Bureau Veritas Encourages Event’s Organisers To ‘Think Sustainability’ Ahead of May Reopening

Mar. 16 2021

With the UK government recently announcing a £700m support fund to help art, culture, and sports venues weather the coronavirus pandemic, Bureau Veritas is advising event’s organisers resuming their operations this spring that this could be their chance to ‘up their game’ on sustainability and create a greener, more profitable events industry.

Last week, in his spring budget announcement Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged £700m to support art, culture and sports sector in reopening their venues post-lockdown1. Most spectator sporting and entertainment venues including cinema and theatres will remain closed until May 17, when up to 10,000 people - or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower - will be allowed back inside venues2.

With this in mind, sustainability specialist Bureau Veritas is encouraging arts, culture and sports venues preparing to reopen in May to consider implementing more eco-friendly measures – stating these will not only lead to greater cost efficiencies at a critical time for the live events sector but also go a long way in creating a greener industry.

David Murray, Technical Director for Sustainability at Bureau Veritas, comments: “As the live events industry prepares to reopen in May, pent-up demand for live entertainment, means the pandemic offers arts, culture and sports events the unique opportunity to create a low-carbon and sustainable sector.

“The pandemic has brought issues such as plastic waste, clean air and carbon emissions to the fore once again, spurring a ‘less is more’ movement among event goers, so much so that they now expect companies to up their game on tackling climate change by reducing the environmental impact of events such as sporting tournaments, festivals and exhibitions.

“As such, our advice is clear. As many sport, arts and entertainment venue prepare to reopen, having a strategy that prioritises leaner, more sustainable events and operations could be key to future-proofing the industry as it battles to recover from successive pandemic closure. This approach will not only reduce costs, drive inefficiencies and protect long term profitability but, ultimately, it will create the greener society we all deserve.”

From ensuring all merchandise includes plastic-free packaging to introducing compulsory electronic ticketing and even rethinking traditional programmes, flyers, freebies and samples given out for marketing – these are just some of simple measures that can make a real difference, says Bureau Veritas.

David adds: “The great news is we’ve seen popular sporting tournaments such as Wimbledon committing to going net zero by 2030, leading the way with a returnable cup scheme, electrifying its vehicles fleet as well as creating an on-site composting area for grass and garden cuttings.

“When it comes to reopening, no doubt venue and event’s organisers are facing a barrage of things to consider.  For those considering adopting sustainable measures – whether big or small – the initial process can be difficult and inherently complex. Hence, we would suggest creating a strategy based on best practice that looks at all aspects of an organisation and any events, and then building on that through regular auditing and verification.

Bureau Veritas has experience and technical expertise in helping organisers of events improve their sustainability performance. This includes verifying claims of zero waste to landfill and carbon neutrality, supporting organisations to plan their sustainability strategy as well as guidance and support to achieve accurate data collection to inform analysis of the performance of the event.

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