CEE Trendspotting: Event Tech for Sustainability

November 21, 2022 by lmiller
Filed in: News Tag: MCE Trendspotting, Sustainability

As the world returns to in-person gatherings, sustainability is an essential topic for all event organizers. IEEE is helping drive this charge, with recent discussions that took place at IEEE Convene with 160+ conference organizers, changemakers, and global partners, along with 2022 IEEE President-Elect Saifur Rahman attending COP27 in Egypt which focused on paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.

As these critical discussions increase, especially around the impact of events, new tools are being added to the event technology stack. Here are a few for you to consider as you plan your next event with sustainability in mind:

One Tree Planted: One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. Businesses can partner with them to plant one tree for every product or service sold with our one-for-one model, donate a percentage of sales, or formulate special giving campaigns on social media. For example, events can incorporate this by donating based on number of attendees (150 attendees = $150 donation = 150 trees planted in the area of your choice). Alternatively, organizers can consider adding an option during registration for attendees to donate $1 which would result in 1 tree planted. 

EcoCloud™ (Swag Recycling): EcoCloud™ was born out of their passion for sustainability and helps event organizers repurpose unused swag. Through this program, organizers can arrange a quick and convenient pick-up to have any unused gifts returned to its warehouse. The organizer then decides whether to reuse, recycle, or donate to a charity such as a public school or a children’s home, which will all be arranged through the service on the customer’s behalf. 

Fill It Forward: Per MeetingsNet, Fill It Forward “aims to reduce single-use products—water bottles, coffee cups, and tote bags—by incentivizing re-use of their alternatives.” By adding a QR sticker (which can be custom branded), or providing a reusable product to attendees such as a water bottle, participants can track and report their environmental impact. Every time an item is reused and scanned, Fill It Forward’s trusted charitable partners receive a donation. Additionally, participants can use the web or mobile app to monitor their individual contributions across donations and the environment.

IEEE Climate Change Website: If you’re interested in learning more about IEEE’s efforts to help combat and mitigate the effects of climate change, you can visit this newly launched website. The site features efforts being done across the organization, featured content in IEEE Xplore, and the latest news on this topic.

With more than 2,000 events per year, IEEE event organizers, partners, and participants have the opportunity to make a significant impact across sustainability efforts worldwide. If you have any ideas or additional tools to share, please leave a comment below. 

Additional Resources:
“2 Ideas to Pair Sustainability with Engagement”, MeetingsNet: https://www.meetingsnet.com/sustainability/2-ideas-pair-sustainability-engagement 

“Why Sustainability Is a Smart Business Strategy, and Other Insights From an Eco Expert”, BizBash: https://www.bizbash.com/production-strategy/strategy/article/22552070/why-sustainability-is-a-smart-biz-strategy 

“The global engineering view: Delivering an equitable, sustainable and low carbon resilient world”, UN Climate Change – Events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E9LBQiTzbI&list=PLBcZ22cUY9RJc1scZLmb8SdZezq3IM00i&index=44

“Brella partners with One Tree Planted for a future of sustainable events”, Brella: https://www.brella.io/news/brella-partners-with-one-tree-planted 

Headshot photo of Lea Provost from 2022

This article was written by:
Lea Provost
Sr. Program Manager, Audience Development Strategy Services
IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events