What makes a venue sustainable?

Sustainability is now one of the most important factors for businesses when deciding where to host their events, according to Statista 20211

More consumer purchase decisions than ever are driven by the environmental responsibility of the brands they choose, with 55% of customers1 saying that it’s very or extremely likely to sway them when deciding whether to buy a product or service.

With the UK events industry emitting around 1.2 billion kg of CO2 emissions each year, venues need to be actively working to reduce their impact on the environment. For event spaces, sustainability means they work to reduce their impact on the environment, how they can benefit local communities, and how they create a positive social impact on those who work at and supply the business.


What are the key criteria for sustainable venues? 


Sustainable venues need to think about how delegates are travelling to their events. Being easily accessible both geographically and with good public transport links is a great asset for venues looking to reduce transportation emissions. A central location in the country means delegates can access your event without having to commute so far if they live at opposite ends of the country. Public transport access also provides your attendees with alternative options for more sustainable modes of travel than arriving by car.


Saving energy through efficient practices, buildings, and appliances can make a big difference in the sustainability of a venue. In fact, event spaces who take actions such as replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs can reduce electricity use by up to 85%, while staff training to better manage energy can add up over time, helping reduce waste significantly.
Other energy-related actions businesses can take include using a 100% renewable energy supplier to provide their power from the grid and upgrading facilities to help generate power, such as installing solar panels.


Venues should also reduce and better handle their waste. The average event attendee can generate almost 2kg at a one-day event, with over 80% of that expected to go to landfill. Venues that prioritise reducing food, packaging, and other waste, while providing more recyclable and compostable materials for items such as cups and utensils, are making the right steps towards becoming more sustainable.


Catering can produce a lot of waste and emissions on its journey to your delegates’ plates. Venues that prioritise ordering locally produced ingredients, producing lower impact menus, and investing in efficient food production and ordering can significantly reduce emissions, while getting the added benefit of lower costs with less food going into the bin. 

Certifications and Accreditations 

Keep an eye out for venues that have received environmental accreditations. Businesses that have accreditations such as ISO14001 must abide by strict environmental and sustainability requirements that show claims can be trusted and are up to internationally accepted standards. Additionally, the ECOsmart accreditation from Greengage provides certification that venues are demonstrating their commitment to environmental sustainability and is an achievement of recognised standards.

Community and Social Impact

Make sure you’re looking at how the venue engages with the local community to provide a positive impact. Do they provide benefits to the local area with good employment opportunities, community engagement, and other initiatives to make a difference to the lives of those in the local area? How about staff – do they empower those who work and supply them to grow and excel within their roles? Picking a venue that prioritises its local community and promotes positive social change makes for a sustainable option.


Silverstone's commitment to sustainability 

We’re proud to be an industry leader in sustainability for our corporate and public events:


Silverstone’s committed to the sustainable sourcing, use, and saving of energy throughout our operations. We’ve installed 2,764 solar panels generating 13% of our total power, and source all grid energy (almost 9GHw) from renewable sources. We’re also replacing all our light sources with energy-efficient LED bulbs, making our buildings more efficient, and now have 24 EV chargers across the site to help promote the use of electric vehicles  when travelling to us.


Last year we received both the FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation and BSI 14001 Environmental Management System certification. These recognise the work we’ve done to reduce our impact and grow sustainably as a venue, providing those who visit and work with us reassurance that what we’re doing is making real, impactful change.

We have also been recognised as a Greengage ECOsmart Platinum Venue, this is an acknowledgement of the sustainability initiatives we have put in place and the approach the Silverstone team have taken as we work to become a more sustainable business and leisure destination.

Food Waste

We’re working hard to reduce the impact that our catering has on the environment. From sourcing our produce through local suppliers and using more efficient ordering methods, to only preparing what’s actually needed, we’re reducing the emissions from our catering and dropping the waste. We also donated 22 tonnes of surplus food to a local food larder in 2023, further reducing the amount of food going into the bin. 


We achieved a site-wide 37.5% recycling rate in 2023, exceeding our 35% target. With effective waste stream management, we’re able to split waste to go to compost, recycling, or landfill more efficiently than ever before. We’re also making it easier for those visiting and working for us to better manage their waste, with widely available recycling and composting points across the venue to encourage recycling.

Build a sustainable event

As the demand for sustainable venues continues to grow, we’re working hard to lead the way. Get in touch to arrange a site visit today and learn more about how we can help you host an event that aligns with your sustainability goals.