The following are a few examples of industry best practices in the area of resource management.
Strive for Zero Waste
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that in 2011, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled and composted just 34.7 percent of it. We think we can do better. Events are now striving for and achieving ‘zero waste,’ which means that they are recycling, reusing or composting a minimum of 90 percent of the waste produced from event activities.
Measure Environmental Impacts
Events involve lots of moving around, goods and services being bought and sold, and general consumption before, during and after the event is over. All of these activities have effects beyond just the dollars that trade hands. Taking inventory of these effects, such as the health of people, impacts to local wildlife habitat, noise and air pollution, and the waste produced as a result of activities are just a few examples. Ideally, knowing these impacts can inform decision-making in the future and help prevent negative impacts and increase positive social benefits.
Calculate and Offset Carbon Footprint
Calculating and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), aka, the carbon footprint, is gaining momentum as an industry best practice for athletic events, which almost always require travel by participants, spectators, and organizers. By calculating the carbon footprint and tracking it year-to-year, events can find patterns and identify opportunities to reduce the emissions that governments across the world have agreed must be limited in order to prevent runaway climate destabilization. This is no small matter and we all need to do our part to take responsibility for our contributions to the problem and find ways to reduce them. ‘What GHGs could be measured?’, written by event industry sustainability expert Meegan Jones is a great resource when considering how best to get started.