UCC Sustainable Events Checklist
At UCC Green Campus, we know that organising events takes time and resources, and much of this is done in a voluntary capacity. The checklist below provides some guidance on planning, executing and wrapping-up events in a more environmentally friendly way.
The checklist covers the main steps in planning events, and the major environmental impacts arising from them. If you wish to use it as a guide then simply scroll through and determine what actions might be relevant to you. Please also fill in this form post-event so that we can gather data on the actions taking place on our campus.
The data collected from this form will be used in our annual reporting, and we may pick out certain events to highlight as examples of best practice.
Please include any event large or small, and be sure to tell us how "green events" could be better supported in the comments sections.
Should you have any queries, then please contact
Approximate number of attendees
Department/Society/Group organising event
Is the theme of your event related to the environment or sustainable development?
Is your event taking place in UCC, or off campus?
1. Choosing a venue
Whether on UCC campus or not, the decisions that you make when choosing your event venue could affect its environmental impact.
In deciding on the venue for your event have you
Chosen venue with good public transport connections and made these known to attendees?
Asked the venue whether it has an environmental management system in place?
Ensured that there are adequate recycling facilities at the venue?
Calculated the carbon footprint associated with transport to the venue (contact Green Campus for guidelines on this)
Chosen venue with suitable AV facilities for remote attendance?
Chosen rooms with natural daylight?
2. Food and Catering
Did you know...
If food waste was a country it would rank third globally in greenhouse gas emissions?
One of the single most important actions an individual can take to reduce their carbon footprint is to cut down on meat consumption?
When choosing food options for your event have you?
Opted for vegan/vegetarian menu?
Taken steps to reduce food waste (e.g. typically if ordering per person you only need to cater for 60% of attendees)
Requested reusable plates, cutlery, cups etc.?
Requested compostable cutlery, plates, cups etc.?
Provided water in jugs or glass bottles?
Requested attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles/cups?
Signposted attendees to water refilling areas?
3. Materials/merchandise provided
Firsty, when organising events consider what is and is not required before ordering; are materials likely to be used again or thrown away? Will attendees really need a full A4 pad to write notes?
What materials/merchandise will be provided to attendees of this event?
Will materials/merchandise be made of recycled material?
No merchandise will be provided
If yes above, please provide details
Will nametags/lanyards be provided to attendees?
Yes, brand new
Yes, reused from previous conference
Yes, but not in plastic
Will documentation be uploaded to a website or app to minimise printing?
4. Focus on Plastic
Plastic is everywhere. It's estimated that, at current consumption levels, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. 43% of all marine litter polluting our oceans is made up of just 10 types of single-use plastic items.
Have you completely eliminated the following single-use plastics from your event
Plastic water bottles
Energy consumption in buildings accounts for a significant portion of our national greenhouse gas emissions. Many small actions can significantly improve energy efficiency.
When running the event, did you...
Turn off lights when leaving the room?
Inform someone if room was too hot or cold?
Use natural daylight where possible?
Close windows on leaving the room?
Along with agriculture, the transport sector is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses in Ireland. Commuting and business travel account for approximately one third of UCC's carbon footprint.
In planning your event have you
Arranged start/end times to coincide with public transport options?
Organised lift sharing between attendees?
Provided an option for remote attendance?
Arranged shuttle service, where public transport was not an option?
Chosen accommodation that is in close proximity to (or in) the event venue?
As the world's first Green Campus, education and engagement on environmental matters is a central part of UCC's ethos. Where possible, it would be great if events and/or conferences could highlight this.
In communicating this event to attendees have you...
Highlighted UCC as a "green flag" campus?
Considered a press release, social media post, blog or other communication about the sustainability of the event
Invited attendees to offset the carbon emissions associated with their travel to the event?
8. Other potential actions
Sustainability is about more than being "green", sustainable development encompasses social and economic aspects also. In organising your event have you considered...
Affordability for low-income attendees?
Gender equality of panels and/or attendees?
Accessibility of the venue for attendees with disabilities?
Any other comments or actions that may not have been covered above?
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