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Reduce the use of single-use plastics at conferences


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

9. Build Resilient Infrastructure, Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Foster Innovation

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

ETCH Procurement Process .png


• Identify the inventory of single-use plastic items that are used where conferences are being held.

• Perform research on and offer different alternatives to the hosts of conferences that can be used instead of single-use plastic items.

• Conduct an analysis on the impact of the ban on single-use plastics would have on these conferences and facilities, specifically whether the ban would trigger a significant positive influence in people's decision of venue to attend such conferences.

Opportunity Identification 

Appeal to prospective sustainability-driven clients who would consider the venue post the single-use plastics change, which will result in the development of goodwill and brand value.

The use of alternatives to single-use plastics will result in a significant reduction in plastics waste in landfills and develop enthusiasm to practice and become more sustainable in the future.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Identify and support potential clients using the hotel as a venue to make a shift to more sustainable practices.

• Conduct research and compile the results of potential alternatives to single-use plastics and offer solutions to the clients.

• Align with stakeholders through short training programs for potential clients, employees, and your company team to raise awareness among corporate guests and inspire similar initiatives around the industry.

• Implement the changes in hotels/facilities. For example, A creative solution by the Radisson hotels was the implementation of filtered water systems, which saved up to 3.2 tons of CO2 emissions through the elimination of plastic water bottle usage.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Consider the clients as suppliers as they supply the plastic at conferences or if not, then the responsibility is on your hotel/facility. Accordingly, discuss and ensure measures are in place for each event.
a) Cost of replacing plastic products with a plastic-free solution needs to be clearly defined.
b) Engage with suppliers to find suitable solutions that are in line with their cost expectations.
c) Communicate effectively about the single-use plastics ban and work it into the contract (if there is one).

Supplier Performance & Management

• Regular follow up at the conference or event to ensure that all the measures of the single-use plastics ban are followed.

• Engage with the suppliers and clients after the conference to get their feedback on the recommendations that were provided and to identify new areas for improvement.

• Regularly follow up with suppliers and try to get them to suggest or follow the same guidelines for recurring conferences, even if the venue does not insist on a single-use plastics ban.

Resource Links

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