Greener Events

Encouraging More Sustainable Events in our Community

The City of Greater Sudbury is proud of our efforts to make our community greener, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable. With award-winning programs, such as the Regreening Program and EarthCare Sudbury, we strive to make a positive impact in our own activities while encouraging residents to respect, protect and enhance our natural environment. If you are hosting an event and would like to find ways to reduce its ecological footprint, please consider the ideas below:


  • Respect local culture and heritage.
  • Reduce and prevent noise through signage, training and inspections, respecting the City’s Noise By-law.
  • Implement a no-smoking policy, respecting the City’s Smoking By-law
  • Use biodegradable and/or eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Encourage vendors and attendants to avoid idling their vehicles when on-site, respecting the City’s Idling By-law and reducing air quality issues.

Community and Supply Chain

  • Involve your community and engage your supply chain.
  • Seek sponsors who have their own sustainable operations and can provide eco-friendly contributions.
  • In your calls for tenders, clearly explain your event's green objectives.
  • Lease, rent or buy local, environmentally friendly and community-inclusive equipment and event supplies.
  • Donate leftover equipment to local schools, public recreation centres and community sport clubs.


  • Use the City’s free green cart composting and blue box recycling services.
  • Keep the site and venue litter-free through by using garbage, composting and recycling bins.
  • Train staff and volunteers on proper waste diversion and consider using the City’s school posters.
  • Find ways to prevent the creation of waste.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of disposable containers (cans, glass bottles, packaging, etc.) Remind your caterer that buying in bulk reduces overpackaging.
  • Work with the caterers to ensure that only reusable dinnerware (plates, water pitchers/dispensers, butter dishes, sugar bowls, teaspoons, linen tablecloths and napkins, etc.) are used.
  • If certain materials cannot be recovered, collect these materials from your event and find local companies that will recover or recycle them.

Food and Beverage

  • Source from fair-trade, organic, seasonal, local and regional sources where possible. Use fruits and vegetables and tap water where appropriate.
  • Procure food with biodegradable, recyclable and/or minimal packaging.
  • Choose healthy food products (fresh, in-season where possible, non-trans-fat, low sugar, fruit and vegetables, grains). Promote municipal water and reusable water containers by renting the City’s H20 to Go Water Buggy, a mobile water distribution system, during the summer months.
  • Minimize food waste by cooking to-order as much as possible and link with composting waste management system.
  • Ask your caterer or head chef to keep any leftover food, using Health Canada hygiene guidelines for redistribution to charitable organizations like Food Rescue.


  • Organize group carpooling or transit. Groups that would like to participate in a not-for-profit or school board related event or initiative may be eligible to ride GOVA Transit free of charge.
  • Encourage participants to use public transportation with incentives (e.g., prizes, gifts, draws, etc.)
  • Secure parking for bicycles and scooters.


  • Encourage out-of-town participants to choose sustainable and socially responsible accommodation close to the event, which supports local tourism (e.g., Green Key hotels).


  • Promote your sustainability efforts to raise the profile of your event with key stakeholders.
  • Be consistent with your sustainability message by communicating in an environmentally friendly way, avoiding unnecessary paper, flyers, and mail-outs; printing double-sided; and using post-consumer recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper products.
  • Identify the ways and means to celebrate sustainability efforts through recognition, profiling, awards, certificates, stories and showcasing online.
  • Communicate your sustainability goals to your volunteers. You can appoint a volunteer "ambassador" to raise team awareness.
  • Choose green promotional gifts or prizes (local, recycled, recyclable, eco-friendly, organic, fairly traded, manufactured by a cooperative, etc.)

Offsetting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Generated

  • Plant trees for each participant who drives to the event or offer them native tree seedlings to plant themselves.
  • Purchase renewable energy credits or invest in local renewable energy projects.

Measure Your Results. How Did You Do?

Measure your results in ways that are meaningful through participant surveys and other data collection. Ideas include:

  • Amount of paper consumed
  • Percentage of paper used that was post-consumer recycled or FSC
  • Weight of garbage bags, recycling bags and compost bags
  • Amount of water consumed
  • Modes of travel by participants
  • Distance travelled by participants
  • Percentage of vehicles that were electric or hybrid
  • Percentage of fair trade, organic and regional food
  • Percentage of healthy food sourced

Improve your "green" performance from year to year by comparing these numbers, and celebrate your successes!