Checklist for sustainable meetings
In line with Agenda 2030 and KTH's sustainability goals, this page provides useful tips and practical support for sustainable meetings and conferences.
The checklist is designed in a chronological order so that all activities are performed in the right order and at the right time. If you would like to know more about what kind of advice and support you may get from the internal event support concerning arranging events, please see conferences at KTH .
Events and sustainable development
By making conscious choices, you can reduce the environmental impact of the event and contribute to the global goals for sustainable development in, for example, the following areas: food and drink, good health and well-being, reduced inequality, premises and accommodation, purchasing and waste, travel & transport and security.
Before the meeting:
There are many things that need to be planned when organising a meeting. The internal event support has developed a meeting process to help you as an organiser to achieve your goals and together with this checklist also give you tips on how you can make your meeting more sustainable. To find the meeting process, please visit the following link: The meeting process
Meeting administration & communication
- Consider whether a physical meeting is necessary in the first place. Online meetings can be an environmentally friendly and financially beneficial alternative. You can also use a combination. Some parts can be online and some parts can be physical meetings. Please read more about how to organise online meetings at KTH's Web meetings .
- Together with the meeting's working group, develop sustainability goals for the meeting. E.g. Only vegetarian food will be served to participants during the conference.
- Make sure that all those involved in organising the meeting know why and how the meeting is being organised to have a minimal impact on the environment.
- Be sure to create a plan for how the working group will communicate to participants that you are arranging a sustainable meeting.
- Feel free to link KTH's policy for sustainable development and the checklist for sustainable meetings on the meeting website to give participants the opportunity to understand what you want to achieve.
- Promote diversity and acceptance regarding gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic background, etc. in your invitation, communication and implementation relating to the event.
- When using materials such as giveaways, leaflets, and exhibition stands.
- Consider the need for giveaways (desired effect in relation to negative environmental impact).
- Consider the need for physical leaflets/documentation.
- Select organic and/or fair trade materials, and if possible, recyclable/reusable materials, and source separate what you can if you choose to give participants giveaways, leaflets etc.
- Make sure that speaker gifts reflect/communicate sustainability.
- Rent signs and exhibition materials or produce materials that you can use again. If you produce new material, try to avoid mentioning dates years so that you can use it on other occasions. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org , to see what is already available for borrowing and about what is included when you rent premises at KTH.
- When choosing name tags, try to use Ecolabelled paper and reuse plastic sleeves and wooden clips, instead of purchasing plastic sleeves, safety pins or metal clips.
- Send meeting invitations, confirmations and information electronically.
- In the meeting invitation ask about special needs, e.g. allergies, hearing loop, etc.
- Inform any exhibitors about what applies regarding the meeting's sustainability efforts.
- Make sure that information about programmes, abstracts, lists of participants, etc. are easily accessible on the meeting website so that participants can use a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Discuss in the working group whether it might be suitable for the meeting to develop an app so that participants can get all the information they need from the app and meeting website.
- Do not forget to order Wi-Fi passwords so that all visitors can use their own electronic devices.
- If you choose not to use KTH's venues or if this is not possible, KTH follows the central government framework agreements, Central government framework agreements .
- Book meeting venue with active environmental or sustainability management (Ecolabelled/certified) which are also close to public transport.
- Take into account accessibility for all invitees (hearing loops, microphone, wheelchair access, etc.).
Contact the housekeeping for extra cleaning and maintenance. As well as review your waste management during the event.
Review the premises' fire and safety regulations. Locate first aid and defibrillator.
Contact KTH security if any different times and permission are required.
- Select hotels within the central government framework agreements, read through the procedures on the website on how to call off from agreements, Central government framework agreements .
- To the extent possible, book hotels within the agreement that conduct active work with environmental and/or sustainability issues (Ecolabelled/certified).
- Choose hotels located near the meeting premises and public transport.
- Try to book different hotels that are located close to each other to enable coordination of, for example, bus transport for participants if there is a need for this.
- If possible, choose meeting venue close to public transport.
- Select meeting times that take into account participants travelling by public transport.
- If possible, book train travel instead of air travel for invited speakers.
- Facilitate and encourage climate-smart travel for participants (proximity to public transport, etc.). Feel free to include a description in the invitation on how to get to the meeting in a climate-smart manner.
- Book joint transportation such as buses if needed, see framework agreement Travel agreement .
- If possible, coordinate any transport/deliveries of goods and choose reusable boxes and containers for your transports.
- Select a supplier within KTH's framework agreement: Catering .
- All KTH's catering suppliers conduct environmental and sustainability management. It is important that the orderer evaluates the supplier's eco-friendly/organic range, i.e. the products that are ordered.
- Favour organic, fair trade, seasonal and locally produced items when you order food, fruit, coffee, milk and beverages, etc. There are organic options among KTH's framework agreement suppliers. Request and discuss opportunities for ECO, Fair trade, etc. before ordering.
- Avoid disposable items. When ordering, be clear that you do not wish to be supplied with these. See if it is possible to serve food and drink using existing glasses and porcelain.
- When ordering catering be sure to specify a delivery address both for dropping off and picking up where the catering supplier can gain access without keys/cards. This is to avoid extra transports/runs and thus an additional load on the environment.
- Serve only alcohol outside working hours and always offer non-alcoholic alternatives.
- Avoid bottled water and instead serve water from carafes. Choose Ecolabelled for place cards and menus if these are needed. Copy and print on both sides of the paper.
- Make sure that there are user-friendly and visible recycling stations during the meeting.
Make sure to notify the catering of the correct number of meeting participants and you will avoid food waste.
Consider dietary preferences for different cultures and religions.
During the meeting:
Meeting administration & communication
- Inform participants that you as organisers are striving to hold a sustainable meeting that follows KTH's policy for sustainable development.
- Inform participants about safety and evacuation procedures no later than the opening of the meeting.
- Reduce the consumption of paper by registering participants electronically.
- Make sure that waste can be recycled and that containers are clearly labelled to the extent this is possible at KTH.
- Make sure that it is clear where participants are to hand in their used name tags and plastic sleeves at the end of the meeting.
- If participants must take a taxi, choose an environmental vehicle according to KTH's framework agreement.
- Give participants pre-paid tickets for public transport; have maps and information about public transport in Stockholm.
- Make sure that food, coffee, fruit, etc. is clearly labelled as being organic, Fair trade or other labels.
After the meeting:
- Hold an evaluation meeting with the working group to discuss whether the meeting achieved the sustainability objectives for the meeting. If it did not do so, why not?
- Clarify lessons learned and suggestions for improvements together with the working group.
- Send out documentation from the meeting electronically at the same time as sending out an evaluation to the participants.
- Finally send a summary of the result to the participants and the project group and see if you achieved the goals of a sustainable meeting.
Do you have any more ideas about how KTH can make meetings more sustainable? Please pass these on to the internal event support, email@example.com .
Checklist for sustainable events and conferences (pdf 127 kB)