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April 24, 2024

Key Sustainability Terms for Venue Managers

In today's world, sustainability is more than just a buzzword—it's a guiding principle for businesses, organizations, and individuals committed to preserving our planet for future generations. As the urgency to combat climate change and promote eco-friendly practices grows, understanding the terminology surrounding sustainability has become crucial.

To help you navigate the complex landscape of sustainability, we've created a comprehensive glossary that covers essential terms, concepts, and acronyms. Whether you're new to the topic or a seasoned sustainability enthusiast, our glossary is designed to provide clear and concise explanations of the words and phrases that define sustainable practices. 

From carbon footprints to renewable energy, circular economy to greenwashing, we will explore the top sustainability terms that every event and venue manager should know to help monitor, manage and reduce the environmental impact of their events. Our goal is to demystify the jargon and empower you to make informed decisions that positively impact the environment. 

The Ultimate Sustainable Event Terms Glossary 

With customers, staff and governments demanding more environmentally friendly practices from venues, there are so many buzzwords surrounding the topic of sustainability and its conjunction with venues and events. It can be hard to keep up with the latest terminology and trends—but we have the ultimate glossary. Let's dive in.  

  • Baseline: A reference point for indicator before starting initiative. 
  • Biodiversity: The variety of life on Earth, encompassing different species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity, which sustainable events seek to preserve and protect.  
  • Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e): The number of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions with the same global warming potential as one metric ton of another greenhouse gas. 
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP): A non-profit organization that helps companies, government organizations and investors manage their environmental impact. 
  • Carbon Footprint: The total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted due to a particular event or activity.  
  • Carbon Neutral: Achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing emissions with carbon offsetting or reducing them through sustainable practices.  
  • Certified Emission Reductions (CER): A type of emissions unit (or carbon credits) issued by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board for emission reductions achieved by CDM projects. 
  • Circular Economy: An economic model focused on reducing waste by reusing, recycling or repurposing materials to create a closed-loop system.  
  • Clean Air Act (USA) (CAA): A federal law that regulates air emissions from mobile and stationary sources and protects the environment and public health. 
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): A United Nations program that allows countries to invest in emission-reduction projects in developing countries. These projects can earn CER credits. 
  • Composting: The process of breaking down organic waste into nutrient-rich soil through natural decomposition.  
  • Conference of the Parties (COP): The United Nations' decision-making body for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A self-regulating business model that empowers companies to hold themselves socially accountable to themselves, their stakeholders and the public. 
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Materials that have minimal environmental impact, often biodegradable, recyclable or made from renewable resources.  
  • Energy Efficiency: Using technology and practices that require less energy to perform the same tasks, reducing emissions.  
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: The process of analyzing the potential environmental consequences of an event, aiming to identify and mitigate adverse effects.  
  • Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG): An investment framework that measures a company's sustainability efforts and non-financial factors that impact its long-term success. 
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): A non-profit organization that helps organizations understand and communicate their impact on the environment, economy, and people. 
  • Green Meetings: Events designed with sustainability in mind, focusing on reducing environmental impact and promoting eco-friendly practices.  
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Gases like carbon dioxide and methane that trap heat in the atmosphere, which contribute to global warming.  
  • Greenwashing: A deceptive practice where an organization falsely claims to be environmentally friendly to gain a marketing advantage.  
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs): Artificial substances composed of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon with a shorter length of stay in the atmosphere (from 1 to 17 years) (Wallington et al., 1994).  
  • Indicator: Quantitative and/or qualitative measures of sustainability  
  • ISO20121: ISO certification for sustainable events; an international standard that helps organizations incorporate sustainability into their event planning and execution. 
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific objective. 
  • LEED Certification: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a globally-recognized certification program for sustainable building design and construction.  
  • Local Sourcing: The practice of obtaining materials and products from local or regional sources to reduce transportation-related emissions.  
  • Net Zero: The balance between the amount of GHG produced and removed from the atmosphere. 
  • Parts Per Million (PPM): A unit used to describe very small concentrations of a substance in a larger solution. PPM means 1 per every 1,000,000 or 1/1,000,000. 
  • Renewable Energy: Energy sourced from naturally replenishing resources like solar, wind, hydro or biomass.  
  • Reusable Products: Items designed to be used multiple times instead of disposable products, thus reducing waste.  
  • Scope 1: GHG emissions company makes directly. 
  • Scope 2: GHG emissions company makes indirectly. 
  • Scope 3: GHG emissions in company's wider sphere of influence. 
  • Social Responsibility: The concept of organizations and individuals acting in a manner that benefits society, often through ethical practices and community engagement.  
  • Sustainable Procurement: The practice of purchasing goods and services that have a lower environmental impact, are ethically sourced and support social responsibility.  
  • Sustainable Transportation: Transportation methods that have a lower carbon footprint, such as biking, walking, electric vehicles or public transportation.  
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): the UN process for negotiating an agreement to limit dangerous climate change. 
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): principles adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty and protect the planet. 
  • Water Conservation: Practices aimed at reducing water usage and waste in event planning and operations.  
  • Zero Waste: A philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles to ensure all products are reused, recycled, or composted, reducing landfill waste. 

Looking for a Sustainable Event Tracking Solution? 

Venues and event organizers worldwide are being called to prove their commitment to sustainability by tracking and demonstrating progression towards their sustainable goals. To make this a reality, venue and event managers need to be equipped with the right tools to help them quickly and easily monitor, measure and report the impact of their sustainability practice. 

That’s where Momentus comes in, and we’re eager to empower venues to make a difference in their sustainability goals. Tracking your efforts has never been easier. Schedule your demo today to learn how to better manage your sustainable event practices by using a bespoke system.  


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