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Event Companies globally are taking up responsibility to reduce food wastage, will Indian Event Agencies follow suit?

Some event companies and brands have been making a concerted effort to either reduce event waste or produce zero-waste events, read on.

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Food waste is an issue which event planners cannot ignore.

Some reports suggest that food waste is responsible for roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 37 million cars–one in seven on the road today. Add to that the waste that’s often generated from the containers food and beverages are served in at events, and it’s clear the industry has some work to do.

Fortunately, some brands have been making a concerted effort to either reduce event waste or produce zero-waste events, meaning less than 10 percent of the total material generated by the event goes to the landfill.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” culinary forecast released earlier this year, zero-waste initiatives are trendy, too. Zero-waste cooking was named a top-five culinary trend for 2019, while locally produced spirits and hyper-local ingredient sourcing were also cited as key trends.

It’s a lot for event marketers to absorb, but the trailblazers in this space have proven that the resources and know-how to tackle waste in events are available, it’s just a matter of implementing them. Here’s a closer look at how waste challenges are being addressed across the event spectrum.

B-TO-B EVENTS

If you’re familiar with Salesforce, you know that the software company has always been a front-runner in the sustainable events movement. The brand currently operates its events around four pillars: sourcing responsibly, reducing waste, conserving resources and inspiring attendees.

To reduce waste and conserve resources,  Salesforce offered more vegetarian, chicken and fish options, with plans to explore plant-based menu items when they’re available at scale.

The brand provided a number of waste stations comprised of composting, recycling and landfill bins, with signage depicting which types of materials attendees should place in each bin.  Other sustainable efforts at Connections included daily lunch served in 100 percent compostable packaging, working with eco-friendly vendors and a gamified water refill program that let attendees track how many times they refilled their branded, reusable water bottle via an app, and subsequently win sustainable prizes.

Another trailblazer in the space is C2 Montréal, which hosts a creativity conference of the same name each year in Canada. Among sustainable efforts at this year’s event were the banning of plastic straws and single-use water bottles on-site; a reduction in the amount of red meat served, supplemented by an increase in vegetarian offerings; the mandatory use of reusable, compostable or recyclable dishware throughout; a coffee pod recycling program; and composting and recycling stations.

Fords’ Gin’s Super Tiki Wasteland Paradise featured re-purposed cocktail ingredients and recycled drinkware.

B-TO-C EVENTS

Bacardi and Lonely Whale are aiming to eliminate one billion plastic straws by 2020.

If you’ve been handed a metal straw at an event over the last few years, chances are, the practice was inspired by Bacardi, which in 2016 became the first global spirits company to pledge to eliminate single-use plastic straws at all of its events.

In partnership with Lonely Whale, Bacardi is working to eliminate one billion plastic straws by the end of 2020, inspiring consumers to follow suit with a catchy #TheFutureDoesntSuck tagline—and the brand is well on its way. 

During the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami, it eliminated 20,000 single-use plastic straws in one night. Similarly, at Bacardi’s activation at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, cocktails were served in bamboo cups. At other locations across the festival where its beverages were sold, the drinks were served in eco-friendly cups that were fully compostable.

The brand additionally works with local partners to reduce food waste at its events. This year, at both Tales of the Cocktail and Bar Convent, spirits trade shows, Bacardi partnered with local bars who took in leftover cocktail produce from the events, like lemons and limes.


Tags assigned to this article:
Food wastage event management event planners go green

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