are we just talking, or are we already taking action? Today’s event attendees with their fresh awareness of new formats and sustainability are often amazed at the Powerpoint deluge, disposable carpets and plastic badges. What does it take to get people to commit to and take action? Emotional, Greta-style appeals or sober stocktaking? It’s a fact that, as a truly diverse industry, we bring people together and enable change. And it’s another fact that we must also change if we want to lead the way in climate protection and a comprehensive sustainability strategy, with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) anchored in our hearts.
The industry must make its position clear. We need unequivocal, sustainable commitments all stakeholders will embrace. Of course, we cannot build clean aircraft engines, but we can raise awareness for sustainability among service providers, clients and participants and make demand for it grow. This can only be achieved by embracing our social and ecological responsibility as a matter of the utmost importance and a lived focus. Only then will we be authentic, engaged and respected as a global industry.
Fiona Pelham shows no lesser than the United Nations that events are essential for achieving the SDGs. To this end, her Positive Impact Events team is collecting 100,000 commitments to action on events.myworld2030.org to present to the UN Sustainability Summit in autumn 2020. She has started a community with now over 400 sustainability ambassadors to help position the industry (p. 15 and 82).
Act now! Both initiatives specifically need your support. Not convinced? Then let us make it plain: Are you aware that each conference generates 176.7 kilos of carbon emissions per guest per day or that, at a conventionally planned event, 30 kilos of food goes to waste per 100 guests? Find out more from page 16. We wish you a sustainable read!
Best regards, Johann Müdicken and Katrin Schmitt