Sustainable Event Awards

Assessment Criteria Announced

Rigorous assessment criteria for the Sustainable Event Awards will shine a light on industry excellence and set a new benchmark for sustainable event performance

In early 2020, the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA) joined forces with UK-based Event Industry News to develop a global event industry awards program that celebrates excellence in event sustainability.

The Sustainable Event Awards recognises and celebrates the achievements of events, venues and suppliers, and strives to raise awareness of the importance of embedding sustainable practices into the event supply chain. 

As a partner of the Awards, the SEA pulled together an expert team to develop the judging criteria and submission questions for the Sustainable Event Awards program. This work involved extensive discussion and deep-seated consideration, which the team believe will help position the Sustainable Event Awards as the  premier sustainability awards for the events industry globally. The SEA Leadership Team will also contribute a number of event sustainability professionals who’ll form part of the judging panel for the inaugural Awards.

The global events industry has arrived at a true inflection point.

We, as event professionals, have acknowledged that each of us and our events have the power to influence positive change, and that the economic impact of our events are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg (what’s left of it that is!).

We’ve realised our role in achieving sustainable development, tuned in to the triple bottom line, and now we’re holding ourselves and others to account in the race towards sustainability.

After more than ten years of advocating for sustainable event management, industry development and capacity building, the Sustainable Event Alliance has witnessed a monumental shift within the sector towards sustainability and, while we’re just getting started, we believe this is cause for celebration!

We are excited to be part of the Awards, which has rigorous assessment criteria, designed to shine a light on the truly global leaders in event sustainability excellence. We look forward to reviewing, acknowledging and celebrating this excellence, across a terrific range of event sectors and supplier categories.”

Meegan Jones President, Sustainable Event Alliance

Why Enter?

The Sustainable Event Alliance encourages members, and those who are currently taking responsible action, to enter the Awards and use it as an opportunity to: 

  • Review and evaluate existing business practices 
  • Benchmark against peers and competitors 
  • Determine the potential of their business and improve their bottom line
  • Be recognised as a leader in event sustainability and build their business 
  • Have an industry expert review their submission and provide feedback on it and existing business practices
  • Increase brand awareness, generate marketing opportunities and secure valuable media exposure 

Key Dates

1 April – Entries open
30 June - Entries close
July - Finalists announced via the Awards website
1 September - Winners announced (virtual awards night)

For more information and to enter the Sustainable Event Awards please click here.


The awards program consists of three overarching categories: Events, Venues and Suppliers and more than 60 sub-categories including:

  • Best Brand Activation,
  • Best Music Festival (Under and Over 10,000),
  • Best New Venue,
  • Best Exhibition Venue (Under and Over 10,000 Sqm),
  • Best Ticketing Solution, and even
  • Best Toilets! 

To view the full list of categories please click here

Criteria and Questions

Judging criteria aligns with the the Sustainable Event Alliance's Membership Charter and covers four key areas:

1. Commitment, communication and leadership

2. Social responsibility

3. Environmental stewardship

4. Reporting 

Unless stated otherwise, each entry should focus on work completed or projects undertaken between 1st January 2019 and 30th June 2020.

Entrants will also be required to provide:

  • An overview of their event or business
  • Access to a video, infographic, report or case study that summarises their approach to sustainability and results achieved
  • Detail surrounding their sustainability management system, strategy or framework 
  • Detail outlining how their approach has enhanced the effectiveness of embedding sustainability into the team, planning and delivery, and how it has improved performance
  • Detail outlining how they’ve shown leadership or progressed sustainability performance or knowledge in the field of event management
  • Detail surrounding the business case developed for pursuing a sustainable approach and the challenges faced
  • Detail surrounding the their plans to strengthen their sustainability strategy over the next 12 months
  • Testimonials and/or references and/or letters of support from stakeholders

Section 1: Commitment, communication and leadership

Please describe the approach your event or organisation takes to ensure sustainability principles and practices are embedded.

Give examples of top management leadership, engagement with staff and stakeholders, provision of resources and support, and how you bring the required knowledge for good decision-making into your team. How have you communicated your commitments and intentions to your stakeholders including suppliers, event attendees and community?

The judges will be looking for evidence that top management are driving or supporting this, and that the sustainability programme is led, endorsed and supported by them and they are actively engaged. Judges would also be looking for evidence and examples of communication with internal and external stakeholders, including the commitments, policies and how they can get involved.

Section 2: Social responsibility

Please describe the approach your event or organisation takes to ensure it is a responsible and contributing citizen.

Give examples of your inclusion, diversity and accessibility initiatives, for your organisation as well as through the event experience by attendees and community. Include examples of how this is ensured through responsible governance and provide examples of how it is enacted through your sourcing, contracting and production decisions. Give examples of the programmes, initiatives or support of those run externally that are beneficial to more than the organisation (eg campaigns or missions you care about, amplify and support). Describe how you use your platform for good.

The judges will be looking for programmes which connect to the community, leave a positive legacy, are enacted through the purchasing decisions, and strong frameworks for corporate governance. Additional consideration will be given for events that use their platform for good, by aligning with and amplifying relevant causes or campaigns.

Section 3: Environmental Stewardship

Please describe the approach to ensuring your event or organisation minimises any negative impacts upon the environment, directly or indirectly, and supports environmental restoration through purchasing decisions or through direct action.

Include examples of production processes to reduce impacts or resource use in the areas of materials, energy, water, travel and transport and materials management and resource recovery.

The judges will be looking for excellence in circularity and avoidance of single-use items, GHG balancing, local site and biodiversity protection, and ensuring no complicity through the supply chain.

Section 4: Reporting

Please describe your approach to setting objectives and targets, KPIs, measurement, tracking progress and reporting.

Give examples of your objectives, target and KPIs, describe any baseline measurements undertaken, and detail the measurement and performance tracking systems you have in place. Give examples of improvements, reductions, and other performance achievements and excellence.

The judges will be looking for robust frameworks for performance measurement, possibly aligned with existing protocols; disclosure of performance through published reports, actual reductions/performance/improvement achieved, and the sharing of lessons learnt.