action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

 

7. SUPPORTING CHOSEN CHARITIES. 

We’re committed to making consistent positive change here at ACF, and we’re working on many exciting plans that we can’t wait to bring to life!

For example, we’ll soon be supporting charities with both their in-person and virtual fundraising events through the use of our extensive prop stores and online resources.

The team will work together to choose charities that are either local or personal to us to help boost employee engagement.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

 

8. SHARING OUR KNOWLEDGE.

Community and collaboration are key to making impactful change.

We plan to work together with our clients, suppliers and the wider ACF team to achieve our sustainability goals and inspire others into action.

It’s why we’re also keen to build on our existing knowledge and share our experiences as we embark on this green journey. Join our mailing list, bookmark our blog or follow us on Twitter @ACFTeambuilding for future updates!

Goal 17 - Partnership for the goals. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

 

We’ve achieved the Greengage ECOsmart Sustainability Certification! 

 

As we continue to make considerable effort to be more green, we’re proud to announce that we have achieved the Greengage ECOsmart Sustainability Certification.

Greengage Solutions ‘ECOsmart’ accreditation acknowledges an organisation's sustainability planning credentials. To achieve this status, we had to display evidence of our organisational commitment to sustainability in multiple business areas, from our client-facing process to our awareness of our corporate social responsibility.

Andrew Perolls, CEO of Greengage Solutions, visited us here at ACF HQ and had this to say, ACF are a shining example of a company that applies creativity and originality to producing eco-friendly team building events. Congratulations on achieving certification as an ECOsmart agency partner in recognition of your comprehensive sustainable business approach.’ 

 

Act on your corporate social responsibility & book a sustainable event. 

ACF Teambuilding & Events is one of the South West’s leading team building and events companies committed to creating fun and memorable events that unify people. We’ll work with you to design a sustainable event that aligns with your core values, boosts employee wellbeing and is environmentally friendly to boot!

For more information, email us at info@acfteambuilding.co.uk or call us on 01934 862305.

We’re excited to embrace all of the opportunities that arise as we embark on our eco journey, and we look forward to hearing from you!

If you’d like more information, you can download a copy of our sustainability policy, sustainable supplier policy and our Greengage certification.