Sustainable Solutions - Webinar Recap Looking into the Industry


Another week of insightful discussion.

This week we spoke all about finding sustainable solutions while meeting pandemic requirements.

Our speakers this week were Benoit Sauvage, Founder of Hospitality Sustainability Revolution and our very own Founder and CEO of Little Black Book Series - Alexandria Tomayko.

As we continue to navigate the current pandemic we discussed sustainable measures which could be taken and as we redefine requirements now is the best time to have that discussion to improve our sustainability measures.

Here is the recap of this week’s sessions:

How do we define sustainability

Sustainability is all systems working together and thriving. 3 P’s People, Planet , Profit.

But beware of greenwashing this is , deceptively pretending to be green by loosely stating labels such as eco-friendly or organic without following the necessary steps to actually be sustainable and thinking about the future. Doing it for the reasons of the additional profit and not the mitigation of linear economy or well being of the ecosystem.

The main areas/ pillars of Sustainability are:

  • Financial - long-term economic growth without negative social, cultural or environmental impact
  • Environmental - Mitigation of the depletion and degradation of natural resources
  • Cultural - Maintenance of cultural beliefs and heritage such as clothing norms and customs
  • Social - Support for diversity, health & wellness, social justice, and humanitarian concerns

While we understand that it is not sustainable to be sustainable all the time it is advised to make attempts to be sustainable by following these top 3 tips:

  1. Education
  2. Choosing one key lens
  3. Have fun!

How can we mitigate single use waste as we plan events meeting these new requirements

A lot of single use items are being generated in response to the pandemic. The recommended solution is using biodegradable, reusable and/or recyclable items instead of single use plastic , for example:.

  • swap out single use masks for cloth masks
  • Have large refillable sanitizers at strategic locations instead of small individual ones for each person
  • Utilize washable glasses and towels instead of paper ones
  • provide refillable canteens for water
  • Utilize washable coffee cups
  • Moderating the water and food consumption.
  • Utilizing tech when applicable to reduce consumption.

What are some great ideas to help conserve and reduce our waste as the landscape of meetings is changing 

Every action has a reaction. As the landscape of meetings is changing we can focus on the amount of food wastage. As the law is a bit easier now regarding excess food from hotels and events we can look into food donations instead of dumping

What is the biggest contaminant we are seeing now due to the pandemic 

As Benoit stated “we did what we could with what we had...we didn’t see it coming”. The level of contaminants and the impact on the environment proved to be greater than we imagined. These include:

  • single plastic use
  • face masks
  • plastic shields
  • cleaning products 
  • energy consumption of servers to sustain the amount of zoom meetings
  • Increased packaging due to the over consumption on online shopping 

How can we be sustainable while still meeting our budget

There are several cost effective ways including: options available other than biodegradable cups etc.

  • use tech as much as you can - registration, check in , opening doors, QR codes using your phones
  • use everything you can - reuse and recycle
  • think redesign reduce reuse repurpose and recycle

Does sustainable always mean expensive

The notion of being sustainable shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be verified and greenwashed. It should be included in your initial proposal and planning process. Sustainability involves engaging all stakeholders including the community from the get go - communication is the key.

Print your logo on reusable cloth masks and other reusable merchandise. This will aid in profits and regaining clientele.

Sourcing Vendors

When sourcing vendors sustainably look at the following:

  • Assessment - ask yourself if they align with your values and needs
  • Sourcing & Negotiation - are they flexible in being able to meet your sustainability needs e.g providing natural hand soaps from local vendors
  • Implementation - Can you use their products and services in an efficient manner

At Little Black Book Series we have a  Vendor Sustainability Checklist which provides you with key factors to look for to assess sustainability.

Planning Alternatives For Venues and Providers

When planning your event consider implementing the following sustainable alternatives:

  • Have staff teach guests about your local culture
  • Employ and sourcing primary material locally
  • Food sustainability - Implement a closed circle whereby food is sourced locally from farm to table and food waste is composted 
  • lower carbon footprint on menu by minimizing shipping in of non local foods
  • venue sustainability - how was the venue built. Placement of windows toward or away from sun, green walls - vegetation on outside of walls, using trees in construction
  • Utilize green waste management such as grey water harvesting and usage
  • Utilize green energy


Plan from the basis of sustainability. Focus on reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose

Top 3 sustainable tips for planning post pandemic

  1. most important - any action towards sustainability is a positive action
  2. We are aiming to be a multi planet species - let’s take the toxic out of the circulation and save this one first
  3. Embrace the 3 Ps - Profit, people and planet

Make sure to connect with Benoit Sauvage our guest speaker as well as our Founder Alexandria Tomayko for more information on sustainability and planning sustainably.

Don’t forget your free download of our Sustainability Checklist to know exactly what to look for when assessing sustainability.

Be sure to check out the replay of our Live Q&A discussion with Benoit Sauvage and Alexandria as they answered all your questions about sustainable strategic solutions..

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