Eco-responsible service providers

Find an eco-responsible service provider for your event

Decoration, creation of stands, furniture hire

Salon professionnel © Thinkstock

Some specialist service providers offer single-use stands, made from polluting materials, or decorations that are impossible to use in another context. To reduce the environmental and material cost (pollution, waste, natural resources, energy), numerous solutions exist to reconcile the ephemeral with the sustainable: in addition to reuse, eco-design and eco-conception combine aestheticism with respect for the environment.

The are a good number of relevant standards and labels:  ISO 14001, ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, EMAS,Ecolabel européen, NF Environnement, Diversité label, Origine France Garantie, Nature et Progrès,Energy Star, FSC, PEFC, Apur

The selection of an eco-responsible service provider is based on criteria to include in the technical requirement specifications:

• Envisage the stands and furniture in terms of eco-design. Consider whether it would be better to hire or buy, according to the venues and frequency of use; in the latter case, take into account the upgradability of the product, the ease of assembling it/dismantling it, transport and storage. 

• Select materials (recyclable or recycled, labelled, natural; locally sourced plants in pots) and assembly techniques to guarantee the origin, manufacture, the eventual reuse and recycling (sorting, donating, etc.);

• Keeping transport to a minimum: choice of materials, local service providers, optimization ofstorage and packing.

• Don’t sacrifice aesthetics: inventiveness and technical innovation must contribute to visibility and reputation.

• Bear in mind disabled people (a stand raised up several centimetres is not accessible to wheelchairs and dangerous for visually-impaired people)

Technical: lighting, audiovisual, IT

In addition to energy consumption and the sometimes ephemeral nature of these layouts, the social impact of the worksite should also be taken into consideration. An eco-responsible technical service pays particular attention to the reduction of consumables, energy, CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time improving the social impact of its installations (security problems and physical risks during the assembling/dismantling process, difficult  working hours, non-declared work, noise or visual pollution, etc.).

Several labels are relevant to this sector, in particular PrestaDD and Energy Star, but also ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, European Ecolabel, NF Environnement, Diversité label.

Some points to consider with potential service providers (labelled or not):

• Selection of low-consumption appliances and equipment (class A, lamp LED, etc.) and good quality (extended length of life);

• respect for health and safety rules (fatigue management, volume sound control);

• grading of equipment according to real use: being satisfied with the necessary level of power(sound, light, video projector);

• management of energy and waste: rechargeable batteries, maintenance of batteries, equipment to optimize their length of life, recycling of WEEE, turning off of appliances (rather than putting them on sleep mode); 

• keeping transport to a minimum: choice of compact materials, local service providers,optimization of storage and packaging;

• responsible approach to planning power supply;

• monitoring of new eco-responsible technologies.

Staff: translation, reception, guides, etc.

Event management companies commit to sustainable development in various ways: recruitment favouring diversity, the content of the service, optimized transport of people, eco-responsible equipment (information technology, clothes), employment of local service providers, etc.

Only the Diversité label is directly concerned with staff for events (commitment of an organization to encourage the prevention of discrimination, to promote equal opportunities and diversity throughout). However, many standards and labels may  concern in varying degrees the service offered; for example the European Ecolabel (for cleaning of venues), standard ISO 26000 (for how a company is managed) or the label Energy Star (for the computers of translators).  

There are several points to consider before selecting a company:

• Policy of non-discrimination at the recruitment stage and equal opportunities;

• optimization of transport of people and equipment (local staff, public transport);

• recognition of the specific nature of the event, the venue and  service: accent on local expertise;

• existence of a policy, a charter or commitments in favour of sustainable development;

• needs of disabled people taken into account.