The pledge, created by Postive Impact Events, which organised the event with Smyle, asks event professionals to commit to specific actions to make their business more sustainable.
Topics at the summit ranged from MP Nick de Bois discussing Olympic legacy for sustainability, to detailed case studies from speakers like Gallowglass's Kirsten Henson, who told a breakout session about the supplier’s use of precycling – determining how a resource would be recycled before even using it.
Mike Kershaw, chaiman of the Concerto Group, and Richard Groves of Create, spoke about developing their policy through working with events like the Prince of Wales’s Business In The Community initiative.
Speakers throughout the day stressed the need for those interested in sustainability to act as a ambassadors for the wider industry. A survey, taken via iPods from Crystal Interactive, found that 55% of the audience was already implementing a strategy for sustainability.
At a panel session on ‘Who should be the leader?’, representatives from brands including BSkyB and Coca-Cola concluded that clients, agencies and suppliers had equal responsibility for enforcing sustainability.
David Stubbs, former head of sustainability for London 2012, told the audience: "It’s not a question of waiting for some leadership to spring out of the ether and take the industry to higher standards. You’ve all got to be part of this. The survey shows that most people in the room are very positive, so we have a room full of ambassadors.
"Today I’ve sensed that it’s hard to define what the industry is. Sport, music festivals, trade fairs and conferences are all very different worlds, but there’s a lot of commonality around the issues. Whatever sector you’re in, everyone must do their bit. That sort of incremental effort will reach a critical mass and we will see this spread out far and wide."
Delegates also discussed sustainability initiatives abroad, and Stubbs warned that the UK would need to keep up with international developments. "You will see overseas competitors taking us on," he said. "I know from the way that future cities are bidding for the Olympics and other major events that the standard is going to be picked up. It’s an area of opportunity, so why doesn’t the UK take it?"
Were you at the summit? Has it moved sustainability issues forward? Comment below and let us know what you think.
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