1.2 Environmental mapping

Map the strain – measure the gain! The environmental manager must now gather some fundamental information. If the event in question has been held before, what has been done regarding environmental work? What efforts should be part of an environmental project?

What should be mapped and measured – and why?

Now is the time to discover what aspects of your event affect the environment. By mapping and measuring the environmental strain that the event represents at the present time, you will have a documented point of departure for the further environmental work.

Ideally, everything about the event that represents an environmental strain should be mapped. This may be power consumption, waste, water consumption, transportation, etc. (See the chapter on practical environmental measures). When mapping the current status for your event you will get a basis for your further environmental work.

Based on the mapping, you go on to decide what you want to measure. Measuring is not difficult, but it requires devoted workers and a good system. Means you can utilize in the measuring process are: an electric meter, a water meter, and lists or forms for writing down the results. Annual accounts may also in some instances provide information regarding consumption.


Write down how much waste was produced the last time the event took place, how much electric power was spent, and to what degree transportation was used.

The process can also be complimented by using an online tool for mapping your events environmental impact. Julie’s Bicycle’s online IG Tools  allow you to measure your operation’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and thereby indicating how the event can environemtally improved. www.juliesbicycle.com

Only when you have mapped resource spending and the quantities of spills and waste can you get a clear idea of where the environmental strain is highest and in what areas efforts should be concentrated. Further down the line you will be able to see what you have saved in operating expenses and to what degree you have spared the environment in terms of waste and spills. Document the good results – it will have a motivating effect!


Even though your to-do list might have become quite long by now, don’t go ahead and start doing everything at once. Now is the time to prioritise! Pick some main areas and plot the course of your further work.

Even though there might be a lot of measures you find important and wish to work on, it is best to limit the work to just two or three main areas. In that way, you can do things properly right away. You can then wait until the next event to address three more areas you wish to work on.

What measures should you work on first? It’s a good idea to start out with something that is simple and visible to everyone involved. In that way, any work you do will immediately be rewarding.

You can start with the measure

  • …that is most important.
  • …that is the easiest to accomplish.
  • …that has the greatest effect.
  • …that you all agree upon.
  • …that you would like to work on the most.


Environmental mapping

  • Has anything been done during previous events?
  • Which measures do we want the environmental project to be comprised of?
  • Make a list of possible measures – and remember to put someone in charge and to set deadlines!
  • Prioritise work tasks.
  • Make a plan of action (see next chapter).
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