The whole team at Kit and Caboodle are sending love and light to everyone out there during this unprecedented time of social and commercial change. When all this is over, there will be partying and fun to be had and products to be launched. But in the meantime, we wanted to share our thoughts on sustainability in the events industry.
Any business in the hospitality or travel industry will be focussed on survival, more than ever now there is a deeper need to preserve and conserve.
As purveyors of wow, we strive to combine creativity with being responsible event planners.
We must continue to work in the most sustainable way that we can. How will our client brands demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practice?
People look to brands for leadership on sustainability. They have the power to influence consumers in such a powerful way because of the increased attention and awareness that they attract. Although consumers are aware of the change that needs to happen, this may be superseded by the fact that the challenge is beyond them. So they will look to businesses to have the biggest influence on their consumption methods.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that consumers don’t care – It just means that brands have a fantastic opportunity in front of them. It’s not about ‘clever marketing’, it’s about championing change. These brands have a role to play, they are accountable for driving change from the outside in.
Let’s fast forward 5-10 years, when Gen Z are running these companies – sustainability practice will be commonplace.
We understand that there is still a lot of progress to be made within our own industry but there are some important steps that we can initiate now to make a difference.
Sustainability should be integral to what we do
We already accept that sustainable practices should be integral to both an event and its environment. We do not need to shout about it at the event: we must simply, just do it right.
With all of our events we strive to include the below points in all of our planning:
Accessible and inclusive setting for all
A safe and secure atmosphere
Minimal negative impacts on the environment
Encouraging healthy living
Leaving a positive legacy
Encouraging more sustainable behaviour in partnership with clients, sponsors, guests and consumers
We seek to work with suppliers who have environmental policies and continually question:
What are things made out of?
How do you transport them there?
What happens to them afterwards? (reduce, reuse, recycle)
Sustainable food options will promote as much as possible, local and organic produce. We recommend no plastic bottles to be sold (drink refill stations) or plastic plates / cutlery allowed by any vendor. Recycling bins will be situated as much as possible.
Knowing our impact
What impact is our event already having on the environment? Higher carbon impacts are usually followed by higher costs. How do we manage power consumption and transport? This also relates to disposable materials that will then become litter. Once an events company or a client has chosen which environmental impacts to focus on, initial realistic goals can be set, and can be improved year on year.
Some key elements to consider:
Materials – recyclability and natural resources.
Litter – Ensure both recycling and waste bins are available and clearly identifiable
F&B – Have you considered sale and return or donation to charity?
Power – What are the eco-friendly options? Hybrid generators and solar powered or battery-operated equipment, for example?
Transport - logistics is a tricky area when it comes to sustainability…
For example, large scale events generally have large trucking requirements and currently electric articulated lorries do not exist.
In order to make event logistics as environmentally friendly as possible, you can consider the following:
Researching and engaging with local suppliers
All vehicles are the correct size for what we are transporting.
All vehicles will be a maximum of 2 years old and will be ULEZ compliant.
All vehicles will use Biodiesel
By designing asset kits for brands, we create a world that becomes synonymous for the brand and can be used multiple times, at multiple locations. This is the part where we have complete creative authority on how we can make the most of our resources and our client’s budget and is also more sustainable.
As mentioned, brands heavily influence the way that consumers behave, so, it is up to brands to champion positive change, encouraging consumers to adapt to more sustainable way behaviours. By creating a sustainable way to spread a brand message, perhaps even through considering utilising the medium of “rinse and repeat” events, for example, brands demonstrate their commitment to sustainability as well as good business sense. Novelty need not be lost, as long as different audiences are presented with the message.
Here are some examples of sustainable solutions from past Kit and Caboodle events. Demonstrating creative up-cycling and repurposing, asset kits and donations of materials post event to a local school.