Written by futureofwaste

This article is part of our toolbox
“Tackling waste in tourism & events”

You have decided to work at reducing waste in your tourism/event organization? Welcome on board! ow that you have realised the first 5 steps, and have clear priorities set, we recommand that you focus on the implementation in a collaborative manner.

For small organisations, this step might not be necessary and already covered by Step 5.. Build a collaborative action plan is particularly useful when you have numerous individuals involved or impacted by waste management. 

You can organise this collaborative workshop with different stakeholders: restricted to your “green team” if you created one, enlarge it to strategic (for waste) members of your organisation (Purchasing management, support functions, communication team…), and even offer to invite all interested stakeholders (suppliers, NGOs, clients…)


  • As seen in step 4, involving stakeholders, internal and external, will help diversify the ideas, consolidate the engagement of participants and prevent the creation of tensions
  • A collaborative workshop to define the action plan for implementation will ensure you have not forgiven key elements
  • You will have on the ground experience of the participants, double checking the feasibility of the activities, and increasing your creativity
  • The workshop might help you find volunteers to implement the solutions developed, or at the minimum, engage your colleagues in the project
  • A creativity workshop will help you make more detailed action plan.

1. Consolidate information

First things first, it is a common mistake to rush to solutions before even knowing what the context or the problem is, which result in failure in implementation, low impact or low efficiency.

Example:  In Makesense’s coworking space we started to put segregation bins for paper everywhere. But the printing average was low. 

So before defining and implementing solutions please make sure you successfully finished the previous steps:  And to share key elements of those finding to the participant of this brainstorming  workshop (part 3. prepare the content)

2. Frame the challenge

You should by now be able to sketch 1 question (or more) that will help you build an action plan regarding the most convenient or urgent waste streams you want to tackle. Formulate it so that it is SMART:

Specific: it relates to a waste stream.

Measurable: where do we start from and what we want to achieve.

Ambitious: will bring real opportunities and impact.

Realistic: it can be achieved.

Time-framed: in 4 weeks? 3 months? 2 years?

For each question you should then:

  • Rely on the conditions, pros and cons of our solution tabs.
  • Check what has already been tried both internally or in similar structures.
  • Imagine a specific objective you would like to reach.
  • Which format of output would you like at the end of the workshop? (An action plan, user scenario, content of a communication campaign, spread on a timeline, etc.)
  • What are the resources you can rely on and the constraints you have to deal with?
  • Prepare the necessary documents (maps, legislation, etc.)

It will help you display details about the challenge(s) and design one or several solutions template that will help participant focus on an understandable, useful and concrete action plan.

Exemple : How can I implement organic waste segregation and composting?

  • Objectives : Reduce waste collection cost by 30% & Attract new clients through certification
  • Deliverables:
    • Output template
    • Process for employees
    • Which are the best containers and where to put them
    • Communication strategy

3. Prepare your workshop’s content

3.1 Invites & communication

  • It will of course depends on the perimeter you have set for the participants : Green team only ; restricted ambassador-collleagues ; extended number of colleagues from your organisation ; external stakeholders (partners, suppliers, clients,…)
  • You can relay on local makesense volunteers through makesense hotspot
  • If you want to organise a public event, here are some tools to communicate and create a facebook event:

3.2 Methodology

It is recommended that you get help from someone else that will explain the rules & agenda, and help you facilitate the workshop.

  • Make sure you settle the right atmosphere during the workshop (creative, constructive…à by setting a few rules.
  • Example for a creative athmosphere: ideas must fit in a few words, people should rebound on each other’s ideas but not commenting or judging them, they should write and tell outloud their ideas one at a time.

