Sustainable Event Planning with Mobile Apps

Mari De Niear

June 22, 2023

    Sustainable event planning is a way for businesses to reduce costs, improve their brand reputation, and make a positive environmental impact while still hosting memorable events. By leveraging mobile apps, businesses can easily execute sustainable event planning strategies that will save money and reduce waste in the long term.

    It’s time for businesses to stop wasting resources and start investing in sustainable event planning. With the help of mobile apps, companies can make a big difference without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality.


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    Strategies for sustainable event planning

    Focusing on sustainability in event planning is a great way to reduce your event’s environmental and economic impact. You can leverage the power of technology to create unforgettable events while minimizing your ecological footprint.

    Here are some strategies on how to plan a sustainable event:

    Harness renewable energy sources

    One of the most impactful ways to reduce the carbon footprint of an event is by harnessing renewable energy sources. Mobile apps can play a vital role in supporting this strategy.

    You can incorporate the following features into your event app:

    Renewable energy maps

    Provide information on nearby renewable energy installations, such as solar or wind farms, enabling event attendees to appreciate the impact of clean energy and possibly support these initiatives.

    Renewable energy maps are a great way to remind  event attendees of the importance of clean energy and,as such, it is important to make this information readily available through mobile apps.

    Energy calculators

    Create interactive tools within the app that allow attendees to estimate their energy consumption during the event. This awareness can encourage participants to make conscious choices and reduce their energy usage.

    Energy calculators can also provide suggestions for alternative energy sources that are more sustainable. For example, solar-powered generators can be used to power the event, or renewable resources, such as wind and geothermal energy, could be explored.

    Minimize waste

    Reducing waste is a key aspect of sustainable event planning. Mobile apps can help streamline event operations and minimize the need for paper and physical materials.

    When it comes to event sustainability, consider implementing the following features:

    Digital tickets and registrations

    Encourage attendees to use e-tickets and digital registration through the event app, reducing the need for paper tickets and printed materials. This not only saves resources but also provides a seamless and convenient experience for attendees.

    Digital tickets are also easy to transfer or resell, allowing for greater flexibility and more efficient use of resources. The event app can also be used to track ticket sales and manage attendance.

    Virtual event guides

    Replace traditional event guides and brochures with interactive digital guides within the app. These guides can include schedules, speaker profiles, and venue maps, eliminating the need for printed materials.

    Some ideas for virtual event guides:

    • Automatically pull updated agendas and speaker profiles from a central database.
    • Include interactive venue maps with clickable hotspots to highlight points of interest, such as food vendors or restrooms.
    • Provide easy access to event information by making the guide available offline for users who don’t have a reliable mobile signal during the event.
    • Incorporate questionnaires and surveys to collect feedback from participants.

    Waste sorting and recycling

    Incorporate waste sorting instructions and recycling information within the app. Provide clear guidelines on how attendees can dispose of waste responsibly during the event, promoting recycling and reducing landfill waste.

    Proper waste disposal should be everyone’s responsibility. Make it easy by providing dedicated bins for recycling and composting, as well as regular garbage cans. Consider working with a local waste management company to ensure proper disposal of all materials after the event is over.

    Promote sustainable transportation options

    Transportation is a significant contributor to carbon emissions associated with events. Mobile apps can facilitate sustainable transportation choices by offering the following features:

    Public transportation information

    Integrate real-time public transportation schedules, routes, and maps into the app. This empowers attendees to make informed decisions about using eco-friendly transportation options and reduces the reliance on private vehicles.

    If your event is in a city with bike-sharing programs, feature the latest information about available bikes and docking stations. This can help encourage guests to use these sustainable transportation options.

    Carpooling and ride-sharing

    Implement a feature that enables attendees to connect with others attending the event from the same area, encouraging carpooling or ride-sharing arrangements. This not only reduces individual carbon footprints but also fosters networking and community building.

    Additionally, carpooling and ride-sharing apps can be integrated into the event website or mobile app, allowing attendees to quickly and easily arrange transportation for a green event without worrying about parking or traffic.

    Bike rental and sharing services

    Provide information on bike rental services or bike-sharing programs near the event venue. Encourage attendees to choose sustainable transportation options by highlighting the convenience and environmental benefits of cycling.

    Bikes are not only a great way to get around, they also provide an easy and sustainable transportation option for events. The good news is many cities now offer bike-sharing services that make it easier for attendees to access. Utilizing these services can help reduce the environmental impact of events by reducing car emissions.


    Sustainable event planning case studies

    Here are some successful sustainable events that utilized mobile apps to support their sustainability goals:

    The Waste Management Phoenix Open

    The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an annual golf tournament that takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event has become a leader in sustainable event planning and waste management due to its use of mobile apps.

    Through an app, the tournament was able to track and report on food waste and composting efforts at their eco-friendly events. This information was then used to develop goals for future events and measure progress toward achieving those goals. As a result, the tournament saw a reduction in food waste.

