Vivid Event Group

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Catering for the future

30th April 2015

Increased sustainability and environmental focus is becoming more essential in today’s events environment than ever before. The continuing demands of an increasingly conscientious younger generation means that organisers need to address their green initiatives in a more transparent manner in order to reduce their carbon footprint and engage in corporate social responsibility.

Events are known to use up many different resources, create emissions and generate mountain ranges of waste.(1) Subsequently, event managers face the challenge of making the transition between traditional practices and applying environmental diligence. Sustainability in business not only incorporates environmental issues, but is the essence of adopting a realistic practice which can be implemented in a practical, economical and commercially viable way for the present and long term.

Sustainability has become a trend across many industry sectors and has been embraced by a number of event and hospitality planners with the aim to decrease waste and minimise environmental hazards.(2) Environmental risks can be decreased by making changes in the early planning stages and through to delivery. Achieving an ‘environmentally friendly’ ethos can be executed by focusing on certain key issues and implementing them by hand-picking sustainable resources. Some of these elements include food and drink, transportation, resources, materials, and venues.

Create less waste and energy consumption, avoid over ordering and reduce emissions

For this blog we have selected to focus on event catering, as we have become all the more conscious that food sourcing may cause threats to the environment and may demand transportation from other continents which impacts fuel consumption and air pollution.(3) Choosing local caterers who are patrons of regional food systems and procurement stand to help lessen these impacts. A collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. (4)

We've found three UK-based event caterers to highlight in our feature, who incorporate sustainable catering.

Eden Caterers

Eden Caterers have been creating stylish sustainable food for events in London and the Home Counties since 1993. For them sustainability is a big subject and their aim is to minimise both their impact on the world's resources and any harmful waste they produce. They do this by sending no waste to landfill, everything is recycled, use as much UK seasonal produce as possible, and minimise their water and energy use. These are only a few of the things Eden Caterers do to be sustainable, you can find everything they do as well as their sustainable development policy on their website by clicking on the link below.

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Are committed to working with our suppliers to create a supply chain which is built on a principle of sustainable and, wherever possible, local sourcing. They look for long term relationships – fixed term contracts. Environmental objective are: To reduce the amount of non-recyclable disposable good used by units; Units to work with their Clients to encourage recycling and other “green” initiatives at a local level; CH&Co approved suppliers to encourage supply-chain trace-ability and the procurement of sustainable and fair-trade food and drink items whilst not entailing excessive costs. Read more by taking a look at their website below.

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Bartlett Mitchell

An award winning contract catering service for business, industry, education and government. They are the only contract caterer to be awarded the top Three-star champion status rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association – known as the Michelin stars of sustainability. They have been accredited with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System as well as having received numerous other accolades.

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1. Jones, M. (2014) Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide. 2nd Ed. Routledge: Oxon.

2. Raj, R. and Musgrave, J. (2009) Event Management and Sustainability. CAB International: Oxford.

3. Van Der Wagen, L. and White, L. (2010) Events Management: For tourism, cultural, business and sporting events. 4th Ed. Pearson Education: AU.

4. Feenstra, G. (2002) Creating space for sustainable food systems: lessons from the field. Agriculture and Human Values. 19(2). 99-106.

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