Sustainable Event Tip #22 – Include Sustainability Criteria in Contracts with Suppliers

Your good intentions to plan a sustainable event are overrated. We’ve seen it before and we’ll surely see it again; you go into it with the greatest of intentions but come the day of the event, all your visions fall by the wayside as the caterer begins serving everything on Styrofoam plates and your venue forgets to put out the organics bins… Oops!

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and it happens to large and small events alike. Sustainability or “green” is not the status quo in the industry (yet), so when things heat up and everyone gets busy, people will default to what they know and what they’ve done a hundred times before.

One of the best ways to combat this is to demand it formally. In other words, include it in the contracts with your caterers, venues, and other suppliers. If they don’t meet your sustainability criteria, then they don’t get paid! That should motivate them.

It’s more than just instilling fear of the almighty dollar in them, however. It’s also about clarity. Too often, sustainability-related demands are said in passing during a meeting and interpreted as a “nice to have,” not a must have. To include it in the contract, you need to detail precisely what you’re expecting from them. With that information in hand, it’s much easier for them to deliver exactly what you’re looking for – and they’ll certainly be aware that it’s a must have.

So translate your good intentions into solid results by making it clear and including sustainability criteria in the contracts with your suppliers.

A Word from Green Meeting Ninjas


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