Catering and events can have a significant impact on the environment. The food, transportation, and energy used for these events all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the catering and events industry is responsible for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the food industry being responsible for ¼ of the world's greenhouse gasses and travel makes up a further 25%.
However, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the carbon footprint of your catering and events. By making a few simple changes, you can help to protect the planet while still hosting a successful event.
Here are a few tips for reducing the carbon footprint of your catering and events:
Choose sustainable food options. When choosing food for your event, opt for sustainable options that have a lower environmental impact.This could include locally-sourced food such as buying and serving food that is grown and produced locally, such as from your local farmers market. Or it could mean choosing to serve organic food which is less damaging to the environment, or even just eating seasonally, as this ensures you are eating food that is grown more locally rather than flown in from abroad.
Reduce food waste. One of the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint of catering and events is food waste. By reducing the amount of food that you waste, you can make a big difference. Here are a few tips for reducing food waste: • Only order the amount of food that you need. • Serve food family-style so that people can take what they want and leave the rest • Offer compostable plates and utensils, rather than plastic or use reusable cutlery and plates
Choose sustainable transportation. Passenger cars are detrimental to the environment accounting for 41% of all transport emissions so when transporting food and guests to your event, choose sustainable options that produce less emissions. Encourage your guests to use public transportation or even to walk or cycle. However, this is not always possible so if using cars is a necessity try to encourage carpooling as having large groups in one vehicle is much more environmentally efficient than driving alone.
Choose a venue that prioritises sustainability. Look for venues which label themselves as sustainable or eco-friendly, such as BREEAM-certified buildings, websites such as the Venue Booker make it easy to find these locations. Such as the Crystal in London, which is home to the world’s largest exhibition on sustainability.
Use energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Most electricity and energy is generated from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas meaning they have a higher carbon footprint compared to electricity and energy created through renewable sources such as solar or wind. When choosing lighting and appliances for your event, opt for energy-efficient options such as using LED light bulbs which have a smaller carbon footprint or using renewable energy sources such as solar power or wind.
Counter your event. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly offset the carbon footprint of your event. It is inevitable that an event will release greenhouse gasses, no matter how many of these tips you implement, so it is crucial that you counter the emissions and offset your event. This can be done by planting trees and buying verified carbon credits. At SKOOT we offer a variety of solutions to offset not only your events but also your daily life.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce the carbon footprint of your catering and events. You can host a successful event while still protecting the planet, there is no need to compromise one for the other.