Events industry needs sustainability focus, says MCI's Guy Bigwood

Following the Sustainable Brands conference in Copenhagen on Wednesday (9 February), Guy Bigwood, group sustainability director at MCI spoke to C&IT about the lack of awareness in the events industry.

MCI's Guy Bigwood
MCI's Guy Bigwood

Are event planners doing enough to communicate sustainability agendas through events?

The simple answer is no, they’re not. There are so many brands doing amazing things within sustainability, but that hasn’t been translated to meetings and events. There’s a huge missed opportunity, because people don’t understand the value of their own events to communicate, educate and inspire their staff.

What needs to change?

I think there is change coming in, but it’s happening at the bottom level. What we need is for event planners at the top to be infiltrating their organisation's sustainability strategies throughout the company. It needs to become one of their goals to make it tangible for the organisation, and for everyone to get involved.

How can we incorporate sustainability into events?

People who work outside the sustainability department just don’t have enough of an idea of what happens and how brands can remain sustainable. We need to make it easy for people, so it becomes second nature and they do it automatically. You need to look at both the sustainability of the event itself and how you use that to drive the focus throughout the business and educate staff. We’ve done more than 700 events about sustainability and it’s a key part of who we are. Every day we challenge our own staff and our clients to go further. Coming to Denmark is fantastic, because they really understand the importance of sustainability. 

More:

C&IT TV: Event planners talk sustainability at SES 2015

Agencies pledge support for Sustainable Events Summit 2015

IMEX America unveils new sustainability initiative 

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