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Insights Live! resources: Events

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Insights Live! Mastering Sustainable Events - Event Cycle

Mastering sustainable events

21 November 2023


  • Carina Jandt, Director and Co-Founder of Event Cycle
  • Wiktor Gajewski, Events Manager at Ecsite

The Insights Live! event "Mastering Sustainable Events", provided actionable strategies and tangible practices to implement in your own events.

Carina Jandt's talk emphasized three key takeaways. Firstly, collaboration is crucial. Drawing from her experience, she stressed the importance of engaging every stakeholder in large projects. Carina highlighted the impact of collaboration, urging event organizers to share findings, reports, and best practices with local communities and schools. By involving others, not just within the industry but also in the surrounding communities, true innovation and social impact can flourish. The second takeaway is to "think before you buy." Carina discussed the implementation of an accountability tracker during COP 26, an online document ensuring thoughtful consideration before each purchase. Encouraging conversation within project teams, this approach aims to minimize post-event waste by providing a support network for sustainable decisions. Lastly, Carina emphasized the significance of repurposing and donating. Through Event Cycle's model, items left over after events are repurposed with charities and community groups. Carina shared impactful examples, from educational toys donated to a school, to high-end tech items supporting healthcare education in lower-income countries. By repurposing and donating, events can leave a lasting social legacy, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Wiktor Gajewski explored reducing, reusing, and recycling, showcasing Ecsite's shift to digital programs and badges on recycled cardboard. Collaborating with local partners, like borrowing national flags, demonstrated creative waste reduction. Wiktor delved into the complexities of transportation, acknowledging challenges in encouraging sustainable travel. While sharing successes like ferry usage in Malta to transport participants, he candidly shared how unexpected train track works played against the #TraintoEcsite campaign. Wiktor took pride in Ecsite's positive legacy efforts, supporting local initiatives. The Ecsite Conference donated funds from each participant's ticket to locally relevant projects. Examples included a tree planting initiative in Heilbronn and a prototyping project for wall tiles in Malta's ports. The aim is to create a lasting impact and showcase concrete, locally beneficial outcomes. Looking forward, Ecsite aims to standardize sustainability practices through a procurement plan, setting clear goals aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Improved documentation and storytelling will ensure accountability and showcase the continuous evolution of event sustainability.

Watch Wiktor's talk on the Ecsite Youtube channel.

Take action:

  • Collaboration is Key: Engage local communities, schools, and industry peers in event planning to foster innovation and social impact. Collaborate with local, green-certified caterers, venues, and partners.
  • Thoughtful Procurement: Implement an online document for tracking accountable purchasing decisions, promoting dialogue within project teams. Share this approach with incoming events and develop a standardized sustainability procurement plan aligned with the United Nations SDGs.
  • Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling (R3): Minimize new branding, explore reclaimed materials for wayfinding, and shift to digital programs. Prioritize tap water access, limit single-use plastic, and explore sustainable menu options.
  • Encourage Sustainable Travel: Promote eco-friendly transportation options for participants, collaborating with local partners.
  • Positive Legacy Initiatives: Allocate funds from participant tickets to support local initiatives, ensuring a tangible and lasting impact.
  • Repurposing for Social Impact: Collaborate with groups like Event Cycle to repurpose and donate leftover items, leaving a lasting social legacy.
  • Continuous Storytelling: Document and regularly share the event's sustainability journey for transparency and inspiration. Share findings and best practices, fostering collaboration within and beyond the industry.


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