Supplier Policy for an Impactful Event

With the Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum just one month away, we want this event will be the first of many. We’re laying down a strong foundation of design, and walking the talk of the positive change we want to see.

Part of this value alignment is what has inspired us to carefully select our suppliers, based upon our procurement guidelines. Not only this, but we’re also questioning the need for some items that you’d usually find at a conference!

These are the questions we’ve asked ourselves while designing this year’s event, and some examples of how we’ve applied it.

  1. Do we really need this?
  2. Can we reduce our need for this?
  3. Are there re-used or recycled alternatives?
  4. Are there alternatives that promote sustainable design?
  5. Can we leverage our purchase to enable greater impact?
  6. Can we showcase new modes of products and services with greater positive impact?

Do we really need to give delegates bags at the start of the day, with things attendees could likely supply themselves like pens and paper? How do we provide an option for those that would want a printed programme, while reducing waste? Where can we get lanyards from, so we don’t need to buy single-use ones? How can we communicate important info and way-finding, without absurd amounts of print waste? How can our catering choices both reduce waste and environmental impact, and increase social impact? Can something as simple as ticketing be done in an impactful way?

Once we’ve established there is a need, we’ll select suppliers based on the following order of priorities:

  • Social Enterprises (as defined by Ākina)
  • Ethical or sustainable enterprises (including B Corps)
  • Local Wellington enterprises
  • Other enterprises

Through the above criteria, we are supplying from social enterprises where possible, as well as borrowing, and we also encourage you to expect less stuff.

So far, we have contracted with the following social enterprises:

Ticketing: Humanitix

If you’ve purchased a ticket to our event (thanks very much), you’ll notice we’re using a platform you may not have seen before. Humanitix ticketing is a social enterprise currently based in Australia that generates impact through ticket sales. For each ticket sold, a portion of the fee is donated to a charity of the event holders choice.

For this event, we’re helping them launch into Aotearoa, so we’re not donating to a charity this time. We’ll be using Humanitix for the main event, and for booking session times.

Catering: Pomegranate Kitchen

A Wellington staple in the social enterprise catering community, we are using Pomegranate Kitchen for our event. Not only are the wraps perfect for an event at the Zoo, but also their impact is to employ those from a refugee background.

We’re also working with them to enable a zero waste event with compostable food wrappers and plant based foods.

For the evening drinks, we’re working with Blue Carrot who are Conscious Consumers certified and are also providing zero waste and plant based options.

Venue: Wellington Zoo

As a social enterprise, Wellington Zoo is the world’s first carboNZero certified Zoo, and as well as contributing to conservation field work around the world, they are involved in breeding and restoration programmes for New Zealand native species.

A number of their habitats are made from recycled materials that they’ve reused from old infrastructure, diverting unnecessary waste from landfill. What’s more, many of the products stocked in the Wellington Zoo’s gift shop are ethically sourced, meaning that each dollar spent is supporting a local producer or artisan craft maker.

We’re loving working with the Zoo to enable a zero waste event and a unique experience for attendees.

In terms of reducing what we need, here’s a list of changes we’re making:

Lanyards: We are reusing some from previous events from Wellington Zoo and last year’s SEWF. To reduce waste, the cards will be ‘write your own name’ style and we’re aiming to print these on a seed card or recycled card at minimum.

Delegates Bags: We won’t be providing these; with the reduction of plastic bags at supermarkets, we expect delegates to be more prepared with their own reusable bags to carry their things around for the day.  Remember to bring your own reusable cup and water bottle, and if you don’t take notes on a laptop, perhaps a notebook and pen. We’ll provide a downloadable programme on our website, but we’re also using an event app to keep everything in one place.

We’ll continue to walk this talk as we design and develop the remaining elements of the Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum 2018.

Join us on October 19th at Wellington Zoo, for this national Social Enterprise get-together. 

Register Now