Sustainability is more than just a buzz word; it is fast becoming a framework within which to live by. Many consumers and event attendees today are choosing to engage with and align themselves with organisations who live and breathe their Corporate Social Responsibility. It is not price alone that drives consumer decisions. Many people are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services.

Increased awareness through documentaries and celebrity endorsements have put sustainability at the forefront of many event attendees’ minds. According to a recent study, more than 90% of Australians are concerned about the environment and sustainability and 75% of consumers think about sustainability when making a purchase.

It is more of a concern for the younger generations. More than two in three Millennials would happily pay a higher price to guarantee sustainability, while 55% of Gen X (36 to 54-year-olds) and 46% of Baby Boomers (55 to 64-year-olds) feel the same. Gen Z are likely to follow in the footsteps of the Millennials and potentially be even more eco-friendly in their purchasing decisions. It is likely therefore, that purchasing of eco-friendly products and services will increase as Generation Z establish their careers and have a greater consumer spend.

The emerging event attendee is environmentally and sustainably minded, so event organisers who can embrace sustainability and factor it into their planning have an opportunity to set themselves apart in an increasingly sustainably minded culture.

What it means for event planners:

• Factor sustainability and eco products and services into event planning. This ranges from eco-friendly food cartons to aligning with organisations who have a strong CSR and value proposition.
• Choosing sustainable venues, being mindful of waste, emphasising online distribution of information rather than printing and using water stations rather than refillable bottles are just some ways to create an eco-friendly event.
• With sustainability think financial not just environmental. From junky giveaways to low-value bag fillers, less is often more.