Event sustainability industry body, isla, in partnership with its Print Working Group, has developed the Better Buying for Print – An Event Planners Guide. The free resource is available to the entire events industry to support planners in making better print choices for events.

Graphics and signage are an integral part of any event, guiding delegates around an event site and providing branding opportunities. However, the temporary nature of events often means they are designed for single-use. The use of synthetic resins and harmful chemicals in dyes or inks also have huge negative implications both on the planet and managing the end of life of graphic products. A study by Ecobooth found that 100,000 tonnes of waste were burnt or sent to landfills from the UK events industry alone.

The project has been spearheaded by Laura Fell, isla’s Print Working Group lead and head of graphic production at GPJ. Fell said: “We recognise that wasteful graphics for one-time use needs to be a thing of the past. This re-think of event planning cannot fall only to print suppliers. With this guide, we’re hoping to empower event planners across the industry to make better choices and educate their clients to make more informed decisions too. This will, in turn, enable large format printers to forge better relationships with the supply chain, and will one day eliminate really wasteful single-use signage materials.”

The Print Working Group, which launched in April is specifically focused on solving the challenges of graphic and print impact on our event footprint. The group has pooled its expertise and research to develop the guide and sees this as an opportunity to facilitate more informed conversations with suppliers around sustainable print.

Matt Phipps, business development manager at MacroArt, one of the first member’s of the group, said:  “The complexity of delivering truly sustainable results in the world of events is often underestimated and can be daunting. It involves an extensive array of skills, materials and processes, covering the entire lifespan of a project. A guide of this kind will be an invaluable key to making the selection of sustainable choices more accessible, easier and more effective. ”

Designed to take an event planner through the process of scoping and designing a project in the most efficient and environmentally considered way – the guide includes a traffic light system to support better material choices, key watch-outs and alternative solutions to ensure sustainable credentials.

Anna Abdelnoor, co-founder of isla, said:  “There is a lack of knowledge of the complexity of upstream and downstream impacts of material choices which invariably leads to confusion and poor decisions. At isla our MO is collaboration and having access to these brilliant brains to develop this guide will be the first step in trying to create zero-waste print and signage projects.”