Pelham, who is also managing director of Sustainable Events and Organise This, has been awarded the degree for her contribution to industry, commerce and to public voluntary service.
During her career, Pelham has been chair of ISO 20121, technical advisor for the environment for the England 2018 World Cup Bid and chair elect for Meeting Professionals International. She has been recognised as one of the most influential women in the events industry, in particular as a voice for sustainability.
The degree is an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration, awarded by the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality and School of Sport.
Pelham said: "I’m incredibly honoured to be receiving this award from this University. I’ve worked in sustainability within the events industry for almost ten years now and this recognition is really showing the importance of sustainability and that is no longer a side subject, but is now something that is integral to the events industry.
"My advice to graduating students is to really create your own career. When I graduated in 1999 this was not a clear career path for me and I was told many times that working in sustainability couldn’t be more than a hobby.
"It’s now an amazing career for me and I would really urge all the graduates to go after what they are passionate about and create their career around their passions and make a difference in the world. We have all got the leadership ability to be able to do that."
In July 2015, Pelham will become global chair for Meeting Professionals International, the largest meeting industry association with international membership of approximately 20,000 and she will be the first British person to hold that role.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "A respected businesswoman, Fiona is instrumental in implementing best environmental practice and is a key voice in the sustainable events industry.
"Here at our University we pride ourselves in inculcating digital literacy, a global outlook and an entrepreneurial spirit in all of our graduates, and as a leader in her industry, Fiona is living proof that these attributes can equate to great ambition and success."