Society is looking to become more sustainable, and so is the UK National Agency.
In 2019, we’re making a conscious effort to minimise our impact on the planet whilst maximising the #ErasmusPlusEffect. Therefore we plan to make our events more sustainable.
An eco-friendly event involves many factors, from materials to venues, and exploring how we can either reduce, reuse or recycle.
Here are five ways we are making our events more sustainable.
1. We're going digital!
In the past, we’ve provided plenty of materials to help you enjoy and make the most of our events. But we want to cut down on our printing as much as possible and use other alternatives to be sustainable, yet still provide you with essential information.
As a result, we aim to provide you with digital copies of materials in advance. For example, at our 2019 Annual Conference, we're bringing back our app, which will contain handy information for attendees.
This means you get the event’s agenda and delegate list ahead of the day – helping you prepare for discussions and important networking!
Similarly, we also want to cut down printing for our publications. All of our brochures, posters and leaflets are available online and ready to download.
2. We're reusing and recycling our materials
As well as reducing our materials, we’re looking for ways we can reuse or recycle them. Any promotional item that isn’t used will be collected by the Erasmus+ UK team and reused at future events.
For example, when attendees arrive to events, they are expected to wear a lanyard with their name badge. Once these events are over, we ask for your lanyard back. We know you may like having a snazzy new lanyard to wear, but returning them to us means we can then reuse them.
As with any kind of event, it's not just promotional materials that are left behind – there’s also waste paper. While we’re minimising our use of printing, we’re also recycling waste paper. This way, any leftover materials are either reduced, reused or recycled.
3. We have sustainable promotional items
From notebooks to pens to torches, if you’ve attended one of our events before, you know we offer a wide range of promotional items.
This year, thanks to our new focus, we plan to have as many items as possible made from either recycled or sustainable materials. Our goal is one step closer with the creation of the new Erasmus+ tote bag, made from eco-friendly materials.
Eurodesk UK and European Solidarity Corps UK are also on board with sustainability – take a look at these eco-friendly items from the entire UK National Agency:
4. We're working with venues to become sustainable
At our events last year, you told us in feedback that our venues use too much plastic. This year, we want to ensure that we can work with venues to become more sustainable. Therefore, we’re asking them about their environmental policies. How they reduce or recycle single-use plastic, where they source food and more.
With this in mind, we’re keen to work with venues that have a strong environmental policy. Some are already conscious of sustainability. For example, etc venues’ policy states they recycle waste paper, cardboard and florescent light tubes, as well as donating old furniture and having ’Green Champions’ at their locations.
Sustainability is something that involves us all – from event organisers to venues. If we want to be eco-friendly, we need to make sure venues are too.
5. We're working with YOU!
We also want you, the Erasmus+ community, to help us with our aim to become sustainable.
When we select venues for our events, we aim to choose locations that are easily accessible by public transport. Therefore, we encourage our attendees to travel via public transport if possible, instead of driving.
By making these small changes, we hope to make a bigger impact and create sustainable events.
But it doesn’t just end with the UK National Agency. Are you planning your own events for your project? You can pick up a few of these tips and help make the entire Erasmus+ community one that is eco-friendly.