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A guide on how to organise sustainable events

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance launches a document “to empower Christians to plan an eco-friendly event that glorifies God and benefits all of creation”.

SOURCES SEA AUTHOR Evangelical Focus ZURICH 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 17:14 h GMT+1
The SEA guide helps to organise sustainable events. / Aranxa Esteve (Unsplash, CC)

Christians are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the protection of the environment is an essential task and challenge for the Christian communities.



The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA) has launched a document called “Guidelines for sustainable event management”, which aims “to empower Christians to plan an eco-friendly event that glorifies God and benefits all of creation.”



“We have produced this document as a practical aid for those that wish to evaluate and improve their event’s impact on the environment”, the Committee for Climate, Energy and Environment of the SEA says.



 



“CHRISTIANS HAVE A CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS OUR ENVIRONMENT”



According to the document, “being eco-friendly in your event planning should not just be an optional bonus. On the contrary, the Bible teaches us that when people, Christians and communities gather together, we have a clear responsibility towards our environment.”



Authors believe that “the Christian community aims to be able to praise God and give him thanks, to get to know people and build up a brotherly and sisterly community, together with other people from different regions and different cultural backgrounds.”



But “such gatherings, however, are often very energy consuming, even in our modern world.”



That is why “it is becoming increasingly more important to consider the negative impact that these conferences” can have on nature.



 



SIX EVENTS ASPECTS TO CONSIDER



The guide focus on “the six biggest aspects” they believe “can influence an event’s impact on the environment”:



- Mobility / transport. How do participants travel to the venue?



- Catering. How are participants catered for during the event?



- Waste. How much waste is produced at the event?



- Advertising / printing. How many printed resources will be produced for handouts and advertising?



- Facilities / energy usage. How much energy is needed for lighting, technical equipment and heating?



- Water usage. How much water is needed to manufacture products used at the event?



 



Front page of the document. / SEA



ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND TIPS



After explaining every aspect in detail, the document points out that the event planners “need to ask themselves which event aspects should be given the most attention and which measures will be the most effective in reducing your event’s overall CO2 emissions.”



In order to achieve that, the authors give “practical tips to implement those aspects into the planning of event.”



“The strain that your event will have on the environment can be significantly reduced with only a few fundamental preliminary decisions. It is therefore essential that you already define your environmental policy in the first stages of the planning.”



 



ASSESSMENT CRITERIA



Lastly, the SEA guide provides assessment criteria “based on the 6 event aspects and their CO2 calculations”.



It gives a different scoring system for the local, regional and national events, because “the CO2 emissions produced by an event aspect largely depend on the size of the event”.



“Each event has a maximum score of 100 points, but the points have been divided up differently between the event aspects depending on the event size”, the document explains.



 



A PRACTICAL GUIDE



In conclusion, the handbook offers “a practical guide on sustainable event management […] to quickly evaluate your event from an environmental perspective.”



You can download the guide here.


 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.