Introducing our Sustainable Events Guidance: Your go-to resource for sustainable event planning

Posted on: 26 February 2024 in Issue 7

At the University of Liverpool, sustainability is a commitment embedded across our institution. Through our Climate Plan, University Strategy, Sustainability Strategy, and Environmental Policy, we've pledged to infuse sustainability into every facet of our operations, including the myriad of business, educational, and social events we host each year.

This Sustainability Week, we are thrilled to unveil our Sustainable Events Guidance, a comprehensive resource designed to empower event organisers to integrate sustainability into the planning, management, and evaluation of events. This guidance is about embodying our responsibility to lead by example and inspire others to adopt sustainable practices. With help from university staff involved in event planning, and EDI experts, we present the Sustainable Events Guide accompanied by a handy checklist and list of resource designed for staff to incorporate sustainability principles across all aspects of events, no matter the size, audience, or theme. 

Why sustainability matters in events

Events serve as platforms to showcase our work, engage with stakeholders, and foster innovation. However, they also carry a significant environmental impact. By embedding sustainable principles into every aspect of event planning and execution, we seize the opportunity to enact meaningful change and raise awareness of our sustainability ambitions with colleagues, students and external partners.

Who benefits from this guide?

This guide is tailored for University of Liverpool staff responsible for organising events on our campuses or off-site. However, its insights are valuable for students, societies, and anyone seeking to organise events with consideration of sustainability.

How to use the guide

Whether you have ample time for comprehensive integration or are seeking quick sustainability checks, our guide accommodates your needs. Dive into detailed planning processes or utilise our sustainable events checklist for swift evaluations—whatever suits your schedule. If you use our , checklist or  document, let us know about the success of your event. We’d love to know how staff are embedding and communicating sustainability in new, interesting ways.

Highlights from the guidance

People, planet and prosperity. The three Ps are often used to describe a triple bottom line approach to sustainability. This guidance aims to do the same, offering insights into how you can consider the impacts of your event on the environment whilst creating a safe, accessible event for all, that doesn't go over budget or limit the success of your event.

Key considerations

Venue selection

Selecting the right venue is paramount to the sustainability of any event. Factors such as facilities, audience needs, waste management capabilities, and accessibility must be carefully evaluated to minimize environmental impact and maximise sustainability.

Transportation: Reducing carbon footprint 

With transportation accounting for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. opting for venues accessible via public or active travel is crucial. Safe cycling facilities, proximity to public transport, and event timing should all be factored in to promote sustainable travel options.

Food and beverage choices: A greener menu

Food production and processing are significant contributors to climate change. By prioritizing locally sourced, plant-based options and minimizing waste through thoughtful planning and catering choices, events can significantly reduce their environmental footprint while satisfying attendees' needs.

Merchandise: Less is more

The guidance poses a question - do we really need merchandise for the event? The sustainability team have provided a circular economy resource that will help you to better recognise the whole picture that comes with promotional merchandise so that you can determine which items are the least harmful to the environment and will also have the most value to your event and its attendees.

Time to test the guide

View the full guidance, check your event using the , and uncover new options for your event using the  list. The sustainability team would love to know about how you are using the guidance to integrate sustainability into your events. To share your success or get further advice and information, contact us at 

Find out more

For more information about sustainability plans and progress at University of Liverpool please contact the Sustainability Department by emailing