How to organize a green event in Paris?

Are you looking to organize an eco-friendly corporate event or conference in Paris or the Paris region? See our tips and selection of eco-friendly service providers !

The events industry and sustainable development are not incompatible!

Whether the event be small or big, success in meeting the challenges of sustainable development always depends on the motivation of the actors and their organization. The 4 main steps to making your event eco-friendly are:

1.Estimating the carbon footprint of your event
2.Choosing a good methodology and good service providers for your event
3.Reducing the impact of your event
4.Offsetting the impact of your event

Estimating the carbon footprint of your event

The objective is to quantify all of the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated by all of the activities linked to your event. The transport sector is the largest GHG emitting part of an event. However, it is important not to underestimate the impact of other emissions, such as energy, food, accommodation and the use of certain products or services.

To calculate the carbon footprint of your event, free simulators are available. For example:

  • The calculator of the Fondation Good Planet, which offers a diagnosis of one’s trip.
  • My Transport Impact, an online tool created by ADEME which allows you to compare the impact of your trips more accurately according to the different means of transport (bicycle, metro, bus, car, etc.).
  • Carbon Footprint / Event carbon calculator (online tool in English)
  • Terrapass / Event carbon calculator (online tool in English)

Choosing a good methodology and good service providers

To help you in your approach, there are charters, standards, and labels at your disposal. Whether it be to structure your approach, speed up your environmental commitments, mobilize your team, or choose good service providers, there are many advantages to getting involved in one of the following initiatives:

ISO 20121: Developed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this international standard is the current standard in the event industry. It promotes responsible consumption and mitigates the negative effects of an event on local infrastructure and public services, thus reducing the risk of potential conflict within the communities hosting the events. The ISO 20121 offers guidelines and best practices to help you manage your event and control its social, economic, and environmental impact.

ISO 14001: The most widely used international standard for environmental management. It is based on the principle of continuous improvement of environmental performance by controlling the impact of the company's activities. It is intended to be used by all organizations wishing to manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic way.

B Corp: An international certification awarded to commercial companies that meet social and environmental, governance and public transparency requirements. The designation refers to a company that is known to have a beneficial impact on the world, while also being profitable.

There are other certifications and labels that identify environmentally friendly service providers (non-exhaustive list):

Charters, standards, labels Definition Targets Evaluation
Green Globe International certification rewarding and supporting tourism businesses that have opted to improve the environmental and social management of their activities. Tourist accommodation, restaurants, cultural and leisure sites, event venues, Transport companies, travel operators, etc. Audit
European Ecolabel Official European Union label, managed in France by AFNOR Certification, distinguishing products and services that respect the environment and health. Tourist accommodation Audit
La Clef Verte International voluntary label (Green Key) distinguishing establishments with a dynamic policy in favour of the environment, good water/waste/energy management, responsible purchasing, raising public awareness about all these subjects, etc. Tourist accommodation and restaurants Audit
Tourisme & Handicap French state mark for quality of welcome and improved accessibility for people with disabilities. Tourist accommodation, restaurants, cultural and leisure sites, etc. Audit
Green Tourism International certification promoting greener ways of operating for companies and organizations. PCO/DMC Audit
Travelife International certification promoting improved social and environmental impact. PCO/DMC Audit
Events Industry Council Sustainable Event Standards Eight specific standards that assess events and industry suppliers on a wide range of sustainability criteria in support of environmental and social responsibility. PCO/DMC, tourist accommodation, cultural and leisure sites restaurants/caterers, etc. Audit
Écotable French label identifying and promoting eco-friendly restaurants throughout France. Restaurants/caterers Audit
Bon pour le climat (‘Good for the climate’) A French association proposing concrete and positive actions to change our food habits in order to preserve the planet and the climate. Restaurants/caterers Subscription

PCOs, DMCs, private-hire spaces, hotels, catering services, transport, activities ... Paris je t’aime – Tourist Office points you to establishments and service providers that are environmentally-motivated!

Eco-friendly PCOs and DMCs
Eco-friendly event venues
Eco-friendly accommodation
Eco-friendly caterers
Eco-friendly transport
Eco-friendly activities and entertainment

Reducing the impact of your event

The first thing to do before offsetting the impact of your event is to limit it. There are various ways to achieve this:

  • Giving priority to (walking, cycling …) and public transport for your participants will reduce the CO2 emissions of your event.
  • Choosing only service providers committed to a sustainable development approach (e.g., distinguished by one of the labels or certifications mentioned above).
  • Favouring local products and the work of Parisian artisans (in gastronomy, art de vivre, fashion, etc.) will be an opportunity to discover Paris in a different way and to support the local economy, while limiting the impact of your event on the environment.

Offsetting the impact of your event

In areas where you may not be able to reduce the impact of your event as much as you would like, you will be able to offset it through various actions that will support local communities and preserve the environment. Here are a few ideas:

There are several food relief programmes: for example, you can support the Croix Rouge and the Restos du Cœur which are associations that fight against food precarity, by offering emergency aid to people most in need. The Food banks and the association Linkee also provide aid to people in need while fighting against waste. They collect and redistribute (free or at a symbolic price) unsold and surplus foodstuffs.

To limit waste during an event, you can contact associations such as: Equoevento which recovers foodstuffs that have not been consumed, and which are then redistributed to associations, or Phénix, a start-up that fights against food and non-food waste.

If you wish to limit the impact of large-scale events, you can help associations and companies that offer different initiatives. Co-Recyclage, for example, is a circular economy company that recovers furniture and professional equipment to give them a second life. Or, Les Connexions, a waste management association for festivals and sporting events.

If you wish to get involved in a group, you can take part in group waste collections. Waste collection campaigns are offered on the platform Cleanwalk and by the NGO Surfrider. These actions are a way of acting together on your own scale and increase the awareness of participants and observers about the fight against pollution caused by waste.

All these initiatives will have a positive impact on the environment but also on the economy and local community.

Finally, to offset you carbon footprint, you can get in touch with EcoTree, a tree-buying platform that enables you to invest in trees for sustainable forest management. This action is a means of participating in the development of forest areas and biodiversity.

If you are planning to organize an event with an international scope, you can call on the services of a consulting firm with expertise in sustainable events, such as Carbo, in order to put in place offsetting solutions tailored to your event.

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