The to-do list

By their nature, events are ephemeral. However, making them more sustainable contributes to the development of our organisations and the strengthening of their values. The specifications drawn up for an event reflect the various individual activities impacting our environment. The team of Lyon Convention Bureau is on hand to assist you with this approach and has created this To-Do List, which we hope you will find useful when organising your sustainable events.

Last updated date : 19/12/2022

What are the key steps involved in organising a sustainable event in Lyon ? 

As soon as you start planning your event, you shall think about sustainability! This will enable you to identify key areas and define your sustainable objectives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN as part of the 2030 Agenda.

First and foremost, this involves having a responsible purchasing policy for service providers, venues and products (local suppliers that respect environmental standards; minimal purchases, selected with a view to being reused or recycled, etc.). It is therefore important to cooperate with the destination to make your event as sustainable as possible, as well as to analyse your purchasing practices and make your requirements known to selected venues and service providers.

Your company may already have a responsible purchasing policy

While the choice of venue and service providers may be the key to successfully holding a sustainable event, other aspects should not be neglected: awareness-raising among employees and other event stakeholders; self-assessment and highlighting of your actions that convey a positive and engaged image for the organiser. To start, you can calculate the carbon footprint of your event on the GoodPlanet Foundation website

To get a clearer picture of your event’s legacy, you can use the tool CLEO created by UNIMEV (Union Française des Métiers de l’Evénement) to assess its impact in three areas: performance of the gathering (business, scientific and reputation of the gathered communities), event and tourism spin-offs (economic, social and fiscal) for local areas and environmental results (carbon footprint, energy consumption, waste and positive initiatives).

 Then these are the various aspects that are important to consider in the early stages: 

1- Transport

If possible, analyse where participants are coming from in order to provide more targeted solutions (80% of the carbon footprint of a national event is related to transporting goods and people). 

If the event organiser is covering transport costs, favour the use of: 
- Rail transport for journeys of less than 4 hours. 

If participants are covering transport costs:  
- Raise awareness by providing carbon footprint figures for the various transport modes;
- Provide information about the various means of transport;
- Facilitate car-pooling by providing an ad board for participants on the event website;
- Provide information about local public transport (all types, including non-motorised options). 

Useful contacts 

*Please note for Saint Exupéry airport that 100% of waste is recovered (airport carbon certification ACA 3+/ ISO)

Sustainable development goal 11: sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable development goal 13: climate Action




2- Venues

Choose a venue with environmental certification or that has introduced good sustainable development practices (environmental objectives in writing or an action plan of ways to achieve them, a purchasing policy promoting environmentally-friendly products, local or organic food offering, disabled access, etc.) As far as possible, favour the use of eco-designed buildings, with water and energy saving systems, built with renewable materials and enabling sorting of waste.

If the venues are not certified or do not have any particular sustainable actions in place, organisers can request that they commit to one or more actions. Many actions are simple and easy to set up (for example banning the use of plastic bottles).

Partner venues and accomodations engaged in a sustainable approach. 

Sustainable development goal 12: responsible consumption and production
Sustainable development goal 7: affordable and clean energy
Sustainable development goal 14: life below water
Sustainable development goal 13: climate Action




3- Event service providers


If the event organiser chooses the caterer, include one or more environmental criteria in the search: zero packaging, local and seasonal produce, vegetarian options, organic, environmentally-friendly or fair-trade food, tap water rather than bottled water, composted food waste, reusable crockery, etc. 
If the event venue has a partner caterer
, ask the venue what their caterer’s environmentally commitments are.

Partner caterers engaged in a sustainable approach :  

  •  Serge Magner, ISO 20121-certified environmentally-responsible caterer
  •  La Fine Fourchette,  ISO 20121-certified environmentally-responsible caterer – sustainable values  
  • Fenotte
  • Cannelle et Piment
  • Capucine et Gaston
  • Nomad Kitchens

Waste management and sorting, food composting are indispensable actions that allow the organiser to close the loop on their sustainable event. There are many initiatives of this kind in Lyon, deeply-rooted in most event structures. 

Useful contacts

Event furniture & stands

Favour rental and pooling of equipment or, in the case of manufacturing, go for companies that offer local and sustainable production.

Useful contacts


Favour certified transport companies that deploy actions to control and reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, vehicle maintenance waste and waste water discharges.

Partner coach companies engaged in a sustainable approach :
•  Philibert, signatory of the Diversity Charter, EcoVadis certification  (silver medal)
•  Autocars Maisonneuve, signatory of the CO2 Objective Charter, ISO 14001 certification

Sustainable development goal 8 : decent work and economic growth
Sustainable development goal 13: climate Action
Sustainable development goal 14: life below water
Sustainable development goal 2 : zero hunger
Sustainable development goal 7: affordable and clean energy
Sustainable development goal 12: responsible consumption and production




4- Communication


  • Reduce and optimise printing;
  • Print on both sides, in black and white or duotone rather than quadtone;
  • Only offer the number of documents necessary for the tourist documentation order;
  • Choose local printers (to avoid transport) that have signed the Imprim‘vert Charter (management of waste, energy consumption, etc.);
  • Choose recycled and environmentally-certified paper;
  • Favour remanufactured cartridges or that meet the requirements of the official NF Environnement ecolabel.

