Why ‘Green initiatives’ should remain high on corporates agendas for meetings and events

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Green initiatives remain a high agenda item for Clients as we start to look at the future of meetings and events. Kim Cavilla, Chief Operating Officer for Venues and Events International outlines the importance of being able to build sustainable initiatives into event programmes for their Clients.

In a world where sustainability is becoming increasingly more important – it’s imperative we are ahead of the game and leading by example.  Here at Venues and Events International, we are passionate about the future of our planet with many young families in our business and anything we can do to support sustainability is part of our objective. 

As part of our own sustainable development, we have engaged with Greengage Solutions who supportorganisations in taking the right decisions to create and implement a sustainable business travel and meetings approach.

I caught up with Andrew Perolls, CEO of Greengage to share his knowledge and expertise on the subject…

The importance of sustainability in events

Andrew Perolls, CEO of Greengage Solutions has been in the meetings and business travel industry for 20 years. As he saw the industry grow, he identified the importance in sustainability and for it to become a priority focus for businesses. For this to happen, Andrew detected that the industry was in need of support to implement measures to not only to help the planet, but for meetings and events agencies, and their clients.

Working closely with hotel and meeting venues, Greengage has set up an eco-friendly approach through their ECOsmart accreditation. In addition to this, they’ve been working with meeting and event partners, to support with advice and implement a more sustainable events approach.

Combating climate change

Climate change and sustainability is going to be high on corporate agendas as they start to develop their approach to business as we slowly start to come through Covid. With the Government’s sustainability and Brexit initiatives, it will provide opportunities that will help raise the game for us all.

A lot of companies are committing to zero-carbon emissions, and even in the last month, NHS, John Lewis, ITV, AstraZeneca and Google, are all announcing this is what they will do. They’ve all stated they will accomplish this between 2030 and 2050 – but achieving it is another matter.

Businesses will be looking at their supply chains and how they can improve their processes and approach so they can contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

How our industry can combat this change with green initiatives

Meetings and events are very visible, both internally and externally. A sign that companies are thinking about approaching sustainability is their approach in finding ways to source hotels or venues that have green credentials. They look to businesses such as Venues and Events International to achieve that and find new ways to make their events green.

If event management agencies are recommending business through greener events, they need to demonstrate that they’re practicing what they preach. That’s what Venues and Events International has set out to do as they work towards attaining the ECOsmart accreditation.

ECOsmart hotels and venues are a key component to making events green because it enables an events agency to help clients choose a property that has been accredited objectively.

How we’re implementing Green initiatives

We are looking at the detail of everything we do to make a difference and when we start traveling again this will be high on our agenda. Here are just some of the initiatives we’re putting in place for a more sustainable approach to business.

  • Offering employees 1 paid day a year to go work at a charity of their choice.
  • Using Ecosia as our default search engine – for every 45 searches we make, they plant a tree.
  • Use ‘green’ venues as a preferred option where possible.
  • Utilising the Government ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme.
  • Working with suppliers to only use single use plastics when they come to the office.
  • Formed a new Sustainable Committee who will meet monthly to discuss new and ongoing initiatives.
  • Created a sustainability mission statement.
  • Run regular awareness training sessions for employees throughout the year.

It’s about making the small differences and making those count.

To see how we’ve implemented sustainability within a Client event, check out this case study with Engie, where there mission is making zero carbon happen.

If you want to find out how to make future events sustainable, get in touch, and let us share our ideas with you.