Good practice

A guide for organisers and participants of environmentally friendly events


Organising events necessitates the use of resources and has an environmental impact. Here, you will find requirements (noted with ‘NB!’) that are based on the University’s green initiative, as well as recommendations that are in line with the Guidelines for Organising Environmentally Friendly Events in Tartu (in Estonian).

  • Paper usage. Opt for electronic materials (publications, advertisements, invitations, etc.) Whenever possible, use double-sided printing with black and white inks made from natural oils and resins. Choose paper that has an eco-certificate, FSC or PEFC label or is recycled. 
  • Giveaways. Give priority to local practical things, such as food, that have an organic or eco-label. Carefully evaluate the necessity and quantity of giveaways. Avoid single-use products and packaging.
  • Decorations and promotion materials Make and and commission decorations and promotion materials (such as roll-up banners) out of  long-lasting and recyclable materials. Re-use everything you can (e.g. decorations, plastic conference badges and lanyards).
  • NB! All dinnerware, drinkware and utensils must be reusable.
  • Food and drink. Choose tap water over bottled water, and ensure there is an opportunity for individuals to refill their own water bottles. Opt for local and/or seasonal and/or organic and/or Fairtrade products. Have at least one vegan meal on the menu.  Avoid packaged products. For larger consumption needs, consider choosing bulk packaging, such as loose sugar instead of lump sugar, and larger containers for coffee cream or milk instead of small individual packages. For an international event place multilingual labels by the food, this helps to prevent food wastage. When ordering catering, ask about what is served and how, and what is done with the leftovers. Avoid throwing away leftover food – pack it up for employees, students and attendees to take with them.
  • Waste management. Prevent and decrease waste production.

NB! Waste must be collected by type: paper and cardboard; plastic, metal and beverage carton; mixed waste; glass packaging. Temporary bins and waste bag frames must have waste pictograms, for international events the labels have to be multilingual. The event organiser must arrange the transport of waste collected in the temporary bins.

We recommend placing waste sorting guides by the collection bins. See also the waste sorting guide of the University “Eesti Maaülikooli jäätmekäitlusjuhend” (in Estonian).

  • Transportation. Offer attendees recommendations for arriving at the event with a small transportation footprint: refer to the bus- and trainconnections on the city’s and university’s website, provide information about cycling opportunities on campus.
  • Digital footprint. Upload the presentation materials on-line and share the link with participants. Use WiFi and switch off mobile data, this reduces the energy consumption of the device by half. When there is a break during an on-line event, switch your computer to sleep mode. Review the digital materials post-event and remove any unnecessary content. If you captured photos or videos of the event and wish to share them, upload them online and share the link. Annually review and delete unnecessary digital materials stored on your devices and in the cloud.

Off campus

  • Notify participants about the availability of public transportation and about the feasibility and available routes for walking or cycling to the event. Consider hiring a bus for transporting the participants.
  • Inquire about the environmental sustainability practices of the accommodation provider. Favour establishments with the international Green Key eco-label.
  • Use a permanent electrical connection as a power source instead of a temporary generator.
  • Prefer energy-efficient equipment.
  • Ensure the location remains in an equally good condition as it was before the event.  Rectify any damage done to the landscape.

Environmental guides and documents

  • Forward to the partners and vendors in writing prior to signing cooperation agreements;
  • Make publicly available prior and during the event; explain the environmental rules to the participants and vendors on site using signs and guides, in several languages if necessary;
  • Display the Green University logo of EMÜ on them, which can be downloaded here:

in Estonian

in English