Sustainability pilot with JDE Professional successfully completed

Not thinking sustainably, but doing sustainably. That is what Obsession considers important within the company and the events it organizes. It is not only Obsession that looks through 'green glasses'. The largest coffee and tea supplier in the world, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) Professional, has also been making sustainable choices for a long time. From their shared vision on sustainability, the sustainability pilot was organized which was applied to the event Fair Flavours. ''We are very happy with the result of our unique methodology, which makes us ready for the future'', says Gerben Plasmeijer, Managing Director at Obsession.


Fair Flavours event

The Fair Flavours event took place during JDE Professional's sustainability week, in which both internal and external attention is paid to this topic. During the event over 60 visitors gathered in Naturalis in Leiden. More than 100 people watched the event online.

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The first sustainability checklist for events

The checklist is divided into 7 different themes that have an impact on making an event more sustainable. Each theme is rated on the degree of sustainability: most sustainable, good and least sustainable. In practice, this led to sustainable choices in the different categories. For example:

  • Entirely vegetarian catering with so-called 'no waste cake'; a cake made of leftover products to prevent food waste.
  • Optimal waste separation and no use of plastic materials.
  • Rented reusable decorations.
  • Physical visitors were encouraged prior to the event to make the most sustainable choice in terms of mobility. Through the registration form they could indicate how they would come to Naturalis. This made it possible to calculate the CO2 emissions. This was shared by communicating the number of trees that need to grow in a year or the number of hours a 2.3 Megawatt windmill needs to run to compensate for the emissions.


Social sustainability

In addition to environmental sustainability, the checklist also considers social sustainability. For example, if the event contributes to social projects, education, inclusiveness or diversity, this will influence your sustainability rating. During Fair Flavours a 'Sign Language Bar' was chosen for this reason, where visitors could order their coffee through sign language. In this way Obsession and JDE Professional wanted to put inclusiveness on the map. In this way Naturalis also contributed as a location to the awareness of the value of biodiversity. Through the use of interns this event also scored on the part of education.

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The pilot gave a good picture of the sustainable choices that can be made when organizing an event. By using the sustainability checklist, both event agency Obsession and JDE Professional got a good picture of the impact this event has had on the climate. Using a certain methodology, Obsession was able to give the scores back to JDE Professional. In the end, Fair Flavours scored 9.3. A great score, the JDE Professional Fair Flavours project team thought. "The methodology is a complete story, as every factor of the organization of an event is included and each time a sustainable choice is encouraged," said the project team of JDE Professional. The pilot resulted in a sustainability report, the results of which Obsession fed back to JDE Professional.



In the future, Obsession wants to use the sustainability checklist at every event to make each client aware of their choices. By following this methodology, it is working - together with its clients - towards a better future. "Some themes are more demanding than others, because they depend on the suppliers chosen. Think about the location and caterer. It is therefore always important to include the sustainable choices of suppliers and make sustainable action integral to our daily thinking and actions," emphasizes Obsession's Donna Steijn, project manager and sustainability coordinator. "The collaboration with JDE professional has shown that it is possible."

Do you also want to organize the most sustainable event possible? Then get in touch with us!