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Sustainability Strategy Our Challenges

We’ve been creating big, bright, fun, individual spaces for people to enjoy for two decades. But, from now onwards – I want us to keep doing what we’re doing whilst having a positive impact on the people and natural environments around us.

We’ve already proven it’s possible to achieve this to some degree, but we know that there is so much more we need to do. We don’t have all the answers, but we want to share what we’ve learned so far.

And anyone reading this strategy is welcome to get involved.

Let’s figure out a better future for events together!

Cordi Ashwell
– Founder, Decordia

We Gotta Dish the Dirt

Here are some of the problems we see most often in live events.

Environmental Issues

  • Waste: Anything that can’t be recycled goes to landfill, which generates Greenhouse Gas emissions that are fuelling global warming and making climate change worse. Waste also causes pollution on land, which causes biodiversity loss and degrades the quality of our water
  • Materials: Using new wood, paper, metal, etc. to create event staging, backdrops, and artworks means that ever more natural resources (like trees and water) are being used up. These resources aren’t infinite, and we need to think about leaving enough for future generations
  • Travel and transport: A recent study revealed that travel (including by production teams) makes up 58% of a festival’s carbon emissions. Suppliers often have to make their deliveries to site using diesel vans and trucks, and unfortunately, these are some of the worst carbon emitters of any type of transport.

Social Challenges

  • Crew welfare, pay and working conditions: Events recruiters are adjusting to greater pay expectations, prioritising crew welfare, attracting and training new talent, and recruiting with diversity and inclusion in mind. This is leading to a more positive work environment, but it also means higher overheads and tighter competition for talent with employers in other industries
  • Sustainability awareness: To deliver a sustainable event, everyone on the event’s team needs to know how to perform their work in the most sustainable way. But lack of regulation means it’s difficult for events companies and crews to understand exactly what they can and should do. This is causing confusion and nervousness
  • Behaviour change: It’s tough to inspire sustainable behaviours when getting the job done on time and within budget is the main priority. Most industry leaders haven’t yet understood the connection between the enormous risks of not doing something and the relatively small costs of taking positive sustainable actions
  • Social media: Instagram, TikTok, and other channels are driving audience demand for fresher, bigger, bolder designs at every live event. For event décor businesses, this pressure makes it more likely that they’ll churn through new materials, using up precious resources and creating a bigger waste problem than ever before.