Sustainability is becoming a real priority for conscious couples in 2023, so if you’ve been wondering how to make your wedding venue more sustainable, this guide will give you the definitive list of considerations that will benefit your business and the planet.
The seven areas of sustainability a wedding venue needs to consider to become more eco friendly:
- Supply Chain
- Team and Community
1. Measure your carbon footprint
A significant proportion of couples are now very conscious their carbon footprint when it comes to their wedding, and will actively seek out a wedding venue that has a dynamic approach to managing carbon
The first consideration should therefore be becoming aware of your carbon footprint as a wedding venue, and the contributing factors to managing it. Through measuring and managing your carbon footprint (understanding the detractors and contributors to your overall emissions) you will be able to make decisions which will make your wedding venue more sustainable. There are a number of resources and agencies which can help you with measuring your carbon footprint – including The Carbon Trust, and businesses such as Greenly.earth.
The old adage “what is measured is moved” really has merit here. If you want to make your wedding venue more sustainable then having transparency about your footprint allows you to engage the whole business in making improvements.
2. Making your wedding venue more sustainable – renew your energy policy and approach!
Energy consumption is normally at the top of the list of a wedding venues priority list when it comes to sustainability policies as it also has a direct impact on the bottom line of the business. With energy prices soaring along with other increased costs, having a proactive approach to managing energy on your wedding venue can not only improve your carbon footprint position, but also increase your margin. To make your wedding venue more sustainable when it comes to energy you should consider:
- Heating policy and usage
- Lighting policy and usage
- Power usage
- Insulation and ventilation
- Property maintenance
Being proactive with managing the consumption of energy and the energy efficiency of your venue can significantly improve your sustainability position, and can have a positive impact on your clients experience too!
3. Managing your supply chain to be more sustainable
It would be easy to overlook the things beyond your immediate control when it comes to making your wedding venue more sustainable, however to fully access your environmental and ethical impact and make decisions which can make a positive difference managing your supply chain should be a key priority.
Areas of your supply chain to consider:
- Food and Beverage suppliers. Using local suppliers for food and drinks can reduce your carbon impact considerably. Building relationships with local businesses will also benefit the wider community.
- Housekeeping suppliers. Understanding the processes used by any housekeeping suppliers can help you to manage energy efficiency, water consumption and waste generation.
- Other wedding suppliers. The approach used by other suppliers involved in the weddings at your venue can have an impact on your carbon footprint. From their delivery schedules to their staffing approach you should look to select your collaboration partners where they have the same ethics and values as your venue does.
- Other suppliers. Conduct a thorough review of your remaining suppliers and the impact they have on your business. This will allow you to make more conscious decisions, allowing you to ensure that they reflect your Sustainability Policy.
At the SWA we work with businesses and members share contacts for both everyday and more niche suppliers that are helping them to become more sustainable.
4. Get proactive with your waste management
The average wedding produces the same amount of waste that the average household produces in a year. Couples are definitely becoming more conscious of this. They want to make decisions that create less waste going to landfill. As a wedding venue you can become more sustainable by looking at your approach to waste, including:
- Single use plastics
- Food waste
- Decorations / packaging
- Accessories (please ban the single use flip flops!)
Our independent sustainable wedding alliance accreditation is the ultimate support service to help your wedding venue with becoming sustainable. We provide hands on advice, guidance and set of principles which allow to gain an accreditation that you can use to help you communicate and promote to couples that you are a conscious wedding venue.
5. Review your approach to water it make your wedding venue more sustainable
Water consumption is at an all time high – with the average person using 140 litres of water a day. The more that wedding venues can make choices that reduce their water consumption, the more we can create a compound impact that has a positive impact on the environment.
Top four ways a wedding venue can reduce water consumption:
- Timed faucets on taps
- Tap and pipe efficiency/maintenance
- Re-useable water bottles
- Facilities management (cleaning policy, housekeeping, catering)
6. Don’t forget transport in your Sustainability Policy
From on-site travel requirements, to the approach taken to shift management for staff and transportation for guests, reviewing your business transport policies and requirements can make a powerful impression on your carbon footprint. If you are a remote or destination wedding venue this should be even more of a consideration – from group staff travel provision to guest transport arrangements, creating a policy which looks to reduce any unnecessary travel will have a positive effect on your overall sustainability policy.
7. It’s all about people – team and community
Being a sustainable wedding venue is a culture, not just a policy, and this relies on bringing your team – and the local community – along with you. Promoting sustainable habits is just the start, embedding environmentally conscious and sustainable behaviours into the fabric of your operations is where the real change can take place. At the Sustainable Wedding Alliance we have a team if specialist sustainability consultants that can support you with embedding your conscious culture so that it becomes tangible and not just another manifesto or mission statement which makes no real impact on the business or more impatiently the planet. Let’s get started on your rented sustainability journey.