While sustainability might be considered a passing trend for some, there exists a growing realization that it is an essential way of life we must adopt to ensure the continued viability of our quality of life, if not our lasting presence on this planet. This imperative applies universally, even within the events market. In this dynamic sector, bands, promotors, attendees, and other stakeholders, there is an increasingly widespread acknowledgment of the imperative to minimize environmental impacts, promote social responsibility, and uphold best practices in governance and economics.

This paradigm shift has come to the forefront through the actions of influential artists and bands like Jack Johnson and, more recently, Coldplay, entertainment companies like Live Nation, and big festivals, including Boom Festival, Rock in Rio, and MEO Kalorama. These examples underscore a growing commitment to fostering more sustainable events.

However, we deal with numerous challenges. The entire market must align with finding viable and affordable solutions on the scale of events that move thousands of attendees, often in a single day. While some solutions are still in prototype stages or not yet financially feasible due to limited market distribution, a concerted effort is underway to address these obstacles.

Here are some sustainability trends and actions to be considered for events aspiring to be more sustainable:


  • Green Venues: Eco-friendly venues with energy efficiency, sustainable materials, and waste reduction practices are gaining traction. Venues boasting green certifications like LEED are becoming preferred choices.
  • Zero-Waste Events: The drive to minimize waste generation and divert waste away from landfills through recycling, composting, and material reuse is gaining momentum.
  • Plastic-Free Events: Initiatives to eliminate single-use plastics like straws, cutlery, and bags in favour of biodegradable or reusable alternatives are on the rise. However, the push extends beyond plastic to all unnecessary packaging.
  • Sustainable Transportation: Collaborations with public transport entities to establish event-friendly routes and schedules facilitate attendees' use of public transportation. Low-emission vehicles can also be employed for shuttle services.
  • Renewable Energy: While challenges like peak energy consumption from stages often necessitate generator use, there is a growing emphasis on incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines. Connecting to the energy grid, given the escalating production and delivery of renewable energy, is also an attractive option.
  • Responsible Water Consumption: Measures such as low-flow faucets, water-efficient landscaping, and water refill stations are being embraced to conserve water resources and reduce reliance on single-use plastic water bottles.
  • Sustainable Event Technology: The adoption of eco-friendly technological solutions, such as digital ticketing, mobile event communication apps, and LED lighting, is curbing paper consumption and energy usage.


  • Local Impact Initiatives: Support for local communities, promoting social causes, engaging local artists, and hiring locals for operations staff.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Prioritizing diversity in hiring, creating accessible environments for all attendees and staff, and fostering a safe atmosphere for free expression.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring physical access for all, providing tickets for personal assistants, offering sign language services, and implementing audio descriptions.
  • Donations: From donating tickets to individuals in need to promote access to culture; materials to NGOs and schools; donating meals to poor communities through NGOs.
  • Sustainability Awareness: Engaging campaigns targeting attendees, sponsors, and suppliers are fostering awareness and encouraging positive behavioural shifts extending beyond the event.


  • Certifications: Certifications such as ISO 20121 for sustainable event management and B Corp certification showcase a dedication to sustainability, attracting sustainable conscious attendees and sponsors.
  • Sustainable Event Reporting: Transparent reporting on sustainability endeavours and their impact enhances accountability.
  • Partnerships: Collaborations with sustainability-focused organizations, government bodies, and local communities are instrumental in leveraging expertise, resources, and networks to bolster sustainability efforts.


In closing, events bear a responsibility to acknowledge their impacts and proactively implement measures to curtail negative effects while enhancing positive outcomes, thus leaving an enduring and positive legacy besides their cultural and entertainment contributions. Beyond being memorable, experiences must also be sustainable.

Have a great and impactful week!

Dora Palma
Head of Sustainability at Rock in Rio, The Town, and MEO Kalorama

This article refers to edition 204 of the "Have a Great and Impactful Week" Newsletter.
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