Conscious Vault

What is the Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation?

Jun 29, 2023

The Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation is setting a sustainable standard for the wedding industry.

We are proud to have developed the Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation, the first of its kind. It is based on the the core management principles and has been developed specifically to look at the sustainability of a business in the wedding industry.  The accreditation is provided once a business reaches a score of at least 75% in their Sustainability Assessment.


What is the Sustainability Assessment and how does it help me to make my wedding business more sustainable?

A Sustainability assessment is the first thing we do with all members. it’s the standard framework that was designed to help businesses in the wedding industry improve the sustainability of their business activities, products and services.

The principles of the assessment are based on plan, act, check, do. With various questions and milestones required to meet the minimum standard required. Although the assessment is based on the business, we also look at your process of delivering sustainable weddings and, where relevant events.

We have taken the core aspects of how a business operates, and overlaid sustainability – looking at the short and long term strategies that can be put in place, as well as the day to day activities required.


Are wedding couples looking for a sustainable accreditation when booking venues and suppliers for their wedding?

Yes, absolutely! In our recent survey 69% (May 2022) of couples said they would be more likely to book a wedding venue or supplier if they had a sustainable accreditation or certification. With a further 18% saying maybe.

We wanted to make that any accreditation for our industry was thorough, independently assessed and also straightforward to understand for couples.

Although there are a handful of environmental standards available for businesses, we felt as though they weren’t particularly wedding couple friendly, and certainly didn’t mean anything with out an explanation. The Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation is a clear and concise way to communicate to your couples that you’ve been independently verified.


So why is the Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation?

The Sustainability Assessment was designed to help you to implement the practices and procedures you need in a business to deliver sustainable weddings, consistently.  Once you have got these processes in place, achieving the accreditation is the next step.

As many of the  standards only focus on the environmental element of an event or wedding, we wanted our standard to encompass both the business and the weddings it’s involved in.

So, our accreditation goes further than other standards, looking at not only the weddings you are involved in but also the way you run your business. By meeting the Sustainable Wedding Alliance Accreditation criteria, you will also be ensuring that as a business you are socially responsible, financially successful and reducing your carbon emissions. Balancing people, profit and planet.

Our accreditation is designed for all types and sizes of business within the wedding industry.


Do how do I get my wedding business accredited?

Rather than have a separate accreditation system, all members of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance have the opportunity to become accredited. Accreditation is awarded to all businesses that achieve a minimum standard in their Sustainability Assessment.

Once you join as a member, we aim to complete your assessment within the first month so that you can get going on your action plan and start making changes to make your business more sustainable.

Our assessment is based on the simple circular framework of Plan, Do, Check, Act

  • Plan – What you are going to do and how
  • Do – Implementation and control of what you have planned
  • Check – Monitor and measure what you are doing
  • Act – Take action to improve the results

Following this circular system allows you to continually improve you sustainability and react to to changes in your business, the industry and the planet.


How long does it take to become accredited?

If you’re already working sustainably it’s likely that during the Sustainability Assessment you will be able to evidence your processes and actions, and therefore receive accreditation quickly.

If you’re in the early stages of your sustainable journey, accreditation may take a littler longer to achieve. However,  if you’re committed to investing time into making your business more sustainable and follow the plan set out following your Sustainablility Assessment, then we’re confident that you can become accredited in a short space of time.


I want to tell the world about my new sustainable wedding accreditation – how do I do that?

When you become accredited we will send you (digitally) your certificate and accreditation badge which you will be permitted to use on your website, social media and marketing materials.

We will also let our conscious couples know by writing a blog post for the Conscious Couple Planning Blog about your business and announcing your accreditation.


Additional benefits of becoming accredited

Accredited businesses will be reassessed annually and required to meet the minimum standard to maintain their status. Accredited businesses will also receive a 25% discount on their future annual membership fees.

So what are you waiting for? Join as a member and start your accreditation journey.


Featured image by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

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