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Sustaining Your Sustainability

The UK events industry needs to ‘drive a cultural change’ in order to implement a more sustainable approach; says delegates at the 2014 Sustainable Events Summit

Leading brands Innocent, Hewlett Packard and Nestle were amongst event professionals that met in London last month to discuss future changes and requirements needed to create a more sustainable industry. It was a great opportunity for event professionals to collaborate with each other, to share ideas on a range of sustainability initiatives and inspire an industry-wide change.

You may be thinking that these matters are not relevant to you. You may only hold a handful of events each year, but it’s these very events that together create a great industry. Together these ‘small’ events across a multitude of business groups that when assembled in a conscious way can create a very powerful effect. The Sustainable Events Summit exists to support a community which inspires the continuous development of a global sustainable event industry. The overwhelming feedback from this year’s event was that the UK needs to ‘drive a cultural change’ to implement a more sustainable approach. By the end of the event, almost 70% of delegates said sustainability was now non-negotiable in order to achieve a better business and more responsible events strategies.

Sustainability need not be an inconvenience and this is the message that needs to be highlighted for an industry-wide shift in events. Sustainability can be simple, effortless and believe it or not, extremely cost effective. Everything from materials to waste can be sustainable. At team building specialist Bluehat Group you can now tap into a completely business focused event that get colleagues engaging with each other while supporting worthwhile charities and having zero event waste on completion. The increasingly popular Charity Apprentice sends teams off around a city challenged at bargaining, negotiating and sweet-talking their way into gathering items for a charity of your choice, having to answer to Bluehat’s very own hard-nosed businessman ‘Sir Frank Sweet’. It’s a fantastic example of how an event can meet all objectives, be incredibly successful and sustainable without breaking the budget.

Fiona Pelham, co-founder of the summit, opened the event by reviewing the progress the events sector has made since last year’s summit, “The more we can all learn about the event industry’s impact, the more we can collaborate for the greater good,” she said, warning that the UK could fall behind unless a more joined-up approach is taken.

In our fast-paced world replete with overconsumption and environmental issues, consumers are attracted more than ever before to brands that make a conscious effort to engage with our society and environment in a positive way. Not only does it make environmental and financial sense to make your events sustainable, in an industry that is becoming ‘non-negotiable’ to event sustainability is it not better to become a leader in this sustainable revolution rather than be left behind?

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