Sustainability translates into efficiency and reputation
The most sustainable events are the most efficient and the most reputable, stimulating mindsets more focused on generations' needs.
Sustainability is a current trend and is at the top of the priorities of the most attentive organisations. Organising a sustainable event is not just a trend, since it has been proven that adopting more sustainable measures not only reduces the environmental impact, but also enhances satisfaction, safety and well-being of all stakeholders. In addition, sustainability is a facilitator for identifying opportunities for improvement. Reducing the waste of natural resources, materials used and fostering the loyalty of participants and spectators and consequently increasing their reputation, allows the attraction of greater investments and sponsorships. Four reasons for aiming at more sustainable events are listed:
Social benefits: If planned and implemented carefully, an event will provide benefits to the region, creating jobs, encouraging local investment, involving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and can promote better working conditions and social inclusion. An event can also act as a catalyst for encouraging sustainable practices for the region.
Positive Reputation: Promoting a socially and environmentally responsible event will increase the positive image of the event's brand. It will attract audiences increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability so that future generations can meet their own needs. Attracting more audience / participants to your event may bring new partners and new sponsorships. It will potentially attract and capture the most media attention, this being a fast and effective vehicle for both the event and more sustainable measures promotion.
Raising awareness and driving change: Events are excellent communication vehicles and are an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for more sustainable measures. Another advantage is that people involved in the event are in a favourable mood to assimilate the message. The sustainable practice will serve as inspiration for the use of more responsible actions, thus inducing the perception of its impact in relation to environmental and social aspects in their daily life. In addition, choosing more sustainable measures will promote the development of innovative technologies and techniques, leading to a more efficient use of resources and improved stakeholder experience.
Financial advantages: monitoring and reducing the consumption of water and energy resources, reducing waste production, choosing local products and services and risk management are some of the measures that could contribute to costs reduction. A closer look will allow identifying and evaluating risk situations, enabling them to be mitigated and translating into financial advantages. Investing resources (financial or human) in new services or new equipment, applying the sustainability principles, will certainly perceive immediate savings.
Organising a more sustainable event is an interactive and constant process throughout the life cycle of the event, from conceptualisation, planning, capture, implementation, monitoring and even closing. If you decide to integrate sustainability into your event, then make sure you do so in advance of the expected event date. Develop a consolidated and ambitious strategy, yet always aware of the limits of human, financial and time resources. If you can not implement one or another measure in this edition, do not worry, you will have the opportunity next time.
By Joana Arantes da Silva
SGS Portugal Product Coordinator
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