greener events
 a guide to reducing the environmental impacts of conferences and seminars

   oursouthwest > Greener Events Guide

When this guide was initially produced and launched in 2005 it was the first web-based guide on how to reduce the environmental impacts of conferences and seminars. It has since been copied and used for the basis of new similar guides worldwide and was a reference source for BS 8901 that led to ISO 20121 (in 2012).

PLEASE NOTE: Although the guide and its companion guides have not been updated since 2010 they are still useful for helping to make your events greener and better.

Download the Greener Events guide

The guide and its companion guides can be downloaded from the Notice Board of the SW Energy & Environmental Management Groups or from here:-

   The Greener Events Guide - 2010 version (pdf) includes checklist

   Checklist only (word)

To view a 4 minute video made in 2008 about the guide click here: YouTube.

Note: BS 8901, referred to in the video, was the first national specification for a sustainable event management system with guidance for use and highlighted the "Greener Events" guide as reference material. ISO 20121 superseded BS 8901 in 2012.

Companion Guides

PowerPoint - Exhibiting - Outdoor/community events

To avoid wasting all the effort and resources that have gone into your event, you will want the presentations to work well and, where used, your exhibition stands to be effective. See also the guide on outdoor/community events. Click the links below to download our companion guides:

(i) "7 Dos and Don'ts for using PowerPoint slides at conferences" (pdf) - and forward a copy to your conference speakers.

(ii) "Achieving success from exhibiting at events" (pdf) - and forward a copy to your exhibitors.

(iii) Outdoor/community events (pdf) - detailed guidance and ideas to help ensure your outdooor/community event respects the environment and your neighbours.

Event and venue managers might like to adopt and tailor the guide for their own use. The one-page checklist has, in particular, proved very popular and useful with event planners.

Positive feedback

Thousands of UK events have used this guide since its original launch in 2005 to help reduce environmental impacts!

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) in Dorset was one of the first venues to use the greener events guide when it was first launched in 2005. As a 2012 Olympics venue, WPSNA achieved ISO 20121 certification in response to the Sustainable Sourcing Code for the 2012 Games as defined by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG). The benefits of ISO 20121 certification for WPNSA included the following:

  • the sailing academy has achieved estimated cost savings of approximately 15% through better waste management and electricity optimisation;
  • it has gained an enhanced reputation and international recognition as a sustainable business;
  • it has reduced the risk of legal breaches; and
  • it has futureproofed the facility.

Here are some of the comments received about the guide:

...one of the best resources we have found
- live event production company, Surrey

...the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers is pleased to recommend use of this guide
- ABPCO's Executive Director, Birmingham

...a significant amount of new conference business has been won as a result of the Greener Events guide
- major North Somerset conference venue

...very helpful and refreshingly to the point
- Sustainable Development Commission, London

...the checklist gave us some good ideas...
- Strategic Services Manager for a South West local authority

...good sensible guidance on this vital topic...there is nothing quite as ineffective as a high carbon event on low carbon!
- The Carbon Coach, Marlow

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The original edition of the Greener Events Guide was written and produced in 2005 by Phil Harding & Rachel Malone at the Government Office for the South West and backed by Envirowise (now part of WRAP) and the Sustainable Development Commission.


Green events are better quality and
more satisfying than brown events

- conference delegate

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