University events are a great way to demonstrate and promote our sustainability values to our partners and community.  

Here are some sustainability considerations to help you plan your next event. 

  • Registrations

    • Reuse name tags and lanyards from previous events, or provide recyclable paper or cardboard options.
    • Use an online registration website to collect registration information and issue e-tickets. Advise attendees not to print their e-tickets.
    • Communicate with attendees via email or event app to reduce the need for printed, ad-hoc signage at the event.
    • Let attendees know about the sustainability efforts that are being made throughout the event, and how they can help.  
  • Merchandise, promotional material and handouts

    • Carefully consider the value of any merchandise or handouts at the event. Often many unwanted handouts are thrown away after the event.
    • Select merchandise that supports sustainable habits such as reusable branded coffee cups, water bottles or calico bags. Avoid plastic items and plastic-wrapped items.
    • Invest in promotional materials that can be used again and again at your events such as re-skinnable banners, a-frames and branded tablecloths.
  • Catering

    • Know your audience and choose food that will be popular and easy to eat for the format of the event. For example, at standing events, choose bite-sized, non-messy options.
    • Avoid food waste and don’t over-cater. Use past events as a guide to the number of attendees and food requirements.
    • Choose local caterers with seasonal menus that use local ingredients.
    • Request details of your caterer's sustainability policies.
    • Offer fruit to boost energy levels instead of cakes and muffins.  
    • Consider providing plant-based milk options, and plenty of tasty vegetarian or vegan options within the menu. Some events may even choose a 100% vegetarian menu.   
    • Request flatware and crockery instead of single-use items.  
    • If single-use items are needed, ensure they are compostable e.g. napkins, straws etc. The University has a 100% compostable packaging rule.  
    • Request condiments in large sauce bottles instead of individual single-use packaging.
    • Speak with your caterer about the destination of any leftover food, and if they partner with OzHarvest. 
    • For large events, service agreements with contractors, catering vendors and suppliers should support all the sustainability considerations in this list.
  • Beverages

  • Waste and Recycling

    • Consider the waste items that will be generated at the event and first, attempt to avoid or reduce the volume of waste created at the event (reusable items).
    • Then ensure the correct type of recycling bins are provided for the relevant waste items and that you have enough recycling stations in convenient locations at the venue. If the venue doesn’t already have a recycling station, you can request one here: Maintenance | Infrastructure | University of Adelaide  
    • Large events using 140L or 240L wheelie bins should provide bin covers to identify the waste streams. Group bins together in strategic locations for passing foot traffic.
    • Going one step further, you could recruit friendly waste advisors to direct waste items to the right bin at the event. 
  • Venue selection

    • Choose your venue carefully and ensure it offers good accessibility features. More information about the university event and function spaces can be found here: Facilities Bookings | Infrastructure | University of Adelaide  
    • If inside, utilise natural light and ventilation where possible.
    • Create displays using materials you already have and consider if digital signage could add value to displays to avoid printing. 
    • Large outdoor events needing tent weights should use sand or concrete weights instead of water weights.
    • Large outdoor events needing additional electricity outlets can request this at the time of booking. This is preferred over bringing in generators.
    • Remember to switch off all equipment and appliances when leaving the event.
  • Attendee travel

Please contact if you have any questions.