Circular Event Management

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Sustainability is a global trend that has not only reached the world of politics, but also the world economy. Companies from a variety of industries and geographies are now striving to achieve a positive and high-profile life cycle assessment.

At present, many companies and entire industries are asking a justified and important question: What can we do to optimize the ecological footprint of our industry? This question does not stop at the Berlin event industry.  The trend also offers the Berlin event industry an opportunity to become a pioneer in the field of sustainability.

One approach to a solution that is increasingly attracting attention, is the principle of circular economy: an economy that is regenerative by design. With system-wide innovations, it aims to design products and services in a way that waste and negative effects on people and the environment are prevented from the very beginning. But while the theory of a circular economy may sound plausible and promising at first, there is often a lack of concrete solutions and approaches to change.

On the occasion of the Tag der Berliner Kongresswirtschaft (MICE Summit), we, together with participants, analysed the potentials for a circular economy in selected value-added chains of the event industry. In a systemic analysis, we looked at which actors and factors are the drivers and the people affected, in order to identify strong levers for change in the next step.

User centered methods from the Google Sprint and Design Thinking support us in our work: We followed the individual stations of the caterer, from commissioning to carrying out and removing possible leftovers. This illustrated the moments in the value-added chain where a lot of waste is currently generated. As an example, the participants addressed the aspect of “minimising packaging and transport waste” in order to identify the levers for a change towards sustainability. Exciting approaches were then developed in brainstorming sessions. In further iteration loops, the idea of a code for circular catering emerged. This was differentiated prototypically in an “Idea Napkin”.

What do you think: could a circular catering code help to make the event industry more sustainable? It would be a first step towards a voluntary commitment by the industry. In order to develop such a code, it would first have to deal with the solutions and challenges en détail. Such a code would enable organisers to find reliable and certified partners for circular events even in times of economic and temporal pressure, and thus substantially improve the ecological footprint of the industry.