The Debate is arising – Who Changes Change?
1st March 2016
Advancing the green events conversation
In fact, the presence of a sustainable policies and ideas is arguably what elevates green events from a developing experience trend to a planning strategy with set end results. The more both companies, employees and consumers are educated the more knowledge we have as people to progress. So the big question arises, who is it that kick starts identifying present practices of competitors, desired developments and customer’s values?!
Educating people can have considerable impact
- If every event embedded a carbon offset fee into registration, the meetings industry could collectively contribute over 3 billion pounds to investments in cleaner, renewable energy solutions
- Choosing chicken over beef on a delegate menu for a 2,650 person banquet saves enough water to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool
- If every meeting reused one banner, it would keep enough vinyl from landfill to cover 760 American football fields
Could it be the consumers?
Individuals already significantly committed to sustainable behaviour often use events as a source of encouragement and leverage for their lifestyle choices. This may be, as an example, apparent when choosing a sustainable venue. Many individual consumers encouraging sustainable development are therefore becoming the driving force to events and event companies having to alter corporate strategy.
Firstly and fundamentally this is to ensure they have a competitive advantage, therefor being financially sustainable. And secondly thinking of events and its impact on business and the world we live in, therefor being environmentally sustainable.
This idea of sustainable partnerships between individuals and events brings together in today’s most cutting edge technologies and methods for creating fast-paced world of global business, success is marked by the ability to stay on top of sustainable developments and to recognize new trends therefore delivering what the customer expects.
For instance clearly were all a fan of efficient travel, right? Of course we are, however there’s plenty of insight for event planners to take from this too as travel of attendees for instance on average represents 73% of the event’s total carbon footprint. For one car sharing costs significantly less – than not car sharing, but what if the planners or venues had offered discounted rates for delegates who do car share? Or will incentives such as this only come into play when consumers have demanded it?
Should it be the corporate companies?
Embedding sustainability into the core of business enables the company to create more value across various capitals, although it is still considered globally as being a risk as well as a great opportunity. Many business who follow Total Quality Management systems will see that this is where TQM and sustainability meet. And often when sustainability practises are considered within a company it is incorporated and integrated deeper as more of a business culture and could in the future revolutionise the way we do business.
Recent findings are a reminder of how corporate companies influence our environment with 90 companies, reported to have between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated.
When you think about it although many companies like to consider their corporate social responsibility as a way of being a “responsible business” it completely eliminates the aspect of internal responsibility and the effects this has. Whereas a company many source sustainable venues or initiatives, is the internal functions of that same business contradicting itself? Or is it that many managers have good intentions when it comes to improving the environmental impact of their businesses, but not enough who think climate change is an actual threat to their businesses yet?
The trick, and the one thing that is going to set companies and employees apart moving forward, is the ability balance sustainability and profitability both in house and externally. At the moment, around half of a global market consider environmental factors such as climate change as an issue, but this is not enough to really facilitate the changes that need to be made to improve the environmental impact of the business and industrial sectors. So will it have to be a competitive move to consider sustainable practises for businesses in years to come? Or may it be that it only comes into place internally when external events and venues demand it?
So is it business or consumers that best affect change?
Due to the influence of global government initiatives, in particular sustainability standards, it helps increases business’ thinking around their corporate social responsibility and surely this can only be a good thing?
Although while these strategies are determined, less thought is put into the actual implementation and new insights concerning how this can be put firmly into place may still need to be bridged.
So onto consumers, their impact on starting the ball rolling could be considered more influential. As consumers demand for more sustainable events and venues to fit in line with their company’s ethics, to secure business events and venues would have to become more in line with consumer’s way of thinking, suggesting that do consumers currently have more power than they may think?
Do YOU agree?
Could YOU be the consumer to change events forever?