I’m sorry to admit it – but I am getting rather fed up with all the excuses.
Too often I hear event venues, hotels, agencies, and clients rattle off “justifications” for not implementing sustainability into their events and services. “It’s too difficult; it’s too expensive; it takes too much time. My clients are not interested!”
After 12 years working at making events more sustainable I can say that all these excuses are unfounded at best, and normally totally incorrect. Implementing sustainability into your event – if done right – improves your event’s performance on all fronts. Sustainability drives engagement of your audiences, improves relationships with your suppliers, builds your brand, motivates your staff and saves money.
Yes, I recognize that my tone in this post is a little more pointed that normal, but it’s because many don’t seem to see (or want to see) the evidence all around us – sustainable event’s make sense. Allow me to demonstrate:
Danish Maritime Forum
Over the last two years, we have been working with the Danish Maritime Forum to improve the sustainabilityperformance of their event, which brings government and business leaders together to unleash the full potential of the global maritime industry. The Forum is a small event of 200 people, so it does not have a huge budget. The Forum is organised by a small team, so they have a limited amount of time to spare for sustainability. The Forum is a cross-sectoral, international event, which is complex enough even without adding a sustainability component. But you know what? The Forum still committed towards more sustainable practices because of the value it’s organizers knew it would bring.
- 80% of the waste was recycled, reused or donated.
- 60% of all food was locally sourced from within 160km
- 35% of food was organic.
- 1,600 children in Denmark were engaged in an outreach event educating them about the importance of the world’s oceans
But perhaps most important for many of you, the sustainability program produced over €26,000 of tracked savings – a significant amount on a event of this size.
My point is this: events of all sizes (and budgets!) can be made more sustainable if you bring your team and suppliers together to .
In the words of Michael Søsted, Head of the DMF Secretariat and responsible for the event:
“Sustainability is good business. Its helping us to improve our environment, social responsibility and economic impacts. Contributing to sustainable development makes sense “
So – dear event industry – please stop making excuses. Or as we say in this blog – Less Conversation More Action Please.