September 2015 marked an important development in the international community: the end of the Millennium Development Goals and the start of a new era with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are known for having a more comprehensive set of development priorities, aspirations and targets than their earlier counterpart, aiming at being achieved by 2030.
It is truly remarkable how the SDGs and the concept of sustainability have gained so much traction across sectors at all levels, as they present a fertile ground for innovation and new business opportunities. Always looking to the future, we started our sustainability journey 10 years ago. With each passing day we align our People, Planet and Profit strategy with these 17 goals and turn to them for inspiration on how we could keep improving what we do, always aiming at upgrading the standard practices of the events industry. Helping shape tomorrow’s business and social opportunities for the entire industry is one of our key goals for the years to come.
Event management companies, with a wide array of business solutions, tend to work on the regular with governments, civil society and other businesses. In our case, we use our work to communicate and promote key sustainable event practices used to our clients for further supporting them in achieving these goals. As a first step, we have identified nine goals used frequently in our business, which can be adapted to positively influence their standard policies and daily operations:
Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being: By inspiring talents and clients to live a more sustainable and healthier life at work and when attending events.
Goal 5 – Gender Equality: By treating this as a priority in our operations and by balancing the gender of speakers on the conference panels.
Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth: By always pushing for better work conditions & good ethics throughout the supply chain.
Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: By promoting innovation that aims at reducing environmental footprints and increasing social impact.
Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities: By taking the lead to challenge and support cities & governments to make their infrastructures and services more sustainable for the events they host. More information about this here.
Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production: By continuing to use sustainable materials, recycle waste, renewable energy, local and organic food while reducing unnecessary consumption of resources on our events.
Goal 13 – Climate Action: By continuing to inspire our offices and events to use renewable energy, reduce energy usage, and offset their unavoidable impacts.
Goal 14 – Life below Water: By increasingly encouraging and supporting our suppliers to source the seafood and fish for our events from responsible sources.
Goal 15 – Life on Land: By working on ensuring that the signage, stage materials and branding that we use in our events comes from more sustainable sources.
However, to be able to do all of this we would need, as Elvis Presley used to say: “A little less conversation, a little more action please.”