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Conference and Communications Materials



1. Reduce paper consumption

Try to consume as little paper as possible and consider which information the participants absolutely need in printed form. For example, manage participant registrations via an online form or by email. Make the event program available online, as a PDF file or via an app (see Measure 4 below) and only hand out printed programs by request at the event. With this, you can also reduce printing costs.

2. Print double sided and use recycled paper

Always print double sided and for event planning as well as execution, use paper made from 100% recycled fibers, this can be identified by the appropriate label (see links). Recycled paper impacts the environment by one-third less than that made from virgin fiber, because production of virgin fiber paper involves a degree of forest clearing and consumption of large amounts of energy and water during processing.

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3. Get your printing done by sustainability-oriented printing companies

If you decide to print a larger document, pay attention to sustainability criteria when selecting the printing company. More and more printing companies in Switzerland offer certified paper and eco-friendly printing ink, offset their carbon emissions or have an environmental management system. At the same time, try where possible to engage a printing company within the region to keep freight distances to a minimum. Also remember: far too often printed materials are produced in excessively large print runs.  Reducing paper consumption is still more ecological than eco-friendly printing.

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4. Offer an event app

At larger conferences you can offer an app to provide information, e.g. about the event program. With this, you can reduce the quantity of printed programs required and also enable important information to be kept regularly updated. An app is free of charge for your participants and can be downloaded from the Apple Store or the Android Market. Web based apps, which function similarly to a website, cost from around CHF 150 per event, while specially developed apps with interactive functions are significantly more expensive (the involvement of a sponsor can be useful here).

Further Information
Some providers for event apps (not tested):

5. Choose fair and eco-friendly gifts

Take care when choosing gifts for guests that these preferably do not rapidly become a waste product and that, in the process of their manufacture, they impact the environment as little as possible and are socially responsible. Consider whether non-material gifts, such as an environmental donation, could also be an option, or whether you could even do without gifts entirely.

Further Information

Some ideas and addresses for reasonable gifts:

6. Use sustainably produced conference portfolios & giveaways

Look for items from sustainable production when purchasing conference materials such as folders, pens or name tags. Use products that are certified with eco or fair trade labels (further details under ‘Links’), or use regional products from Basel and the surrounding area. Attractive, sustainably produced products can also be emblazoned with sponsors’ logos – which helps you with the financing. If you would like to go a step further, you can do without giveaways entirely and ask your participants to bring their own notepaper and pens.

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7. Reuse materials

Utilize materials from previous events. Avoid labeling items such as posters, signs or pens with information specific to one event (dates, times, location, etc.), so that they are reusable for future events. Collect provided materials such as folders, brochures or badges from participants at the end of the event or set up clearly visible return boxes.

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