C&IT CSR Challenge team unveils 14-point plan

The C&IT CSR Challenge team has returned from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal region with a 14-point plan for CSR best practice among event agencies. Last week’s initiative saw C&IT take representatives from nine agencies to Mziki village for a three-day build project. At its conclusion, the team members swapped CSR policy ideas at a summit chaired by C&IT editor Yasmin Razak, with a view to incorporating them into their own working practices and to provide a framework for other agencies. The recommendations, listed below, range from education to metrics and logistics. “The overriding theme during the summit was a need for education and the need for organizations within the C&I industry to pool their information,” said Razak. “Consequently, we are delighted with the willingness shown by the agencies to share their examples of best practice on the CSR agenda.” Full details of C&IT CSR Challenge, including recommendations from the summit will be published online on C&IT’s CSR microsite (www.citmagazine.co.uk/csr.cfm) in October. C&IT CSR Challenge team recommendations: 1. Understand that even small actions can have a big effect – therefore start making changes, however minor, today 2. Create a culture of sustainability within your organisation – educate all staff via internal seminars 3. Share your ideas openly between agencies, clients and suppliers 4. Do not use CSR for competitive advantage – the industry needs to work towards a common goal 5. Do thorough research among staff, clients and suppliers before creating a CSR policy – learn from others 6. Use the tools that already exist such as BS8901 – don’t reinvent the wheel 7. Don’t be overwhelmed by the enormity of the project – be progressive, start with small steps to work towards an end result 8. Prioritise internal CSR and environmental policies – get your house in order before transferring CSR policies to client events 9. Use existing Government agencies, such as Envirowise. There is a wealth of free information from these organisations 10. Think about delegate presents – use recyclable products and/or locally sourced gifts 11. Understand the value of tourism – CSR is as much about supporting communities as focusing on issues such as air travel 12. Pressure your suppliers and clients – agencies are the conduits of change and can propose CSR-based itineraries to clients and requests to suppliers 13. Take pride in our industry’s stance and willingness to support CSR initiatives 14. Measure what you do. Measuring avoids ‘greenwash’ and you can set benchmarks and seek accreditation

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