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  • Writer's pictureJoe Gilliver

Metsä Tissue 2023 Sustainability Awards

The days are getting warmer and the nights are getting shorter, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for a spring clean. But as we stock up on paper tissues, cleaning sprays, and bin bags, are we stopping to think about sustainability?

The Cleaning and Hygiene industry certainly is, and on 15th March over 200 people gathered for the Sustainability Awards 2023. Founded by Metsä Tissue, the awards recognise organisations, teams, and individuals in the industry who are setting the standard for impactful approaches to sustainability. This was the first year of the Sustainability Awards, and attendees unanimously agreed that they were relevant to the industry’s duty of sustainability.

Over 60 entrants from 43 companies were considered for the awards, and the high quality of nominees shows how innovative and dedicated members of the Cleaning and Hygiene industry are to long-term sustainability. At the end of the night, the winners were:

  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Carbon Reducer Award

  • Mitie, Social Value Impact Award

  • Lyreco UK & Ireland, Renewable Energy Award

  • Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies, Best Sustainability Marketing and Communication Initiative Award

  • Mitie, Team Sustainability Award

  • Claire Coder from Citron Hygiene/Aunt Flow and Shannon Berry from Principle Cleaning Services both received Individual Sustainability Awards for their work.

The Chameleon Agency worked with Metsä Tissue to create an environmentally-friendly event at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Organising highly customised awards ceremonies always takes a special touch, and making the extra effort to integrate sustainability into every aspect of this event was an exciting and complex challenge. From postage to suppliers to transportation, we collaborated to build this environmentally responsible event.

Over the years we have learned a lot about environmentally sustainable event planning, and we want to share our experience to help you in your own sustainable event planning.

  • Consolidating the transportation of supplies and people goes a long way to reducing the carbon footprint of an event. Together with Metsä Tissue, we consolidated suppliers for the event to reduce the number of vehicles and crew traveling to Greenwich.

  • Metsä Tissue encouraged attendees to take more sustainable transport to the event by providing contact details for electric taxis and promoting ride-sharing and the use of public transportation where possible. The Sustainability Awards were intentionally scheduled to coincide with the Cleaning Show in London so that industry members from further afield could make a single trip to the city.

  • Same- or next-day delivery might seem like a lifesaver for a busy event planner who realises they’ve forgotten something essential, but it also adds to an event’s carbon debt through the extra transportation required. By taking extra time in our planning process to ensure we understood the tiniest details of the venue and the clients’ needs, we were able to avoid last-minute scrambles.

  • We carefully selected suppliers who work to environmentally sustainable standards. For example, the print supplier for the Sustainability Awards 2023 is a net-zero business which uses only FSC certified paper made from sustainably managed sources. The event caterers sourced all food locally, designing a bespoke sustainable menu for the night. The caterers are also physically located nearby the Cutty Sark, reducing their transportation-related carbon footprint.

  • Metsä Tissue provided their own sustainable tissue papers in the washrooms. They also commissioned a woodworker to hand carve the awards from sustainably grown Metsä Wood, lowering the amount of electricity required for production and contributing to healthy forests.

It was important to us to work with sustainability experts in assessing the carbon impact of the event instead of just relying on our best intentions. Using a company such as Event Decision or an online tool like ISLA’s Trace Tool can help event planners get an accurate picture of what is causing the greatest carbon impacts at their events and ideas for how to reduce it.

We’re proud to say that through careful planning and carbon offsetting, over 30 tonnes of carbon were reduced from the Sustainability Awards 2023! These kinds of results don’t happen by accident: creating sustainable events requires a high level of attention to detail, considering sustainability with every decision, and making the effort to follow through.

And due to the efforts that were taken to reduce and offset emissions, Planet Mark classified the event as carbon neutral.

And the results? We think we’ve proved that sustainability is no barrier to putting on a high-quality event: 87% of attendees told us they had ‘the best time’, and over 95% felt the event was well-organised. Whether you’re planning a major awards ceremony, a small office party, or even just thinking about your big spring clean, it’s worth taking the time to consider how you can make your event more sustainable.

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