8 Steps to Eco-Friendly Corporate Event Planning in San Francisco | San Francisco Travel
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Embracing Sustainability:
8 Steps to Eco-Friendly Corporate Event Planning in San Francisco

San Francisco offers a vibrant backdrop for corporate event managers looking to embrace sustainability.

In San Francisco, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a way of life. Event planners in this city have access to an abundance of resources and vendors who specialize in green practices. From the iconic Golden Gate Park to the tech hubs of Silicon Valley, the area’s diverse venues and suppliers offer a wealth of options for those seeking to minimize their ecological footprint.

Local Partnerships

San Francisco is home to numerous green-certified venues and locally-sourced catering options. Emphasizing partnerships with local businesses not only supports the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation. Venues like The Moscone Center, with its LEED Gold certification, exemplify the city’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure. The California Academy of Sciences is the world's first LEED Double Platinum museum and the world's largest LEED Double Platinum building.

Innovative Material Choices

Consider digital alternatives to traditional paper-based materials and explore innovative, reusable decor options that reflect the city’s artistic flair. Collaborating with local artisans and tech startups can yield unique and sustainable event elements. Utilizing compostable tableware and making sure you have a solid waste management protocol are smart actions to maintain the spirit of sustainability.

Green Transportation

San Francisco’s comprehensive public transportation network, including BART and Muni, offers convenient options for event attendees. Encouraging the use of these eco-friendly transport modes not only eases traffic but also aligns with the city’s environmental goals. Additionally, the city’s bike-friendly streets and electric scooter rentals provide fun, green alternatives for getting around. Many of the major event venues are within walking distance of local hotels such as the 1 Hotel, a sustainable luxury hotel that's a great option for holding a program or event.

Catering with A Conscience

The Bay Area's rich culinary scene is a treasure trove for event planners seeking sustainable catering options. San Francisco’s commitment to reducing food waste can also be reflected in your event’s catering choices, with many caterers offering creative solutions for minimizing waste. Thanks to Global Gourmet Catering’s drought watch water restoration, carbon offset program, and other green efforts, they are one of only nineteen California businesses awarded the coveted "Cool California Award" for their ongoing Earth stewardship. Another wonderful catering company, Taste, was the first major caterer in the San Francisco Bay Area to become green-certified by the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Caterers have options for donating leftover food via companies like Replate and Copia.

San Francisco’s Natural Beauty

San Francisco’s surroundings provide a unique opportunity for outdoor events that reduce energy consumption. Locations like the Marina Green, Crissy Field or the Presidio offer breathtaking views and a connection to nature, reinforcing the importance of environmental stewardship. Many corporate summer picnics, team building events, and product launches take advantage of the natural and breathtaking beauty of these open-air spaces.

Engagement and Education

Leverage San Francisco’s culture of innovation and activism by incorporating educational components into your event. Guest speakers from local environmental organizations or interactive workshops on sustainability can enrich the event experience and inspire attendees. The Society for Sustainable Events is a treasure trove of information and resources and supports sustainable ideas and practices. Their mission is “to advocate and educate around sustainability in the meetings and events industry.”

Eco-Friendly Swag

San Francisco’s numerous sustainable brands offer a variety of options for eco-friendly swag items, from recycled-material tote bags to tech gadgets powered by renewable energy. Event productions company Entire Productions provides sustainable promo items to their clients and works with them to identify real needs that align with their brand and their event.

Post-Event Sustainability Reporting

Reporting on your event’s environmental impact is crucial. Share your sustainability achievements and learnings with attendees and stakeholders, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Using the event app RainFocus, you can track and report on air travel and hotel stay emissions, net carbon impact, carbon offset purchases and grand transportation emissions based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's carbon emissions standards.

Planning a sustainable corporate event in San Francisco offers more than just an opportunity to reduce environmental impact; it’s a chance to immerse attendees in the city’s culture of innovation and responsibility. By leveraging local resources and embracing the city’s ethos, companies can create experiences that are not only eco-friendly but also deeply resonant with the spirit of San Francisco.

Natasha Miller of Entire Productions
Natasha Miller

Natasha Miller is the Founder/CEO of Entire Productions, an event and entertainment company serving the corporate event market. She has a passion for creative experience design, strategic planning and impeccable logistics.

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