On Thursday December 15, 2011 Green Fern Events, Austin's premier sustainable event management company, alongside Wandering River Recycling successfully offset 97% of all the waste for Bazaarvoice’s holiday event held at the Austin Music Hall in downtown Austin, Texas. There were over 700 guests in attendance. Bob McGivney, Owner of Wandering River Recycling said, “In my experience I have never seen an offset percentage as high as this.” He added, “This end result is a testament of how well an offset program can work when proper planning is in place for any event at any size.” Zero Waste is defined as diverting 90% of trash from landfills by recycling and composting. Not only was this goal met, it was exceeded by 7%.
So how was this achieved?
First, it starts with a company like Bazaarvoice who is dedicated to improving sustainability, minimizing negative environmental impact and demonstrating community goodwill. For the second year in a row, Bazaarvoice hired Green Fern Events to provide recycling and composting services to help “green” their holiday event. Not only is Bazaarvoice a global leader in social commerce solutions and marketing for some of the world’s largest brands, they are setting a powerful example of environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility. With special help from the Bazaarvoice G.I. Joes (a.k.a. the green team), Bazaarvoice implements many green strategies into their business culture, community, as well as for the events they produce.
Second, “It takes a Village.” Green Fern Events, Direct Events staff (management group for Austin Music Hall), Pascal’s Catering, and Red Velvet Events all collaborated in efforts to help minimize waste and environmental impact.
Third, it requires communication. Emily Kahn, President and Founder of Green Fern Events, effectively communicated the waste management plan to everyone involved. The key to the program’s success was having an informed staff. For example, Green Fern Events asked Pascal’s Catering to provide compostable plates, cutlery, and napkins for the food service. When real china is not available, this is the second-best option. This helped reduce the waste significantly as everything related to food service was compostable and/or biodegradable. Also, all drink containers used for the event were recyclable.
Lastly, limit non-sustainable options. Given the abundance of composting and recycling bins we limited “trash” receptacles; this helped eliminate the option for guests and/or staff to place items in the wrong containers. Pascal’s Catering staff pro-actively bussed the tables and placed all waste in the proper bins. This not only elevated the level of service, it kept all recyclables and compostables from ending up in trash bins.
At the conclusion of Bazaarvoice’s 2011 Holiday event, only 1 bag of trash (weighing 25 pounds) remained. 63% of all the waste was recycled and 34% was composted. The end-result: 97% (600 lbs) of all waste was diverted from a landfill.
About GFEGreen Fern Events is Austin’s premier sustainable event management company. GFE helps clients reduce the negative environmental impact of their events, while at the same time producing flawless, professionally executed events at a cost effective price. More information can be found at http://www.greenfernevents.com. http://www.greenfernevents.com