UK. The meetings industry’s guru on CSR, Guy Bigwood, gave 70 participants at the IAPCO General Assembly a hard hitting reflection on the state of the planet. Comparing the current financial crisis, and the drop in GDP, to the looming, if not already present, crisis on the environment, he brought home the ever-present message in a tangible if alarming way. Whilst the economy was dropping by around 2% in European countries pushing many countries into recession, there was always the positive view that in 2, 3 or 5 years, it will of course reverse itself and all will be “back to normal”.
Not so the environment: once gone, it is irreversible, and it is up to us now to grab sustainable practice with both hands, raise the bar and approach the future in a responsible way that becomes second nature. With between 80-86% (IMEX/EIBTM studies) believing that CSR is influential in event organisation, it is not only a moral obligation but also one of sensible business practice. We have to create a sustainable revolution, offset the environmental catastrophe and embrace the challenge.
Raise the bar, be effective, failure is not an option. IAPCO fully endorsed the message being presented to them. With a Code of Sustainable Practice already in place, workshops during the Annual Meeting resulted in a number of guidelines and checklists for members to work towards and maintain sustainability in the office and throughout their events. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent but the one most adaptable to change” (Charles Darwin). It is time to change current practices, it is time to Raise the Bar. www.iapco.org