3.3 Introduction

Thanks to the slide deck you did during previous steps you can make a 10-minute presentation about:

  • the vision,
  • the local context,
  • the typology of waste from the structure,
  • the players you can work with locally as well as inspirational examples,
  • the solutions you would like to implement
  • the challenge and output you expect from participants

3.4 Phase of discussion:  Divergence

It might be useful to unleash the creativity of your participant during a first round so that they can bring you fresh inspiration from other references and points of view. It must be quick hectic and prolific.Find questions that will help you find original ideas that will later on be consolidated into the template you provided.

3.5 Phase of discussion:  Convergence

At that point you will have to split the participants in smaller groups so that they can fill the templates you have created during the framing phase. You can prepare as many template as there are groups and thus tackle several challenges regarding different waste streams.

4. Lead / facilitate the workshop

4.1 Preparation

Supplies you will need:
❏ Post-its/eco-Post-its (backs of old receipts or cut-up pieces of scrap paper)
❏ Pens/pencils (feel free to borrow)
❏ Paperboard or use a white/blackboard if you have one

4.2 Prepare zero waste snacking

  • Crude vegetables
  • Jar of water (with lemon slices or mint leaves)
  • Anything you like (you can also ask participants to bring some)

4.3 Set up the space

Show up early to be calm and relaxed when others arrive! To set up, make sure you have one big table with chairs around it for everyone.

If you have desks, see if you can push them together to get a similar set-up.

Distribute stacks of Post-its/eco-Post-its + a pen or pencil around the table for each participant. On a whiteboard or perhaps a sheet of paper on the wall.

Write down:

  • The challenges, objectives, and constraints
  • The agenda
  • The output templates

4.4 Arrival and welcoming

People are arriving!! You’re excited and a little nervous at the same time … especially because you’re not sure how long it will be until the next person shows up! No worries, just follow these tips:

Whether your city has a major traffic problem or a flexible concept of time, sometimes there can be a sizable chunk of time between the arrival of participants. Sometimes there are just one or two people exactly on time and a potentially long waiting period for the others. Don’t let it be awkward!

Personally welcome each person who comes in. Ask them questions about themselves, invite them to sit down. Have a little activity or exercise for early arrivals like watching our YouTube playlist (link) or help to cut vegetables in sticks for the buffet.

4.4 Facilitate

Check this video to understand how to be a good facilitator:

You may follow this agenda:

  • Welcoming (20 min)
  • Icebreaker that matches your audience
  • Introduction
    • Agenda (2 min)
    • Findings (10 min)
    • Questions (10 min)
    • Rules (2 min)
  • Divergence (30 minutes)
  • Clustering in groups according to interest (5 minutes)
  • Convergence (45 minutes)
  • Pitch and feedback (40 minutes)

4.5 Capitalize

Take photos during the different phases of the workshop.

Production of content on templates :

  • During the convergence phase go from one group to another to make sure all participants are confortable participating, are not lost in endless conversation, and are filling up the output template you are expecting. Remind the small groups that one person will have to present the template for 5 minutes in front of the audience.
  • During the presentation the audience has to remain silent. Then they have 5 minutes to emphasize what they think is relevant as well as ideas to improve, and the team write down the remarks.

Thanks everyone before they leave, and gather the email of participants (if you didn’t know them before). 

Send a feedback email (here are a few tips:)

  • Thank them all for contributing
  • Present the solutions: you can prepare a synthetic report with photos of the solutions templates and links to videos of pitches
  • You could Invite them to join your “Green Team”
  • Invite them to subscribe to the newsletter if you have one
  • Share photos/videos of the workshop

You can also share photos, solutions, etc. in the hotspot group / event, and invite participants to do so.

5. Define your action plan

You can make a copy of the template below and adapt it to your specific needs:

  • Which actions?
  • Which deadlines?
  • Who will be in charge?
  • How is it going (to do / on track / done)?

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This article is part of our toolbox
“Tackling waste in tourism & events”

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Thanks to all our authors and co-authors, as well as our experts and proofreaders, who contributed to improve the content or our articles. Like the entire toolbox, this article has been created collaboratively with :