MPI and Leeds Met launch CSR study for events industry

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has commissioned Leeds Metropolitan University to manage a three-year research project into the value of CSR to the meetings and events industry.

Sustainability in events: MPI chooses Leeds Met Uni for research
Sustainability in events: MPI chooses Leeds Met Uni for research

A team of eight researchers from the university is leading the research, which will incorporate telephone interviews with 100 agency and corporate event planners in September.

The interviews will be followed in October/November with a two-week online survey being targeted at 37,000 events professionals from MPI’s global community.

The research is being carried out by academics from Leeds Met’s UK Centre for Events Management, International Centre for Responsible Tourism and the Centre for Hospitality.

Project leaders

Leeds Met’s UK Centre for Events Management principal lecturer Jackie Mulligan and International Centre for Responsible Tourism co-director Xavier Font are leading the project.

Font told C&IT that he thinks the "business to business market is ahead of the leisure or business traveller in terms of making [CSR] a requirement to trade".

"In a few years we think it will be a standard need to demonstrate CSR credentials to be in the industry," he added.

Winners and losers

"That will have winners and losers. We need to find a consensus and how we can get SMEs to be competitive as the barriers to entry, such as the cost to achieve BS8901, are high."

The launch of the research is part of a focus on CSR by MPI, being funded by a $500,000 (£315,298) investment in the MPI Foundation from Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Goals

MPI chief development officer Didier Scaillet said: "Our goal is that this research initiative will provide our members and our professional colleagues around the world additional information and tools in practice, reporting and professional development."

Findings will be published in a range of languages throughout the course of the three-year research, added Font.

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