The Cascade Sustainable Events Charter

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Our role is to produce conferences and events for our clients. First and foremost we are in business and that means we aim to make a profit. Because we are profitable we are able to do some good too. But the way we do business and its impact on the World around us is important. So, in partnership with our clients, we are actively trying to change the way we produce events.

These are the areas for change:

1. Sustainable Transport Planning

2. No single use plastics

3. Minimise materials destined for land-fill 

4. Favour sustainable venues

5. Actively reduce food waste

6. Minimise power requirements

7. Encourage the use of hub and spoke hybrid events

8. Source locally

9. Give something back (we want to plant 1,000,000 trees in the next 5 years)


In more detail:

1. Sustainable Transport Planning

- Use public transport
- Coaches
- Car shares
- Minimise domestic air travel
- Favour economy air travel over upgrades
- Plan venues to enable walking over transfers
- Plan venues close to public transport hubs

2. No single use plastics

- Water fountains / jugs / re-usable mugs / compostable cups in place of water bottles
- Compostable or card straws
- Card signage
- No laminated single use graphics
- No plastics ‘giveaways’
- No bubble wrap
- Recyclable badges / wallets

3. Minimise materials destined for land-fill 

- Re-use materials where possible
- Ensure materials are re-cyclable, clearly labelled recyclable and bins are readily available
- Avoid throwaway-giveaways
- Paperless information
- Use of compostable single-use items

4. Favour sustainable venues

- Sustainable energy supply
- Energy efficiency
- Local suppliers
- Zero single-use plastics
- Waste management 
- Reduce daily laundry and in-room consumable replenishment

5. Actively reduce food waste

- Avoid extended buffet serving durations to directly reduce waste
- Favour pre-selected menu choices to avoid cooking volumes of alternative meals
- Gather accurate dietary requirements to cater for individual needs
- Offer strong lowCO2 menu options including fish, vegetarian and chicken options

6. Minimise power requirements

- Minimise the use of air conditioning / heating
- Use LED lighting
- Turn off equipment when not in use
- Use natural light where appropriate

7. Encourage the use of hub and spoke hybrid events

- Significantly reduces carbon from travel
- Extending the reach of the conference

8. Source locally

- Reduce trucking and transport impact on equipment and materials
- Use local crewing resource where possible to reduce travel
- Use local caterers and local produce to reduce food miles

9. Give something back
(we want to plant 1million trees in the next 5 years)

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It’s not our place to preach about climate emergencies and environmental issues, but it is clear that there is a real need for every one of us to address our impact on the climate right now. As the producers of events, we are uniquely placed to proactively and significantly reduce and limit the environmental effects of large gatherings of people.

In 2019 Cascade Productions announced a new partnership with the Eden Reforestation Project to plant 10 trees for every event attendee we manage from May 2019.

Eden Reforestation project aim to reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.

Our goal is to plant 1 million trees in the next 5 years.

Take a look at the work of Eden:


Why are we planting trees?

In short to give something back. If you watch the Eden YouTube videos or read about their work, you will see that their vision is to re-build communities by planting trees. Paying villagers to plant trees gives them work that pays and can help to lift them out of poverty. Planting lots of trees helps with irrigation and the land’s ability to grow crops including filtering pollution and reducing flood damage. Sustainable forests can also provide essential wood for fires. By planting the right mixture of local tree species, wildlife has appropriate habitat and canopy cover to thrive in. The final benefit is that trees make the air that we breath and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Our involvement is not to assuage guilt. It is not a formal Carbon offset programme. If you Google ‘tree planting for carbon offsetting’ you will see that it is not the favoured ‘offset’ method. We are supporting reforestation as a social and environmental project first - and the bonus is there can be no doubt that planting hundreds of thousands of trees is going to be good for the atmosphere.