    Organizers used the app to educate attendees about sustainability and green initiatives. Attendees were also able to use the app to track their carbon footprint and find out ways they could reduce it. All of these initiatives led to the tournament achieving its sustainability goals.


    Lollapalooza also leveraged mobile apps for sustainable event management by promoting low-emission routes. Attendees could use apps for carpooling, public transportation, and biking.

    Organizers also partnered with Green Mountain Energy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Concertgoers were given the option to  buy energy fan tags, with proceeds  donated to renewable energy projects.

    The Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival

    For every ticket purchased for The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, $1 is directed to sustainability efforts, specifically composting and sustainable energy facilities. Their app also features the Learning Garden, where attendees can learn about composting, permaculture, and other sustainable practices.


    Importance of measurement of sustainability metrics

    When it comes to sustainable event planning, measuring and tracking the environmental impact of events is essential. Environmentally friendly events should be the norm, with the burden falling on the organizers.

    If you want to make sure that your events are truly sustainable, you need to measure their environmental impact accurately so that you can reduce waste over time.

    Identifying a baseline and setting goals

    Measuring sustainability metrics allows event organizers to establish a baseline by assessing the current environmental impact of their events. This initial assessment provides a starting point for setting realistic sustainability goals and targets.

    Mobile apps can facilitate this process by:

    Data collection

    Mobile apps enable the collection of comprehensive data related to energy consumption, waste generation, water usage, and carbon emissions. This data forms the foundation for measuring sustainability metrics accurately.

    Surveys and feedback

    Through mobile apps, event organizers can gather attendee feedback and conduct surveys to understand perceptions, satisfaction levels, and areas of improvement regarding sustainable practices. This feedback helps in setting goals aligned with attendee expectations.

    Tracking progress and performance

    Measuring sustainability metrics empowers event organizers to track progress over time and evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives. This tracking process allows for continuous improvement and highlights successful strategies.

    Here are ways that mobile apps contribute to this process:

    Real-time data capture

    Mobile apps can capture real-time data during events, providing instant insights into energy usage, waste management, and other sustainability metrics. This data enables organizers to identify areas of concern promptly and make necessary adjustments.

    Data visualization

    Mobile apps can present sustainability metrics in visually appealing formats, such as graphs and charts, making it easier for event organizers to interpret and communicate the progress made in sustainability efforts to stakeholders.

    Enhancing stakeholder engagement

    The measurement of sustainability metrics encourages stakeholder engagement by demonstrating the commitment of event organizers to transparency and accountability. Mobile apps offer opportunities for stakeholders to actively participate in sustainability efforts through:

    Interactive features

    Mobile apps can include interactive features such as surveys, quizzes, and challenges that educate and engage attendees in sustainable practices during the event. This fosters a sense of ownership and collaboration among participants.

    Social sharing

    Mobile apps can integrate social media sharing options, enabling attendees to share their sustainable actions and experiences with their networks. This amplifies the impact of sustainable practices and inspires others to adopt similar behaviors.

    Identifying opportunities for improvement

    Measuring sustainability metrics reveals areas where events can make significant environmental improvements. Mobile apps can assist in identifying these opportunities by:

    Data analysis

    Mobile apps can analyze sustainability data and identify patterns, trends, and areas of inefficiency. This analysis helps event organizers pinpoint where changes are most impactful, enabling targeted sustainability interventions.


    Mobile apps can provide access to industry benchmarks and best practices, allowing event organizers to compare their sustainability performance with peers. This benchmarking process highlights areas for improvement and fosters healthy competition within the industry.

    Learning for future events

    Measuring sustainability metrics creates a valuable knowledge base for future events. The insights gained from previous events can inform decision-making, drive innovation, and shape sustainable strategies.

    Data repository

    Mobile apps can serve as repositories of sustainability data, providing a centralized location for historical data and lessons learned. This information can guide event organizers in making informed choices for future events.

    Performance evaluation

    Mobile apps can generate comprehensive sustainability reports, documenting the impact of previous events. These reports serve as references for evaluating the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives and inform planning for future events.


    Key sustainability metrics to monitor

    Here are key sustainability metrics to track for your events:

    Energy consumption

    Tracking energy consumption is crucial for understanding the event’s environmental impact and identifying opportunities for energy efficiency. It involves measuring the total energy used during the event, such as electricity and fuel.

    Breaking down energy consumption per attendee or per square meter of event space provides a more accurate assessment. Additionally, it is important to consider the proportion of renewable energy sources utilized, such as solar or wind power.

    Comparing energy consumption to baseline data or industry standards helps assess progress and set targets for reducing energy usage.

    Water usage

    Monitoring water usage helps evaluate the event’s water footprint and identify opportunities for conservation. Measuring total water consumption, both from potable and non-potable sources, provides insights into the event’s water demands.

    Calculating water consumption per attendee or per square meter of event space allows for more meaningful comparisons. It is also beneficial to track the percentage of water sourced from sustainable or recycled sources.

