“Re-thinking waste: a 2020 vision for zero waste events” - The events industry seeks feedback on its vision for a waste-free future

2nd August 2012

Today begins a five-week period of public engagement (ending September 10) for a dedicated events industry roadmap that will help the sector tackle waste, better use resources, and save money. This is an opportunity for anyone involved in events, in whatever capacity, to help develop this important industry document.

Developed as part of the EPOW project (European Pathway to Zero Waste) “Re-thinking waste: a 2020 vision for zero waste events” sets out a vision for collective action on reducing waste to landfill, and steps the industry can follow to achieve this UK-wide.

EPOW is seeking feedback on the roadmap’s vision, suggested collective steps to take, the timeframe and individual actions outlined.

The roadmap is of relevance to diverse groups within the events industry supply chain including, but not limited to, event organisers/planners, their managers and contractors, venue owners and promoters, corporate sponsors, local authorities, waste contractors, hospitality and catering companies and construction firms and builders.

Mervyn Jones, EPOW Task Leader, said:  “The events industry is huge business for the UK worth an estimated £36 billion* per annum to the national economy and employing hundreds of thousands of people. It produces a variety of wastes from food waste to staging, signage, flooring systems etc. How it manages its resources is crucial for the bottom line of individual business, and for the environment.

“Significant improvements for integrating sustainability initiatives into the planning and delivery of events have been made in recent years. The roadmap vision will help people to improve their own performance and play their part. Working with industry - for industry - “Re-thinking waste: a 2020 vision” is for any event, however large or small the platform, and whatever the occasion - be it sporting, cultural or commercial. The roadmap will also help on the route towards BS8901 and ISO20121 sustainability management standard accreditation.”

The 2020 vision aims to “Achieve a zero waste to landfill event sector by 2020, where we make the most efficient use of resources by minimising demand on primary resources, and maximise the re-use, recycling and recovery of all event resources instead of treating them as waste”. This is a key area EPOW is inviting feedback on.

The roadmap will be supported by a resource section linking with a number of case studies demonstrating industry best practice and available resources, including the Resource Management Plan (RMP) tool. The final roadmap will help towards delivering business benefits including:

  • reducing material and waste management related costs
  • identifying opportunities to further reduce waste, increase re-use and recycling content
  • meeting sustainable environmental targets as well as corporate social responsibility
  • demonstrating sustainable credentials to perspective clients as well as retaining existing clients
  • better positioning businesses in a more resource constrained world

To take part in the public engagement, which runs from Thursday 2 August until Monday 10 September, please visit http://www.wrap.org.uk/eventroadmap

Notes to Editor

  1. For more information on the engagement visit http://www.wrap.org.uk/eventroadmap
  2. *The value of £36billion comes from the ‘Britain for Events Report published 2010.
  3. The roadmap approach has been used successfully as a collaboration between industry, supply chains, regulators and government across a variety of industry and product sectors, for example construction, retail, dairy and clothing. A “roadmap” is a process which helps different sectors understand the environmental and wider sustainability impacts their actions/outputs have. A Roadmap aims to show: the ways in which these impacts can be mitigated against; what the barriers are; and what steps are required to address the barriers. Roadmaps highlight the benefits in taking positive action.
  4. The public engagement runs from Thursday 2 August until Monday 10 September.
  5. The completed roadmap is due for publication towards the end of 2012.
  6. European Pathway to Zero Waste is an EU demonstration project part funded by LIFE+, the EU’s funding instrument for the Environment and is a partnership between the Environment Agency and WRAP. The project has been set up to investigate practical ways to achieve zero waste to landfill in the South East of England. It will share the results with colleagues both in the UK and in relevant EU Member States. Zero waste in this context is an approach to supporting the sustainable use of resources by business to benefit both the economy and the environment. It concentrates on reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering energy from waste. The EPOW project runs until the 31st March 2013. More information on European Pathway to Zero Waste can be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/epow
  7. About the Environment Agency: The Environment Agency is the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. It's our job to make sure that air, land and water are looked after by everyone in today's society, so that tomorrow's generations inherit a cleaner, healthier world. Visit: www.environment-agency.gov.uk
  8. WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on www.wrap.org.uk

Ian Palmer

PR Officer, WRAP
01295 819 677