How a centrepiece made an event more sustainable

C&IT went to a Scottish dinner and learned how even small gestures can help combat climate change.

The sustainable centrepiece
The sustainable centrepiece

At a dinner hosted by VisitScotland Business Events at The Savoy London, guests spent an evening sampling sustainable Scottish food and discussing how business events are evolving in the face of climate change.

Attendees included event planners, Scottish venues and food producers, and dinner was prepared by the chef director at Edinburgh’s Cafe St Honore, Neil Forbes, alongside the team at The Savoy.

A striking centrepiece was sitting on the table as guests sat down to dinner. It was a collection of sustainability-themed objects brought along by each Scottish guest.

Items included a Scottish honey bee hive and glass water bottles from Fairmont St Andrews, sustainable metal straws from Gleneagles and Meetings Perthshire, as well as Holyrood Distillery's ‘apricot and ginger’ and ‘raspberry and lemon’ liquors in recycled glass bottles.

There was also a pair of antlers from Ballathie House Hotel and recycled coasters and Edinburgh-sourced-and-blended Earl Grey tea from Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh’s in-house restaurant.

The centrepiece

Not only was the centrepiece giftable, cutting down on the waste that can stem from event decorations, but it also proved to be a real conversation starter among guests.

Having a physical representation of some of these sustainable initiatives allowed guests to see and connect with the small ways in which venues and suppliers are making progress on sustainability.

Guests commented that they felt inspired by each other to look for different ways to make their work more environmentally friendly.

One guest said: “It’s about doing everything we can because small gestures will lead to bigger things. If we all do the small things well we can achieve ambitious environmental goals.”

As well as the centrepiece, chef Neil Forbes designed a sustainable menu that used locally sourced and sustainable Scottish ingredients including Arbroath Smokies Cullen skink and truffle, pine smoked venison loin haggis, nettle puree, wild vegetables and whiskey jus.

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