Sustainable Event Certification

MIT event
Christopher Harting/MIT Image Library
Why Sustainable Events at MIT?

At MIT, we host over 10,000 events per year. The many choices we make across campus as we plan each one of these events add up to our campus’ event footprint. Our events have a cumulative impact on the health of the community, the local economy, and the natural environment. This Certification will help guide planners toward making smart choices about food, energy, transportation, and materials when planning an event. Help the Office of Sustainability (MITOS) pilot the first version of this tool and take a leadership role in shaping the future of sustainability at MIT.

The aim of the Sustainable Events Certification is to:

  • Empower you as staff, faculty, and student event planners to take a leadership role in catalyzing a sustainable transformation across the event culture at MIT.

  • Reduce the environmental impact of event planning choices and boost the health and enjoyment of your event attendees.

  • Gain recognition for your commitment and become a model for the Institute.

Steps for Certification

  1. Download the Sustainable Event Checklist and use it to guide the decision-making process at your early planning sessions. Tip: The earlier in the event planning process you begin this checklist, the easier it will be to make and implement sustainable choices.
  2. Determine which actions are feasible and complete the entire checklist. If an action item on the checklist is not applicable to your event, select "N/A" from the drop down. If you need more clarification on an action, click the "Help" section for more information. The form will automatically calculate your points as you progress through the application, indicating whether you are at a Bronze, Silver or Gold event level.
  3. Once the Checklist is completed, just email the form to sustainevents@mit.edu at least one week prior to the event. Tip: Ideally, the event should be certified beforehand so achievements can be advertised to attendees, but an event can also be certified after it has occurred.
  4. Upon submitting the application and checklist, Office of Sustainability staff will review the contents and follow up with requests for further information as needed. 
  5. Once you’ve successfully completed the process, you will be awarded the Sustainable Event Certification Logo that you can proudly display on all promotional items for your event. If you submit the form after the event, your event will still be listed as a “Sustainable Event” on this page.
Levels of Certification

To help guide your choices, the Certification is organized into a series of actions in the following areas: 

  • Communications
  • Catering
  • Energy and Transit
  • Materials and Waste
  • Innovation

At MIT, we like friendly competition, so there are three levels of certification available if you achieve the necessary points: bronze, silver, and gold.

event cert levels

Additional Resources

Use this easy checklist as a guide when selecting a caterer for your event:

11 x 17 signs for labeling waste streams (just download and print):

8 x 11 signs for labeling waste streams (just download and print):

Questions or feedback about the process?

Email sustainevents@mit.edu with any questions you may have. We also welcome feedback about the usability of the certification checklist.


Upcoming trainings:

Stay tuned for upcoming trainings on this tool!


Innovation Lab:

Stay tuned as we develop a showcase for all of your creative innovation points, which will serve as a resource for departments across campus.