Clean air and energy - event sustainability guidelines

When planning an event it is important to consider how it may affect air quality. The type and amount of energy used, as well as transport can all have impacts on air quality, but small changes can be made to reduce emissions.

The waste hierarchy outlines that the first priority for energy use is to avoid using energy and then reduce the amount used (which also reduces costs) prior to considering offsets.

Use the table for advice on how to reduce air impacts and the amount of energy used by your event.

Table outlining energy source and corresponding guidelines.
Energy source Guidelines
On-site solar supported by batteries Using on-site solar means no greenhouse gas emissions will be generated from that power source.
Mains power - 100% GreenPower

Mains power usage for events at Brisbane City Council sites is 100% GreenPower (i.e. from 100% renewable sources) and therefore will not create any greenhouse gas emissions. 

At privately-owned venues, ask the venue manager if they use 100% GreenPower, or if they are able to individually meter the event.

Where possible, opt for the highest possible percentage of GreenPower.


Diesel generators are not preferred as they emit noise and pollutants that are harmful to health. If diesel generators are unavoidable, place them as far away as possible from where people will gather or walk, and from neighbouring residents.

Generator carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced using biodiesel mixes. Request that suppliers provide the most efficient and lowest greenhouse gas emitting option.

Calculate your energy use accurately. Use the full rated load of generators and avoid wasting unused energy which is lost through heat and friction.

Mains power

Measure or calculate your energy usage at GreenPower and arrange carbon offsets.

Vehicle emissions

Consider the following ways to reduce vehicle emissions: 

  • Use the smallest vehicle fit for purpose.
  • Keep vehicles well maintained.
  • Use eco-driving techniques.
  • Use electric or hybrid vehicles when suitable.
  • Select ethanol, biodiesel fuel mixes or LPG.
  • Consider vehicle use in the planning and delivery of the event and plan well to minimise the number and length of trips.
  • Visit the Green Vehicle Guide for further advice on low emission vehicles.

Carbon offsets

Once the above methods have been explored, you can offset your event's emissions through carbon offsets such as tree planting. The National Carbon Offset Standard provides guidelines for measuring carbon emissions and advice on credible offset units.

More information

Learn about the following event sustainability guidelines topics:

Last updated: 10 May 2019