    Implementing water-saving measures like efficient fixtures, water recycling, and awareness campaigns can contribute to reducing water usage.

    Waste generation and diversion

    Measuring waste generation and diversion helps assess the event’s waste management practices and encourages a circular economy approach. Quantifying the total waste generated during the event provides a baseline for improvement.

    Evaluating waste generation per attendee or per square meter of event space accounts for varying event sizes. Tracking the percentage of waste diverted from landfill through recycling, composting, or other sustainable methods highlights the effectiveness of waste management efforts.

    Striving for higher diversion rates and reducing overall waste generation through source reduction strategies are key goals.

    Carbon emissions

    Carbon emissions tracking is essential for understanding the event’s contribution to climate change. Measuring total greenhouse gas emissions, typically in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), allows for a comprehensive assessment.

    Evaluating emissions per attendee or per square meter of event space provides a normalized view of the event’s environmental impact. It is important to consider emissions from various sources, including transportation, energy usage, waste management, and attendee travel.

    Reducing emissions through energy-efficient practices, sustainable transportation options, and carbon offset programs is crucial for mitigating the event’s carbon footprint.

    Sustainable transportation

    Monitoring sustainable transportation metrics promotes eco-friendly travel options and reduces carbon emissions associated with attendee transportation. Tracking the number or percentage of attendees using sustainable transportation methods, such as public transit, biking, or carpooling, provides insights into the event’s influence on travel choices.

    Measuring the reduction in private vehicle usage or miles traveled by attendees helps quantify the positive impact. Collaborating with transportation partners, providing real-time transportation information through mobile apps, and promoting sustainable travel options contributes to achieving sustainable transportation goals.

    Paper and printing

    Assessing paper and printing metrics helps minimize waste, conserves resources, and encourages digital alternatives. The quantity of paper used during the event provides a tangible measure of paper consumption.

    Tracking the percentage of paper sourced from sustainable or recycled materials demonstrates a commitment to responsible sourcing. Reducing paper usage compared to baseline data or industry standards highlights efforts toward sustainability.

    Adopting digital alternatives, such as digital tickets, event apps, and electronic communication, helps minimize paper waste and streamlines information dissemination.

    Supplier engagement

    Engaging suppliers in sustainable practices contributes to the overall sustainability of the event. Tracking metrics related to supplier engagement involves assessing the percentage of suppliers or vendors with sustainable practices or certifications.

    Considering the quantity of sustainable or locally sourced products used emphasizes responsible sourcing. Collaboration with suppliers to reduce environmental impact, promote sustainable options, and establish feedback mechanisms helps foster a sustainable supply chain.

    Continuous dialogue with suppliers regarding sustainability goals and improvement initiatives strengthens partnerships and drives positive change.

    Attendee engagement

    Monitoring attendee engagement metrics provides insights into the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives and encourages active participation. Tracking the percentage of attendees participating in sustainable actions or initiatives showcases the level of engagement and adoption of sustainable behaviors.

    Collecting survey feedback on sustainability perceptions and satisfaction helps gauge attendee attitudes and preferences. Leveraging mobile apps and social media platforms to promote sustainable actions, encourage sharing, and facilitate interactive challenges enhances attendee engagement and spreads the sustainability message beyond the event.

    Economic impact

    Assessing the economic impact of sustainability initiatives helps demonstrate the business case for sustainable event planning. Tracking cost savings achieved through sustainable practices, such as energy efficiency measures or waste reduction strategies, showcases the financial benefits.

    Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for sustainability initiatives helps justify investments in sustainable practices. Evaluating the economic benefits to local communities or sustainable suppliers/vendors, such as job creation or support for local economies, reinforces the event’s positive impact beyond environmental considerations.

    Continuous improvement

    Measuring and comparing sustainability metrics over time and across events facilitates continuous improvement. Tracking metrics year-on-year or against industry benchmarks helps assess progress, identify trends, and highlight areas for improvement.

    Analyzing data and feedback allows for data-driven decision-making and targeted interventions. Documenting performance through comprehensive sustainability reports creates a knowledge base for evaluating the effectiveness of sustainability strategies and informing future event planning.

    Capitalize on sustainable event planning with Core-Apps

    Mobile apps are an important tool for businesses to consider when planning events. Not only do they help reduce paper waste and conserve resources but they also provide a convenient way to manage guests, keep track of finances and coordinate activities. With mobile apps, sustainable event planning is easier than ever — leading to more environmentally-friendly events that benefit both the environment and business alike. By investing in sustainable practices now, businesses can ensure a healthier future for all while reducing their environmental impact. Core-Apps is a leader in developing mobile apps to help businesses with their events. From registration to check-in, Core-Apps has the solutions to make your event a success while also helping you leave a smaller carbon footprint. Request a demo today to see how Core-Apps can help you plan and manage your next event with sustainability in mind.

    Mari De Niear