Useful links


  • Reuse the back of signs for another event;
  • Choose reusable display cases, banners and badges;
  • Check what materials and ink are used;
  • Check how waste is managed after signs are taken down.


Limit or do away with distributed promotional objects. If promotional objects are used, they should be useful, reusable, not require batteries (or if they do, plan for their recycling), eco-certified, produced via fair trade or manufactured by local organisations using local materials.


  • Atelier Roannais de Maroquinerie (passport covers/leather card holders)
  • Abiessence (organic lavender essential oil)
  • La Papoterie (bookmarks, filigree paper notebooks)
  • Le papier fait de la résistance (notebooks, recycled paper)
  • Jordenen (organic recycled cotton tote bag)
  • Ekoia (recycled phone cases)
  • Ictyos (bags in marine leather)
  • Indispensac (French manufacturer of recycled bags and textile packaging)
  • Oh My Gone - (young label designed and printed in Lyon)
Sustainable development goal 12: responsible consumption and production
Sustainable development goal 13: climate Action
Sustainable development goal 14: life below water




5- Inclusion, integration, accessibility

They are also vital to the success of an event; they have an impact on the individual, on the well-being of all, and are essential in the consideration of all in the preparation, organisation and running of an event. This area remains underdeveloped despite the fact that it affects 5 million people and that the obligation of accessibility is governed by the French Disability Act of 11 February 2005.

Here are the initiatives that we feel important to highlight:

Objectif de développement durable 10:  inégalités réduites
Sustainable development goal 17: partnerships for the goals
Sustainable development goal 8 : decent work and economic growth




6- Leave a positive legacy

An event is by nature ephemeral. However, it is possible to leave a positive, sustainable legacy for the local area and participants.
Read on to discover ideas about how you can do this:

Social legacy

Support local non-profit organisations:
•    Make a donation
•    Give participants an option to round up their entrance fee for a good cause

Involve volunteers from non-profit organisations:

  • UNICEF provides services for trade and industry events, particularly those in the medical field. Its dedicated volunteer teams can help welcoming visitors and preparing documentation packs. Vestiaires UNICEF (literally ‘UNICEF cloakrooms’) has already completed several assignments at the Lyon Convention Centre since 2019.
  • IESS Crew offers volunteering missions for people willing to recreate social links. Their “apprentice reporters” could make podcasts and reports about your event. 
  • L’Amicale des bénévoles works to promote and develop volunteering at sports and cultural events. Its platform, known as ‘BASILE’, designed for event organisers, can be used to deploy volunteers according to identified needs, supervise them at the event venue and build their loyalty.

Raise awareness among the general public about the theme of your conference:

  • Produce a press release
  • Organise an open doors day or “open sessions”
  • Organise activities and/or competitions

Promote the transmission of knowledge to students in your field of activity:

  • Invite students to your event
  • Organise meetings between students and professionals
  • Organise a partnership with an educational establishment (to recruit volunteers for your event, for example)

Environmental legacy

Support local non-profit organisations:
•    Make a donation
•    Give participants an option to round up their entrance fee for a good cause

Raise environmental awareness among participants at your event:  

  • Promote recycling
  • Encourage your participants to drink tap water at the venue and around the destination
  • Organise a “Climate Fresk” workshop

Organise a “Clean Walk” during your event:

Plant trees in the local area (Region):

Economic legacy

Support local non-profit organisations:
•    Make a donation
•    Give participants an option to round up their entrance fee for a good cause

•    Use the services of local companies, which will help create local jobs 

Sustainable development goal 10: reduced inequalities
Sustainable development goal 1: no poverty
Sustainable development goal 7: affordable and clean energy




7- Good to know 

What is the carbon offsetting? 

To calculate the carbon footprint of your event, you can use the online tools : 

Fondation GoodPlanet

Reminder of the main certifications for events:

ECOFEST : Certification initially created for student events, which has now been extended to other types of events;
PRESTAD : Certification for event and show organisers;
GREEN GLOBE CERTIFIED : International standard for sustainable events; 
EVENEMENT ECO-ENGAGE : Certification offering self-diagnosis;
ISO 20121 : The ultimate standard for green events.

Reminder of impacts for an event with 500 participants:

1000 KW : equivalent to the annual consumption of an oven;
2,5 tons of waste, or half the annual consumption of a person in the EU;
500 kg of paper, or the equivalent of 12 trees.

For further information about the steps to be taken, the methodology to adopt and the certifications to be aware of to choose the right partners, you may consult the comprehensive information sheet (in French) co-produced by the French agency for ecological transition (ADEME) and AER (an assistance platform for sustainable events). 

8 - The toolbox 

Download the to-do list in pdf format

In addition to its to-do-list, ONLYLYON Tourism has created a check-list for use during pre-event preparations and post-event analysis. We ask that you send it to us following your event to help identify your successes and needs, as well as obstacles to be overcome and solutions to be explored.

Download the check-list in pdf format

Let’s work together to create more sustainable events in Lyon! 

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