Sustainable UCL


Sustainable Events

Top tips for running a sustainable event at UCL.

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Why should you make your event sustainable?

Our community wants it!

An NUS study has showed that over 80% of students want their university to be sustainable. With the Divestment campaign growing and since Blue Planet 2, we are increasingly receiving requests to make our events more sustainable from both students and staff.

Events are front of house

If an event is public facing, and external visitors attend, it is often the only image they have of UCL. If events are not sustainable, it can send a message that UCL isn't environmentally responsible despite UCL holding a 1st class award for sustainability in the People & Planet Green League.

Stand out from the crowd

You can be creative when organising a sustainable event, helping you stand out from the crowd. For example the Student's Union UCL organised a bike-powered cinema during Fresher's Week. The awards for the UCL Sustainability Awards 2017 were made from teak from the Bloomsbury Theatre refurbishment.

Inspire and Engage

Events present a huge opportunity to engage and educate students and staff in sustainability. It can provide a platform for discussion and inspire your audience to be sustainable. For example all of our events are entirely vegetarian and vegan, this not only demonstrates that meat-free catering can be delicious, but can get people thinking about the carbon footprint of the meat industry.

Cost savings

Events which are environmentally sustainable are often cost effective. For example by going paper-free, or meat-free and cutting out disposables money can be saved.

For inspiration and tips on running a sustainable event, see our sustainable events toolkit.

Sustainable events toolkit

For information on how to order sustainable catering at UCL.

Sustainable catering guide

Use a sustainable banner on the procurement list

Ditch the disposables (biodegradables and all)

Make your event 'Powered by Plants'

Sustainability text for attendees

Collaborate with student groups

Zero Food Waste

Zero Food Waste is a new project at UCL that re-distributes food from where it is in excess to where it is scarce: from UCL cafés to homeless people. Contact them to see if they can redistribute food from your events.

UCL Food Scavengers

If you have leftover food at your event, you can share a description and location with this group, and students will finish it off.

UCL Conservation Group

The UCL Conservation group have launched a campaign against single-use plastics called Plastic Free UCL. Contact them for tips on how to go plastic-free at your events.


UCell can power your events using hydrogen.  Why not contact UCell to see if they can collaborate by providing clean energy and inspiring activities.

Questions and ideas

Got any further questions about making your event environmentally responsible, or have ideas you'd like to share? Please email us at sustainableucl@ucl.ac.uk