There’s a parallel, here, to recent thinking on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporting. In her just published article, Elaine Cohen recaps the recent Redefining Value: Integrated Reporting and Measuring Sustainability Conference which shares, among many great facts and figures, some insights for making sustainability reporting common practice.
Some argue that only government imposed regulation (‘eat it or else’) can inspire organizations to consistently share performance data publicly. Others want markets to lead this initiative, leaving individual business to define what and how they’ll report (‘only take what you want’). Which method produces a healthier business?
Like a kid who squirms and resists eating broccoli the first time, only to later discover that they like it, corporations who produce CSR reports for the first time experience a feeling of discovery, saying the process was beneficial to their business. Like eating your vegetables, the benefits of integrated sustainability reporting are real…and important.. and worth pursuing.
Is it unreasonable, then, that meeting planners might also experience a similar sense of enlightened discovery in pursuing sustainable event reporting? And experience the improved stakeholder trust and improvement in business practice which inevitably follows thoughtful reporting?
Can this practice fuel a movement to integrate sustainability into the very design of the event itself (rather than having sustainability be seen as a complicated afterthought)? And bring needed improvements to an industry which struggles with uniform application of sustainable business practice?
Will the meetings industry eat its vegetables?