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Events Sustainability policy

There is no question that the climate emergency is one of the biggest issues facing our world today. At SFHA, we believe, as the main representative membership body for housing associations and co‑operatives in Scotland, we have a social responsibility to be more sustainable.  
SFHA is fully committed to being a sustainable business and this commitment forms a fundamental part of our wider Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.


This policy has been devised to show how the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), undertakes its activities in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the wider community. We aim to support and deliver improvements in the quality of life for our staff, members and the communities in which we work. We understand the importance of environmental issues, the need to preserve natural resources, the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to creating a sustainable organisation by striving to ensure that we make a positive contribution to the protection of the environment and to sustainable development. As a minimum, we comply with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Co-operation in the effective implementation of the policy is a condition of employment, partnership and supply.


  • Consider the resource impacts of our activities
  • Consider the integration of sustainability into the services we offer our staff and members
  • Consider how we support and participate in the communities in which we operate
  • Consider our obligations to secure the well-being of future generations


  • A paperless office to ensure complying with environmental strategies
  • Working with staff members to ensure correct use of electricity for sustainability
  • Working from home where possible to reduce the carbon footprint
  • Being a fair, respectful and inclusive company, encouraging a culture that values openness and transparency and recognises individual achievement
  • Developing a social value policy outlining our commitment to managing and measuring the social value our organisation is creating


We will make copies of this policy available in a range of formats, including large print and in other languages where required. We will respond to the different needs and service requirements of individuals. We will not discriminate against any individual for any reason, including age, disability, gender re- assignment, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, or other status. The operation of this policy will always be in accordance with the principles set out within our Equality & Diversity Policy.


This policy is relevant to every activity of SFHA.  

Each activity will be required to include measures to improve its sustainability in its widest sense.  

SFHA is committing to operate according to strategies for sustainability providing environmental, social, economic, and organisational benefits.


Day to day responsibility for the operation and monitoring of this policy lies with the senior staff. All relevant employees have a responsibility to ensure that the policy is applied as instructed.

Our policy will be implemented by using the following approaches:

  • We shall review procedures at least every 3 years and implement measures to improve efficiency and sustainability.
  • We shall ensure that our business practices effectively enable us to re-use or recycle materials and reduce waste; to print less, print less expensively and use less stationery and printed material; to reduce mail. Purchase of equipment and consumption of resources will be governed by this policy. Minimise use of paper and office consumables, for example by double siding all paper use and identifying ways to reduce waste. Reuse or recycle office waste. Continue the use of our conference app at our events which eliminates the need to physical packs.
  • We shall encourage employees to use public transport or the least environmentally adverse mode of transport, which is available, practical and reasonable for business travel and encourage this approach to journeys between home and work. We have ensured our offices are located in the city centre which is easily accessed by all modes of public transport.
  • We shall continue to use centrally located, green accredited venues for our events where possible and encourage venues to use locally sourced produce with a larger offering of plant based options.
  • We shall provide employees with the training and guidance needed to implement this policy. Procedures and other reference materials will be always kept up to date and accessible.
  • We shall monitor adherence to policy requirements and procedures.


We will review our sustainability policy every three years, developing an action plan and refining our approach in the light of practical experience gained and feedback received, taking due account of any changes in legislation, guidance, or practice.


SFHA Events  

Our vision for future SFHA events is to produce them to the highest quality while ensuring that they are sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint, where possible. As we return to in-person events, we recognise the importance of demonstrating how we will reduce the environmental impact of our events and, ultimately, be more sustainable.
This policy outlines the first steps towards running sustainable events, and we recognise we have much more to do. This policy, and our efforts in this area, will be reviewed and updated with each new event we host, and we look forward to sharing this with you.
Here is a summary of the steps we’re taking to help achieve sustainability at our events and how you can help us achieve this.


  • We will only work with venues that can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability
  • We will ensure recycling points are easily accessible for attendees


  • Where possible, we will choose venues with good public transport links, that are accessible on foot and that have adequate cycle storage facilities
  • We encourage our attendees to use public transport, walk and cycle to our events, where possible
  • We will consider how we transport conference materials

Paper and plastic

  • We will eliminate the use of single-use plastics, where we can
  • To reach our aim of reducing the use of paper we will:
    • make use of technology, including a conference app and digital screens
    • promote our events using digital platforms, websites, and online materials
    • significantly reduce the amount of printed material
    • use recycled paper when printed material is necessary
    • collect evaluation and feedback online
    • encourage attendees to bring their own writing materials
    • encourage exhibitors to do the same


To make the food at our events more sustainable:

  • We will ensure there are more vegetarian options at mealtimes
  • Encourage our venues to use locally sourced seasonal produce
  • Where possible, we will tell delegates where their food is sourced from
  • Where possible, we will prioritise venues with a food waste policy

Online and virtual

  • We will commit to ensuring there is a balance in our events and training programme between in-person events and online gatherings.

Last updated March 2023

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