Sustainable Events

Delivering an event more sustainably is about so much more than ticking a box

It’s about using our experience to think differently, in order to create powerful events that deliver a huge impact for the audience while reducing the impact on the environment.

Wherever you choose to host your event, our global network means we can source everything we can locally, from catering and equipment to talent and technical solutions.

We make sure your promotional collateral is made from sustainable materials and can be reused for future events, and we can devise energy solutions which will help you to mitigate your carbon footprint.

Sustainable Events

Introduction

Sustainable Event Case Study and Analysis

Quintessential Promotions has been working with a large global technology partner since 2011, trusted with delivering their keynote global conference for circa 2000 staff and guests annually.

The conference takes place in a single European location and requires a significant client investment to deliver 3 event days for their predominately EMEA team.

Quintessential first produced the event in the current format in 2017, at this time awareness and engagement for creating more sustainable events was in development.

Quintessential is working with the client in order to make changes across key areas of sustainability, namely location, travel, energy, production, water, supply chain and procurement, food and beverage, waste management and offsets.

The Quintessential sustainability process enabled close working with the client progressing through 4 key stages of Sustainable Change and Transformation.

Introduction

Travel

Quintessential have reviewed all staff and crew flights reducing non-essential flights by over 30%.

Local production resource has been increased.

Ground transportation has become more efficient, guest friendly, cheaper and sustainable following the increased use of shuttle services that has reduced taxi journeys by over 50%.

Energy

2018 required several free-standing diesel generators to provide the required additional power following challenges with heat in the base year. Quintessential has worked with the client to invest in Air Con infrastructure within the venue which mitigated additional generator requirements in 2019 and provides a lasting and cost-effective legacy solution. Because of investment post 2018 the projected savings in 2021 will be 30% compared with the base year. Power consumption is a major contributor to the overall event footprint.

A review is underway ahead of the 2021 event to identify achievable 2022 targets for the % of renewable energy used, looking at deploying one or more of three options. Firstly driving energy efficiencies on-site and through out the customer journey, secondly the additional installation of energy generation or storage solutions on-site, and thirdly, accessing renewable energy generation via direct partnerships. The review will determine the mix of tactics deployed to meet the 2021 - 2025 ambition.

The table that follows shows the starting point of our journey together since 2017 and future targets across the eight areas of sustainable events.

Production Materials and Waste Management

The 2017 event saw 90% of the production being bought in by truck with few modular or re-usable elements utilised. The majority of the production was disposed of in either landfill or at recycle depots. Quintessential are reducing production waste by the use of modular and reusable infrastructure that can be utilised at other client events. Quintessential are using a number of 100% recycled vinyl, laminate and sticker solutions providing branding and signage that is fully recycled and recyclable.

All vinyl branding for floor, wall and vinyl signs will be 100% recycled and recyclable by 2022.

Sourcing 50% of production materials locally is a 2022 target for the event.

Landfill waste has reduced by 40% since 2017.

Together with the client Quintessential have designed and delivered a guest smart phone app that improves the directional navigation of the venue footprint also reducing the need for directional signage and improving the overall client branding.

Food and Beverage

Maintaining premium standards but also significantly reducing waste, reducing carbon impact, lowering food miles and supporting local food producers forms the basis for the Quintessential approach. Improvements to F&B processes and menus has resulted in a 5% reduction in food and dining waste in the year 2018-2019. The target for maximum food waste from over 20,000 meals by 2021 is 10%.

Donation options for food waste and surplus are being explored. BBQ and dining menus now feature significantly less beef, increased vegetarian/vegan and low impact food choices and local produce and beverage purchase is prioritised. Maximum road mileage from point of origin for all items is targeted at 1000 by 2022.

As of 2019 all knives, forks, plates and cups are recyclable and reusable avoiding any single use.

Water

Eliminating single use plastic bottles is a major priority as well us improving recycling for any plastic used on site.

Together with the client, Quintessential reduced the amount of branded items given away to guests and produced good quality reusable ‘chilli’ water bottles.

Building water butts from local resources to avoid trucking additional infrastructure means guests are able to refill waters bottles from a number of water stations and are also able to keep the bottles to enjoy at home, at the gym, on their commute etc.

All crew and staff are now issued with re-usable bottles that are collected, cleaned and re-issued the next year.

A number of branded guest give away re-usable bottles continue to be produced as they are hugely popular and continue to reduce plastic bottle use and discards long after the event. 10,000 plastic bottles have been eliminated with 100% of plastic on site now recycled.

Supply Chain and Procurement

Quintessential and the client now operate a standard procedure that requires all third party suppliers to provide a sustainability code of conduct and are required to adhere to the event sustainability charter. Where possible Quintessential use local service providers and human resource. Encouraging suppliers to produce and adhere to their own charter is a key aspect of the sustainability journey. Increasing local suppliers to 50% and carrying out sustainability audits of 90% of suppliers is a 2022 target.

Offsets

The creation of a bespoke offset programme for both the event and for the staff and crew is a key objective for 2020. Researching, sourcing and delivering an integrated offset solution is currently underway, with Quintessential aiming to offset up to 15% of individual carbon footprints created by staff and crew by 2022. Working with the client will extend this programme to event guests, with a target of 25% off set coverage by 2023.Asanagency,Quintessential are currently undertaking a sustainability audit, which will include offsetting the travel of all staff members on a monthly basis, starting from 2021.

Quintessential are also exploring offset options that are most relevant for the event production, logistics and infrastructure and are currently testing a number of options in readiness for the 2021 event.

Education

Historically, there has been little dedicated sustainability communications and education strategy for staff or guests at the event.

2021 will mark the introduction of an internal communications campaign to raise the profile of the sustainable initiatives and progress made at next years event. It is envisaged that this will deliver additional benefits as the awareness and understanding of the Sustainability Charter lands with staff and guests alike, increasing the focus on the end-to-end event lifecycle.

Summary

Quintessential have worked closely with the client in order to synergise the pre-existing business CSR and sustainability code of conduct with an evolving sustainable event charter and approach, building a coherent long term sustainability strategy.

Agreeing targets and objectives that are both deliverable in the short term and improvable in the longer term mean that producing significantly more sustainable events over time has successfully delivered measurable positive results with achievable increased targets in the confirmed years ahead.

Client testimonials

“The team at Quintessential have a fantastic understanding of our internal company wide sustainability approach and ethos. They have worked closely with us to deliver events that are increasingly more sustainable and in step with our business code of conduct and best practise. The events continue to be produced at a professional and premium standard and the whole team look forward to working with Quintessential on future events and continuing the success.”

Marketing Director, EMEA

“Quintessential and I have worked closely delivering these amazing events that continue to impress our guests and partners. Overcoming production and delivery challenges in order to meet sustainability targets and objectives is not always easy, the Quintessential team are always stoic, professional and ready to meet each challenge head on. Together we have made fantastic progress with real results and the events just get better and better.”

Events Director, EMEA

Summary