This guide is designed to help owners and organisers of major events ensure their event is both successful and environmentally responsible. It outlines ways to develop and implement an environmental strategy and action plan, and offers practical tips, resources and checklists.
A guide to running environmentally responsible smaller events is also available.
This guide is designed to help owners and organisers of major events ensure their event is both successful and more environmentally responsible. It outlines ways to develop and implement an environmental strategy and action plan, and offers practical tips, resources and checklists. Event owners and organisers will find it a valuable source of ideas for reducing their event’s environmental impacts in many key areas – from choosing supplies and contractors, to managing waste and resource use, transport, energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions.
Event greening makes good business sense and can mean a better experience for everyone involved.
Hosting a more environmentally responsible event can:
This guide has been designed to complement the Ministry of Economic Development’s Major Event Resource Bank, which covers other aspects of major event planning. The guide was developed by the Ministry for the Environment, in consultation with event organisers, key government departments, and local authorities. The guide builds on the process for developing an environmental strategy and action plan set out in the 2007 Landcare Research Report, Environmental Sustainability for Major Events Concept Development.
This section follows the four phases involved in developing and implementing an environmental strategy and action plan:
It includes tips and hints for engaging with stakeholders, assessing environmental impacts, and determining the scope of a strategy. It also covers communications and measurement, which need to be undertaken throughout the four key phases.
This section includes specific guidance on the following key areas:
Examples of environmental objectives, targets and actions are included. It should be noted that the guidance provided in this section is not exhaustive, but aimed at offering ideas and examples to start the greening process. Experts and resources are available to help develop specific strategy and actions appropriate to individual events: examples of web links, names and contact details are provided throughout the guide.
The final section contains useful tools for preparing an environmental strategy and action plan.
Remember: choose what’s relevant, realistic and appropriate for the event. Don’t try to do everything.
It is important to start planning a greener event early; successfully implementing greening actions can require plenty of lead time.
Another reason to start the planning process early is that an environmental strategy may be a minimum requirement to enter a bid process. It may also provide a compelling point of difference between competing bids. Given New Zealand’s geographic location, a good environmental plan could help counter concerns about the environmental impacts generated by participants travelling long distances to New Zealand.
Decisions made at the early planning stage can significantly influence the types of environmental impacts that arise from the event. For example, decisions about an event’s location and venue can significantly affect the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and impacts associated with transport, energy and water use. Wherever possible, those responsible for staging events should consider the potential environmental impacts of different locations and venues before making their final choice.
1. Moxie Design Group. 2006. Understanding the market for sustainable living. Wellington: Moxie Design Group.