The Event Greening Forum (EGF) has recently launched their new supplier database. The database is an online directory of venues, products and services for events, all of which demonstrate environmentally and/or socially responsible practices. The event, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre, was an opportunity for event industry professionals to learn about how it works and how they can benefit from it.

Greg McManus, the EGF Chairperson, says, “One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your event more sustainable is through eco-procurement, sourcing products and services that have already done a lot of work to be more sustainable than the alternatives on the market. This is why we created this tool.”

He adds, “Our database will help connect clients and organisers with potential venues, suppliers and sponsors, to make it easier for them to host greener events. The aim is to develop it into a go-to resource for the event industry.”

The searchable database, www.greendatabase.co.za, hosts listings from across South Africa, covering a comprehensive range of categories such as (but not limited to): carbon offset suppliers; environmental consultants; event organisers; venues and accommodation; exhibition stand builders; caterers; event décor companies; printing and design services; responsible waste, energy and water solutions; transport; stationary; and gifting.

A useful feature is the ‘save’ button, which allows users to bookmark their favourite listings to retrieve when needed.

Any business it welcome to add their listings to the platform, although all submissions will undergo a basic vetting process to ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • The venues, products or services have sustainable attributes in that they promote environmentally friendly principles and/or socially responsible outcomes; and/or
  • The company is taking steps to be more sustainable through its internal operations.

If a listing does not meet these requirements, it will not be published – at least not until reasonable evidence has been given to show that the decision should be reversed.

Fittingly the database itself was designed and built by Ultimate Data Sciences, an EGF member that is committed to becoming an increasingly sustainable business.

McManus adds, “We encourage all database users to confirm the ‘green’ credentials of any services or products they are interested in before making a purchasing decision. This boosts transparency and improves event greening knowledge and efforts over time. It also offers some protection against greenwashing, which is when a company makes false or misleading claims about their green credentials.”

If an EGF Supplier Database user discovers a listing is guilty of greenwashing, they are urged to report it to the EGF.

To create a listing, visit www.greendatabase.co.za and select ‘add listing’ in the top right corner. You can then opt for either a basic package for free or a premium package for a nominal fee, which includes added features such as image galleries and social media links. All EGF members automatically receive a complimentary Gold Package listing.

“We encourage everyone to start using the EGF Supplier Database, and to let us know your feedback so that we can continue to improve and refine it,” adds McManus.

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