Sustainability and environmental issues like climate change have risen to the forefront of challenges faced by the global economy in recent years. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now an integral part of a company’s identity.
What’s more, relationships with stakeholders and the public are infused with ethical principles based around the well-being, economic development, and the environment. But why has sustainable development become so important?
Sustainability – the need of the hour
Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have consumed vast amounts of natural resources. As demand grew and businesses aimed to accelerate the production of goods, this led to a detrimental impact on the environment.
What were seemingly insignificant issues snowballed into insurmountable problems that could only be overcome with decisive steps and raising awareness. ‘Sustainability,’ ‘ethical behaviour’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ became key buzzwords.
In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development developed 17 goals called the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) building on the Millennium Development Goals that reportedly reduced global poverty successfully. These goals came into effect in January 2016 and will steer the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) policy and funding until 2030.
Creating a sustainable event industry
As event organisers with a committed sense of responsibility, the onus is upon us to ensure there is minimal wastage and maximum use of recyclable products at our events. In this regard, Positive Impact, a not-for-profit firm, has collaborated with the UN and major event industry players like Cvent to facilitate global conversations to develop an ‘Acceleration Action’ or ‘Acceleration Commitment’ plan based around the SDGs in order to create a sustainable event industry.
Some of these discussions that aim to make events more sustainable revolve around:
- Traveling less – using more technology for meetings
- Using recyclable products – reducing landfill waste
- Addressing the role of plastic – bringing your own water bottles, using dissolvable lanyards