Are conferences more eco-friendly than before?

In recent years, more people are now prioritizing environmental issues when planning events. Whether it be a social gathering or a business conference, the planet is becoming more and more of a concern. Conferences can be wasteful and environmentally damaging if not done right, but there are numerous changes that can be made. With the help of Wyboston Lake resorts, winner of a Silver status Green Tourism award and your go-to option for conference venues in Milton Keynes, this article analyses whether conferences are eco-friendlier than they once were.

Paperless conferences

We often underestimate the amount of paper waste produced during conferences. Leaflets, invitations, schedules and name badges are all usually made from paper or plastic and are generally only used once. In response to this, many eco-friendly conferences are now choosing to go completely paper-free.

With the help of emails and smartphones, it is now easier than ever to send invitations and get in touch with your attendees without wasting paper. Furthermore, advertising for conferences can now be conducted through social media channels rather than sending out physical leaflets. These instant, eco ways of keeping in touch benefit both parties. Keeping your conference information online will take away any printing and distribution cost. This will save you money for other elements of the conference. As for your attendees, they will know exactly where all the information about the conference is, resolving any risk of misplaced invitations and consequent confusion.

Another cause of plastic and paper waste at conferences is lanyards and name badges. Luckily, many events are now opting for eco-friendly alternatives such as name tags made from bamboo or rice husk. These materials should also be considered when it comes to conference goody bags. Often, people leave conferences with a bag full of branded pens, mugs and other merchandise— most of which is plastic and likely to be thrown away. Bamboo alternatives are a great way for many conferences to become more environmentally friendly. Bamboo reusable coffee cups are one option.

Food choices

Your source of catering can make a big impact to the carbon footprint of your event. Eco-friendly conferences will choose food from local sources in order to minimize the airmiles and support local businesses.

Providing food for a variety of diets is essential. Conferences that aim to be more eco-friendly must always cater to vegan attendees. They could also consider eliminating foods that have a large carbon footprint, like meat, from their menus completely.

You should also consider disposable packaging when organizing the catering. This should be kept to an absolute minimum if you’re concerned about your carbon-footprint. Reusable plates and cups are a much better option and they will also look much smarter than their plastic counterparts.


Another key element of an eco-friendly conference is the location. Many conference spaces will work with you to create your perfect environmentally friendly event, so it is important to pick an event space that shares your vision.

As well as this, it is encouraged that you take your attendees’ travel distance into account when picking a location. If you can cut down the distance your guests have to travel, you can decrease the environmental impact of your conference. As it stands, many guests fly to conferences from all over the world and this is a major eco concern.

Considering all these new and innovative ideas, conferences are undoubtably more eco-friendly than they once were. The ability to connect online and the minimized use of paper has been a massive part of this change. Saying this, there is still a lot more that many organizations could do to ensure that conferences are doing their part for the planet.