Three Simple Ways To Make Your Event More Sustainable

Our lower impact event branding tips

In-person events are firmly back in the top spot but with one key difference: a revived focus on ESG. As we look to produce events that are more environmentally responsible, the question of what we can do to lower the impact of event branding is getting more and more common.

While the biggest culprits with in-person events are air travel and catering, materials used at events such as those used in stage backdrops, banners, and stage dressing can also play a big part in the overall footprint and waste (largely to landfill) of events.

We’re going to dive into three simple and effective ways you can upgrade your event branding to be more environmentally friendly – event banners and stage backdrops, LED and digital signage, and your choice of inks.

Let’s kick off with the biggie:

1. Event banners & stage backdrops

There’s no reason why your printed event materials can’t be both sustainable and visually stunning with our simple tips:

  • Choose lower-impact materials:
    • Paper-based honeycomb structures are strong, stable, fully recyclable options for event banners and backdrops that can be re-boarded with water-based printed graphics when needed.
    • Rafa canvas is a slightly textured, matt, fade-resistant wall covering, which is made from OEKO-TEX® standard 100 polyester and is PVC-free. There are no join lines to spoil the finish, so an entire wall can be covered in a single-piece graphic, or it makes for a great large stage backdrop when attached to a timber frame. This is what PA Consulting used during their 2023 PAPi Awards, as can be seen above. The canvas can be recycled, or as with everything, ideally reused.
  • Reuse:
    Choose resilient materials and have them printed with an evergreen design which contains no information that will limit its use such as dates, locations, etc. Keep it clean and store it well, and it will give you years of life, which will dramatically lower its overall impact.
  • Upcycle:
    If you already have stage banners and backdrops, don’t send them to landfill, upcycle them instead. Send your backdrop material off and have gift bags made for your next event!


2. Digital signage

For a truly modern, technological feel to your event, how about going fully digital? PA Consulting chose this option for their 2024 PAPi awards. The backdrop you can see above is an LED wall, which allowed for a range of backgrounds throughout the event, as well as videos, and presentations.

Choosing digital signage such as LED walls and digital posters over paper/plastic posters, flyers, or billboards is a more sustainable choice with many benefits.

  • No material waste:
    And no printing requirements either, which helps to reduce the amount of materials we send to landfill as many static displays (even paper-based ones!) contain materials that are not biodegradable or recyclable such as inks, glues, and plastics.
  • Reusability:
    The content on digital displays can be updated easily and remotely at any time, so you can switch the content around multiple times during your event and re-deploy it for the lifetime of the equipment. Choosing quality equipment helps to reduce e-waste by prolonging its end-of-life.
  • Efficiency:
    LED displays consume up to 70% less energy than other digital displays, and modern digital display options have several energy-saving features.

While digital displays can come with a heavier price tag and of course do consume energy, they have many benefits and are worth a look at when you design your next event experience.

3. Inks

Inks can be a bit of a mind field, but it is worth probing your printing company, as this could determine whether your event materials are biodegradable or recyclable.

Inks can vary widely in terms of their biodegradability, depending on their composition and the materials used. While traditional petroleum, solvent, or plastic-based inks are more durable, consider the following alternatives for your event wherever possible:

  • Water-based inks:
    These inks use water as a solvent instead of harsh chemicals, making them more environmentally friendly with no VOC hazards, and they’re easier to break down naturally. Try water-based inks for paper-based printing.
  • Plant-based inks and dyes:
    These are more biodegradable and less harmful to the environment than traditional petroleum-based alternatives, and work well for paper or fabric printing.

Get in touch!

These are just a few ways you can easily switch out some of the more traditional event branding and venue design options and optimise material lifecycles to lower the environmental impact of your event and help create a more responsible future for the events industry.

If you’d like to discuss any of these further or explore how your next event can be more environmentally conscious, please get in touch!

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