While the organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games are promising us revolutionary games in terms of the environment with the promise of a carbon-neutral event and strict compliance with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, the event industry, which is becoming an issue for society, is starting to experience a small green revolution. The environment and events is definitely a mix that is part of the industry’s news.
What are we talking about?
When talking about “sustainable” events, it is essential to mention the ISO 20121 standard, better known as “Event management for sustainable development”. This ISO standard lays the foundations for the sustainability of an event and describes the specifications to be met to obtain it. Thus, it will not be enough to simply distribute “eco-cups” to the participants of your event, far from it: it is necessary to think about the organization before, during and after to reduce the impact on the environment.
Thus, one of the first things to do is to train your teams in responsible purchasing, teach them to select suppliers according to their environmental impact and make them aware that they should buy according to their needs and not overestimate them. Incorporate questions such as “How can we reduce our plastic consumption?”, “How can we encourage participants to respect waste sorting?” are all questions that your teams should be able to answer.
A second area that needs to be addressed is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. How can you contribute to reducing your CO2 emissions? By favouring virtual rather than real meetings with your providers when possible? Or by selecting a location with good public transport links? It is up to you to define and implement your strategy.
Finally, this standard not only rewards actions in favor of the environment but also insists on the importance of a benevolent management to contribute to the well-being of your employees. Give them flexibility, motivate them and reward them generously for their efforts because a motivated team is a productive team.
Why include a sustainable development dimension in your events?
An investment in sustainable development will only pay off in the long run. At first, the burdens will be heavy but the satisfaction you will get from it a few months later will be worth it.
First, you will make progress on a human level, realizing that you are meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the famous “Sustainable Development Goals” of the UN. From then on, you will attract compliments from your entire professional sphere.
For your company, your brand image will improve considerably. Few companies can boast of having the famous ISO 20121 certification, which could allow you to reach a clientele that really cares about these issues.
Finally, you will participate in raising awareness of ecological and human issues. Maybe some clients don’t know how to change their consumption habits: don’t worry, you will serve as an example and show the way.