Sustainable Events Summit: Eight sustainability trends

Fiona Pelham of Positive Impact led an interactive session at the Sustainable Events Summit (SES) in London yesterday (6 July), which looked at key trends in sustainability.

Positive Impact's Fiona Pelham leads a session on education and sustainability
Positive Impact's Fiona Pelham leads a session on education and sustainability

To begin, she displayed a slide which included the following call to action: "You are the trend. You have the education." 

1. Future generations expect sustainability

Solution: Become a Positive Impact ambassador and in turn a sustainability ambassador. Promote sustainable practices to your colleagues and attend events to educate others. 

2. An event impact goes beyond networking and education

Solution: Share your sustainable work on social media. 

3. Waste is a resource

Solution: Measure what you are doing. Pelham noted: "Most people in the events industry are not measuring right now", and that "the more that you measure, the better the position you are going to be in." 

4. The expectation for transparency

Solution: She explained ISO 20121 gives delegates the framework to make sure they are implementing sustainability.

5. Risk management

Solution: Positive Impact has recently introduced a newsletter complete with the latest information about topics such as risk management and sustainability.

Pelham noted: "It is a massive risk if we don't bring sustainability into our events."

6. Immediate legacy

Solution: "If you’re involved with bidding for events, start thinking about immediate legacy," said Pelham.

She noted there are a wealth of resources on the Positive Impact website that can help delegates understand what their legacy could be.

7. Health and wellbeing of attendees

Solution: Feeding attendees the right things to get them through the day is paramount, explained Pelham.

She advised companies take part in the annual #CSRshareDay, which takes place in January.

8. What people expect from events

"This has shifted massively. People are seeing sustainability more in their personal lives, so they are really expecting it at events," Pelham said.

Solution: She advised delegates refer to the government’s 2020 Vision, which looks at ways in which the UK can become more sustainable throughout this decade.

Pelham also asked delegates to discuss the following questions in groups:  

  • What is the last thing someone said to you about sustainability?
  • What was the last thing you wished you knew about sustainability?
  • What is the education you would like so you can be a leader in sustainability? 

More: Sustainable Events Summit: Live blog - as it happens

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