Berlin’s sustainable event suppliers
So how exactly do you plan and realise sustainable events? Where do you start to ensure an event is sustainable from the very first inquiry to the final dismantling of equipment? Best of all – start in Berlin! From Eventwide Berlin in Tempelhof to the Party Rent Group in Pankow or RENT4EVENT in the heart of Kreuzberg – Berlin’s creative event designers and suppliers are setting standards across Germany for climate protection, carbon reduction and social responsibility. In 2012, the party and event supplier RENT4EVENT had already become Germany’s first climate-neutral provider of hire furniture and tableware. We went to see for ourselves – and took a closer look at eco-friendly services for sustainable events in Berlin’s MICE sector.
Sustainability begins at home
In October 2019, after already serving six years in the company, Manja Jessat became RENT4EVENT executive director. Although already perfectly familiar with the staff, rooms and processes, she was happy about the new insights gained during the Sustainable Meetings Berlin auditing process. As she said, “I hadn’t been fully aware of many of the aspects and issues in sustainability”. And a look behind the scenes of the daily business makes only too clear just how varied the tasks are for Sustainable Partners in the meetings and convention sector.
RENT4EVENT supplies around 11,000 events a year with furniture, tableware and catering equipment – and demand is still rising. Yet as Manja Jessat explained, despite orders steadily growing diesel consumption has been kept stable in simple and effective ways. “We have invested in tour planning software to ensure our delivery vehicles are utilized as effectively as possible,” she noted. “To reduce city driving time we have vehicles with a larger load volume and we also offer customers a self-collect option on their way to the event. Many find this appealing, especially since our central location is easy to reach logistically and more often than not ‘on their route’.” Such a self-collect option not only cuts the number of deliveries, but also contributes to cleaner air and helps reduce traffic. What’s more, the company has opened a new goods entrance to keep noise levels in the area down as far as possible and prevent noise pollution for local residents. After all, noise is a significant environmental pollutant and also needs to be considered in the supply chain.
Behind the scenes: socially sustainable
Behind the massive entrance gates, the sustainable cycle continues. And it starts with the employees themselves. The large screens in each warehouse are a very conspicuous feature. As Manja Jessat said, “We have over 100 staff. Since it is not feasible to reach each individual employee personally every day, we use the screens to communicate with them and keep them updated on sustainable issues.” Here, employees can find tips on health and safety at work, the date of the next in-house yoga course, or invitations to training and team events. After all, along with cutting carbon and noise emissions, a Sustainable Partner’s overall sustainability is also measured by such factors as employee satisfaction and development as well as occupational health and safety measures . Moreover, the company is active on social issues, supporting events against right-wing extremism or cooperating with the non-profit Türöffner association to provide refugees with a job.
Berlin services supporting green initiatives
Admittedly, emissions are hard to avoid in a sector where the primary services include transport, packaging, washing and cleaning, and where conferences, fairs and congresses are provided daily with equipment and tableware for thousands of participants. Yet Berlin event suppliers such as RENT4EVENT still manage to remain climate neutral. One plank here is climate offset schemes in cooperation with such providers as the non-profit association Primaklima. In this case, for example, reforestation projects are supported to offset carbon emissions by higher carbon capture elsewhere. But such offset schemes are only one option. RENT4EVENT takes an exceptionally careful approach to resources from the outset with measures including producing part of its rental furniture itself from old euro pallets and recycling oak planks into table tops for a new furniture series; optimising its wrapping to cut the need for stretch wrap and recycling what is used; loading trucks with normed transport crates to waste as little space as possible; replacing plastic drinking straws with glass straws and cleaning tableware with ceramic granules instead of large amounts of chemicals and water.
Small steps for a big difference
For planning and realising sustainable events, you need to take into account a long list of must-dos and want-tos. Some things can be acted on at once, others evolve in a constant process. Manja Jessat has long had paperless order processing on her agenda. But implementing it is not so simple. In such cases, it’s often the small – and creative – steps which take you closer to the big goals. For instance, invoices are already sent digitally as PDFs while in-company printing is avoided where possible or else uses recycled paper. Transport and packing can also, not least, be reduced by washing tablecloths in-house or in a laundry close by. And at the end of the day, when around one quarter of employees swing themselves onto their leased Jobrad company bikes, the message of sustainability is also taken beyond the corporate borders.
Sustainable Meetings Berlin
- Sustainable Meetings Berlin is your partner for sustainable event planning in Berlin.
- Are you looking for a suitable location, a conference hotel or a green service partner? Browse our Meeting Guide Berlin or contact us directly: convention@visitBerlin.de.
- We are happy to support you in planning and realising your event in Berlin.