Sustainable suppliers and service-providers are not only the solution, but the problem as well

Events, that want to purchase sustainable goods and services face considerable obstacles. Main obstacle is not a mismatch between their needs and wishes and the available supply, but the main obstacle is the poor availability of the present supply.
a. If you look around in The Netherlands you learn that prices of sustainable goods and services are higher than those of traditional ones. This makes them less affordable, especially if large volumes are required.
b. It takes considerable research (and therefore time) to find suitable suppliers and providers, their product/service-features, their prices and their conditions. This forms an obstacle that traditional suppliers and providers manage better.

What to do ?

The reasons for these higher prices are generally high development costs and low salesvolumes. To gain marketshare local sustainable suppliers and providers have to counter this by:
a. Charging marketprices ("not more than traditionals charge"). Doing so they gain marketshare and can compensate lossmaking goods and services.
b. Making the research for customers (events) easier. They can compose an on-line catalogue with uniform presentation and uniform conditions, like the Amazon-model. The aim is a broad local line of offerings. Gaps in the line (established via interviews of customers) should by filled with offerings of non-local suppliers.

Local providers and suppliers need not innovate, they should improve their availability.

Comments (1)

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How can this be improved?
Oriol Segarra
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  • Hi Rene, Certainly some sustainable materials and products are more expensive today than the same non sustainable (plastic straws VS edible straws for example) but, specially in the NL, people is willing to pay a little bit more to have sustainable products and services, you just need a good comunication strategy and a good sustainability plan, so people don't get the wrong message thinking the Festival is Greenwashing.

    This leads to the second point...
    Sustainability in the Event Industry is something NEW:

    Having to find all these infos by yourself, creating a sustainability plan, etc. is a difficult task that can go wrong very easily because there a lot of fake sustainable products and services.
    For every problem there is a solution or a solution provider, for example myself. I work with events here in Spain taking care of all the sustainability side of their event. What will take you a few days of work to find if a supplier have or doesn't have the right compostable packaging is my day to day work so takes very short time for me. I also have a good sized network of solution providers for every type of impact that festivals can have.
    you can check us out here: