Can an organization bring positive change to the world through supplier engagement?
Any number of compelling examples exist. Wal-Mart, once vilified as a leech on local economies is now celebrated for effectively changing everything from supplier packaging to supplier commitment to green business practices. To support their own mission to reduce the impacts of meetings, the US Environmental Protection Agency spearheaded an effort to develop the APEX green meeting standards. Scandic Hotels, in a fruitless search to find in-room televisions that met their criteria for energy efficiency, collaborated with supplier Philips to create one that would.
Still, within the events industry, many event owners delay the development of their sustainable business plans by failing to leverage the support and talent of their suppliers. In an effort to identify a few fundamental actions event planners can take, we developed a short ‘webinar’ to provide some context and, thanks to EWEA and COP15, a few examples.
Please note that this presentation should, in no way, infer that the meetings industry lacks initiative from suppliers. In many cases, hotels, venues, caterers and others have fantastic services only to have planners select suppliers who show less engagement for projects.
If there’s one message to be taken away from exploring this topic, it’s the need for all organizations to collaborate. Only through collaboration can event owners, planners and suppliers accelerate the development of their sustainability initiatives and create innovations needed for the better world ahead.
Now, over to you. What are the supplier engagement methods and actions you see as most effective? What suppliers bring the best examples of support to sustainable events?