Prague Zeros in on Waste

City says recent event was completely sustainable.

By Boardroom editors

Prague is proving that zero waste is more than an ambitious event goal — it’s a concrete possibility. Case in point: A recent Prague Congress Centre (PCC) event was called the first completely sustainable meeting in the city, with a 60-percent reduction of waste.

The idea behind zero-waste events touches all areas at an event, from catering to décor. At this event, which was organized by Byznys Pro spolecnost (Business for Society) in cooperation with Zátiší Catering and the PCC, the décor was crafted entirely from reusable, recycled, or natural materials. In addition, nearly 200 LED screens displayed event branding, eliminating the need for paper products. Environmentally conscious companies at the event received a “Top Responsible Company” award.

“The opportunity to host responsible companies has been a great occasion for the PCC to show that even congresses, conferences, and corporate events can be organised with respect to the environment,” said PCC CEO Roman Ray Straub.

Energy consumption was also taken into consideration, with the event incorporating eco-friendly LED lights. Water dispensers were used in place of packaged water, reducing the amount of plastic, and waste sorting was introduced.

“It was great to hear all the inspirational concepts from awarded companies, as well as to see creative catering ideas for sustainable options, such as using one bowl for the whole evening, cutting your own herbs, and experiencing tasty dishes made from local and seasonal products,” said Lenka Žlebková, PCC’s director of sales and marketing.

Planners can follow similar strategies, working with caterers who are locavore proponents. By allotting each participant one dining set for the course of the event, planners can reduce the amount of biodegradable containers. The PCC even launched a community fridge project this fall. Following events, leftover food can be donated to a community, or shared, refrigerator, which provides food for employees while introducing them to local products. Labeling leftovers in reusable containers and collecting food scraps in organic containers designed for composting also helps avoid plastic.

Prague encourages sustainability in other ways as well. Nature reserves like Divoká Šárka can easily be reached on a 30-minute tram ride from the city centre, and visitors can rent electric cars like Teslas right at the airport from Green Motion.

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