Make your Event more Environmentally Sustainable and ESG Compliant
Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The world is transitioning to a zero-carbon economy. Changes in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are occurring at an unstoppable pace. Climate change, demographic evolution, and the technological revolution are transforming our world as we know it.
The significant impact of climate change has generated an urgent need to create products and services that encompass sustainability, the circular economy and international regulatory implications.
Taking time and effort to make your event more sustainable through your sustainable products helps the planet, albeit in a small way, and also boosts your reputation as a company and with your event attendees.
Sustainable events aim to minimize or prevent environmental impact on the planet. Referred to as event greening, a sustainable event should be planned to consciously reduce waste energy and carbon that the event would normally create.
Our businesses are deeply intertwined with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, and it makes sense that a strong ESG factor can create value for your events, ruing the fact that being ESG compliant is very important for events nowadays.
So what is ESG Compliant?
Broadly, the term ESG refers to the examination of a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices, their impacts, and the company’s progress against benchmarks.
As the world takes steps towards building a climate-safe, deforestation-free, water-secure future, ambitious corporate action is more crucial than ever. We have explained the meaning of ESG briefly here.
Environmental – has to do with an organization’s impact on the planet, for example, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, deforestation, climate change, etc.
Social – this has to do with the impact an organization has on people, including staff and customers and the community, for example, community relations, customer and employee relations, occupational health and safety etc
Governance – this has to do with how an organization is governed, like diversity, equity and inclusion, compliances, fraud, data hygiene, etc.
According to the United Nations, a sustainable event is one designed and organized to meet two objectives: to minimize all potential negative impacts on the environment and leave a beneficial legacy for the host community and others involved. One of the best ways to prove commitment to ESG is to become certified.
Here are a few organizations and certifications available for event planners and event management software providers to become ESG Compliant.
EcoVadis is the world’s most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. It provides holistic sustainability rating service for companies, delivered via a global cloud-based SaaS platform. The EcoVadis Rating covers a broad range of non-financial management systems including Environmental, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement impacts. Global supply chains, financial institutions, and public organizations rely on EcoVadis to monitor and improve the sustainability performance of their businesses and trading partners.
Over a thousand organizations worldwide are leading the zero-carbon transformation by setting emissions reduction targets grounded in climate science through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Also, companies involved with SBTi believe that having successful business operations goes hand in hand with creating a sustainable climate secure world.
CDP, formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project, is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts, in terms of climate change, water security, and deforestation. CDP’s goal is to make environmental reporting and risk management a business norm that drives disclosures, insights, and action toward a sustainable economy.
ISB & ISF
The ISF and ISB credentials are one of the most desired and respected global certifications for those seeking to demonstrate their commitment to competent and ethical ESG practices. They symbolize excellence and utmost professionalism in the ESG and Sustainability profession the world over. These designations instantly position you as an expert in the field of ESG and Sustainability.
Sustainable Event Professional Certificate through the Events Industry Council
The SEPC program is for those event professionals interested in accelerating sustainability and social impact in their organizations and global business events. The program provides guidance that will be valuable for reaffirming our industry’s commitment to a recovery that is resilient, sustainable, and equitable.
Sustainable Meeting Planners Programme through the SMPP
The Sustainable Meeting Planning Program® (SMPP®) is an online system for Sustainable Meeting/Event Management; it is the only system available online with ISO 20121 certification. SMPP® also meets all APEX/ASTM planner standards for sustainable meetings, events, trade shows, and conferences.
Positive Impact Ambassador through the Positive Impact Events
In response to growing awareness for credible sustainable action, Positive Impact Events have launched a pledge which will support event management students and graduates around the world to advance the creation of a sustainable event sector.
SEA Accredited Professional through the Sustainable Event Alliance
Events professionals working in general roles in the industry become accredited Event Sustainability Practitioners. Or if you’re already a specialist, get peer-reviewed and accredited as an Event Sustainability Specialist.
SEPC: Sustainable event professional
The SEPC program presented by EIC is a new effort to help event professionals increase the sustainability and positive social impact of their events.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals has set out some 17 broad objectives for companies to achieve. They range from responsible consumption and production to climate action and gender equality. These goals provide a foundation for companies to shape and prioritize their business strategy and reporting.
Here are a few examples of how ESG Strategies can help the environment in the world of event management – be it conferences, sports, trade shows, seminars, exhibitions, etc.
- Always aim for an eco-friendly venue with LED lighting and try to use renewable energy in the form of wind or solar energy for lighting.
- Actively promote green travel options to your attendees, such as carpools, usage of public transport, and foot or bicycle for local venues.
- Food waste can be minimized through the usage and procurement of organic and seasonal food produce.
- Use pre-printed badges and try to use paperless communication and provide labelled trash bins at the venue.
The role of organizations has changed in the face of environmental urgency. The impact must be real and hardcore and just having a purpose is no longer enough. The effects of climate change are real, and organizations must activate their purpose in a credible way to generate a measurable impact to have a sustainable world.