We can introduce climate friendly solutions in each phase of event organisation, from working in the office to travels and catering.

In the office

The most significant CO2 emission comes from heating or cooling of the given office space. The most important is that the temperature provides convenient and healthy feel, not too hot or too cool. It seems the most convenient to switch on air conditioning in the summer heat, but before doing that it is worthwhile to try a few more healthy, environmentally friendly and low-cost tricks. The difference between inside and outside temperature should not exceed 5 degrees Celsius because larger differences is hard to tolerate for the human body.

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During wintertime it is normally enough to set the temperature to 20-21 degrees maximum. In the nighttime, when we are out of office we should lower the temperature to avoid unnecessary heating bills. Some easy mathmatics: on average, if we lower the temperature of the room by 1 degree, the energy consumption will be 5-6% lower.

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It is easy to economise on natural resources and materials. It is very well know that usually it is unnecessary to print out every email message and we can send out invitations electronically quickly, cheaply and efficiently to most of the participants too. Used sheets of paper should be set aside for recycling in a special container.

In an average office huge amount of energy is wasted through inefficient use of electronic appliances. A few simple tricks:

  • Take advantage of the energy saving mode of the computer. It automatically switches the system to stand-by mode according to pre-set time and it switches off the monitor. This way – depending upon the type of computer – you can save up to 90% electricity compared to screen savers.
  • In case we leave the computer for a longer time it is advisable to switch off the screen as well as the machine itself
  • Observe the information provided when buying electronic appliances like scanners, printers – especially their consumption in stand-by mode. The best solution though if you only switch these on when you really need them, otherwise turn off and unplug during the night. Certain products consume almost as much electricity in stand-by mode as in operation!

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The lighting of the office can be made environmentally friendy and economic with energy saving lighting and a little bit of awareness.
Attention: Compact fluorescent lights are considered hazardous waste, do not throw these in the normal litter. Normally it is possible to return used fluorescent lamps in every store where they are sold, but you can also take them to special waste collection points as hazardous waste.

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In case of an international event, definitely travels will cover the most part of CO2 emissions. One participant arriving by plane or car could well cause 6-10 times more emissions than the one coming by train.

Travel by car is not the most convenient option if we consider traffic jams and the usual parking difficulties. In case it is unavoidable to travel by car, you can cause less damage to the environment with a bit of knowledge and paying attention for example with economic driving techniques. This way you can easily spare 10-15% of the fuel cost too! For example it is not necessary to drive with full acceleration between traffic lights. You should try to arrange efficient use of the vehicles – it is easy to arrange that those invitees who come from the same direction or same place (e.g. hotel) can meet up and arrive together to the location.

At the location

To prevent huge traffic emissions if possible, try to find a location which has good connections to public transportation. During the event, it is necessary to have good natural light coming in – not only to avoid artificial lighting but also to keep participants awake and in a good spirit during the event. Similarly like in the office, you should pay attention to the convenient temperature of the rooms, do not encourage too much airconditioning or heating.

Naturally, it is more favourable to chose a location which is in a good, renovated condition, the insulation of the walls, doors and windows works well, has nice natural lighting combined with efficient lightbulbs, with modern, efficient heating system (definately not a good option to chose electronic heating).

On the other hand, the way you use the location has almost as much importance as its physical characteristics. Attention should be paid and drawn upon the use of lighting and electronic appliances (manually or automatically switching on where it is not needed), cooling and heating of the room, usage of water, etc.

It is advisable to inform the participants and draw attention to environmental considerations at the event. It can be attractive signs showing the small steps you made and this way educating each individual to do the same at home or in the office.

Catering, accommodation

The accommodation should also be easily accessible by public transport, with good connections to the location and major traffic centres, such as railway or bus station or airport. It is hard to change the way a hotel or hostel works, so you should be careful already at the selection not to chose a hotel where they do not have environmental policy or at least towel policy, where they use wasteful individual small packaging of food (butter, honey, sugar, jam, water, etc.), empty refrigerator and non-adjustable heating in the room. All these are easy to give up without compromising the well-being of guests.

Please note the fact, that according to FAO of UN stock-raising is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. So our advice is to use as much local, healthy (ecological) products as possible, with major proportion of fruits and vegetables. If there is a choice of good vegetarian food, a lot of people prefer it to heavy meat dishes, especially at conferences and such events. Waste of food, and packaging waste are the two key issues to pay attention to. Chose products with least packaging (bottled water!) and recycle. At an environmentally oriented event plastic plates and cutlery is not acceptable.

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