CIM 2019/6 Industry

Five questions for Fiona Pelham

// Katrin Schmitt

Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events. (Photo: Positive Impact Events)

CIM: Is the industry aware of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) signed by 193 World Leaders at the UN in 2015?
Fiona Pelham: They are definitely becoming more aware! Over 40 per cent of the event professionals who took our survey in August, to make a commitment to act on the sustainable development goals, said they knew about the SDGs.

What do you do to raise awareness for them?
Positive Impact has Memorandums of Understanding with UN Bodies. We provide opportunities to engage with the SDGs, including: 1 a survey which gathers commitments for action:; 2 we submitted an acceleration action to UN SDG Action to demonstrate how events could be used to achieve the SDGs; 3 we empower our over 400 global ambassadors to create a sustainable event industry.

How can planners and suppliers support you/the environment?
By being creative, courageous and willing to try something different to be sustainable. In practical terms: completing the survey and joining our global ambassador community will help us reach the 100,000 commitments to action we want to share at the UN SDG Summit in September 2020.

You attended the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2019 to present the commitments of the meetings industry as an “SDG Acceleration Action” for Goal 4. Why this one?
Target 4.7 talks about ‘learners’ acquiring knowledge and skills to live sustainably. The event industry is vital for every SDG to be achieved because we bring people together to collaborate and innovate.

What is the outcome so far?
In addition to over 7,000 commitments to action being gathered from 58 countries and the creation of a UN SDG Action associated survey available for event professionals, we have also succeeded in raising the profile of the event industry within the UN.

Many thanks, for the interview, Ms. Pelham!