Viennese Waste Prevention Programme: Package of Measures „Green Events”
Contact: Mrs. Mag. Ulrike Stocker
Dresdner Straße 45
Phone +43 1 4000 73565
City of Vienna, Environmental Department
WHERE: Austria, Vienna WHEN: Ongoing (Viennese Waste Prevention Programme 2013-2018)
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction,
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising; Voluntary / promotional (e.g.: business support schemes, green public procurement, infrastructure, fiscal measures)
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Plastics, Food and organic waste, Paper
About: The package of measures “Green Events” describes a series of actions taken for waste prevention at public events, in the city of Vienna. Besides the mandatory use of reusable dishes and cutlery by means of the Viennese waste management law for many public events, the platform “ÖkoEvent” (“eco event”) provides information, advice and consultation (free for local government departments of the City of Vienna, recipients of subsidies from the City of Vienna, Associations, NGOs, NPOs and Viennese educational institutions; funded consultancy services for companies) for the organization of environmentally friendly events including concerning measures in the areas of event promotion, mobility, energy & water, communication, catering, waste reduction and waste separation.
Moreover, the reusable tableware of the City of Vienna can be hired free of charge (costs arise for cleaning) through the platform. Events satisfying a criteria checklist (mandatory and voluntary criteria), receive the appropriate rating (“eco event” or even “eco event plus”), are published online, get further PR-material to be displayed there and can declare their event to be a Green Event. Another measure is the active participation of the City of Vienna in the network “Green Events Austria”, with all Austrian federal provinces and the environmental ministry, supporting a wide knowledge transfer. Further aims are the increase in publicity of Green Events and a raise in attractiveness by an annual contest for sustainable events.
Information events are organized to spread the knowledge about the obligatory use of reuseable systems for events and the necessity of a waste management concept for large events (more than 2 000 visitors) as well as the possibilities for support. An evaluation process and random checking of the events are implemented.
The objective of this best practice is to improve the prevention of waste generation at public events.
1. Know-how: The Viennese Waste Prevention Programme was devised following a Strategic Environmental Assessment by the City of Vienna, environmental NGOs and external experts.
2. Funding: Support by the city administration
3. Material resources: ÖkoEvent (EcoEvent): reusable tableware (85,000 washable plastic cups, 20,000 mugs, a total of 3,500 dishes and bowls) through partner Cup Solutions Mehrweg GmbH; a tableware caravan (Wiener Geschirrmobil) with crockery, cutlery, glasses and two dishwashers
4. Human resources: consultancy effort depending on the number and size of events, meetings, information events, random checking
5. Period of implementation: 2013-2018 (Viennese Waste Prevention Programme, though some measures started earlier and might continue)
In 2017, over 1.5 million people had attended more than 300 EcoEvents since 2010. An increasing number of events are supported, become EcoEvents and are published online. For an archive of events see the respective year (in German, with pictures).
Urban metabolism relevance
The initiative „eco event” is aiming at the reduction of all kinds of environmental impacts of events (reduction of emissions by transport and mobility, energy and water saving devices, biological and regional production of food, prevention of food waste, the use of one-way plates, cups and cutlery by substituting them with reusable material that is brought to the respective event, cleaned and used again).
The key material streams influenced are water, food, paper and plastic and also generator fuel (better energy efficiency and alternative energy supply sought). The practice is enhancing dematerialization regarding the minimization of paper-based advertising as the organization „Green Event” itself helps to promote the event via electronic media. (Naturally, there is no direct dematerialization possible for other areas like food provision).
Engaged participatory processes
The engagement is on a level of personal counseling where the client gets counseling from „eco event” to find the best way of staging and organizing the event according to the criteria set. In that process „eco event” gets to know the client better and also learns how the criteria set today need to or should be improved for future events. Besides, at workshops how to organize a sustainable event important feedback is given by the stakeholders.
There is a constant learning process going on that helps to improve the criteria set by „eco event”. Hence, the threshold for the organizer of an event to qualify for the rating „eco event” is and can be raised over time.
The Waste Management Law was adapted to allow for a ban of disposable bottles and dishes on public events and make reusable systems mandatory. Besides, public events for more than 2 000 visitors need to provide a waste management concept.
Sustainability and replicability
The consultancy service is free of charge in most cases and hence a continuation is only conceivable with funding from government sources. The idea is simple, might be compared to other similar initiatives already existing on regional or national level and be implemented in the target area with comparatively little effort.
The service is free of change, of high quality and the rating can be used to promote the respective event successfully.
Waste, Resources, Innovation.
For some larger events it is technically not easy to ensure that all parties involved adhere to the standards required by the rating. If those standards in part are required by law, they can automatically be enforced.