Political statements are not just necessary to ensure that we live in a beautiful, clean and healthy environment. Man has always set the bar high in this regard and will continue to do so. If in the past we were just doing this on our own, now we are starting to transition to collective thinking. This planet is our household, so even when we travel, we are at home. In our industry, there are clear shifts taking place. The word “obvious” is no longer in vogue here, but the word “challenge” is more and more. As in many industries, the so-called “first movers” − those who go beyond expectations − are the ones who get rewarded by clients and investors. It strengthens a brand or the positive image of an event or congress.
Event or conference organisers have an overfilled profession anyway. An extra “burden” by paying attention to food origin, grouped travel options, the type of fuel used, and so on. Therefore, it is appropriate to do what is possible, adding a layer each and every year. There’s no point in putting in a lot of effort if you can’t figure out your plans, so make sure you decide what you’re going to measure before you even start. This can range from the percentage of waste that can be avoided − or recycled − to the amount and type of diesel you use. This extra “burden” can be reduced by delegating tasks to your project team, but handing them over to contractors can free up time across your organisation. The best moment to get a contractor’s input is when they are bidding on the job, so make sure your environmental impacts are an important part of the selection.
Don’t forget to include clauses in your contract that require caterers to serve their F&B in recyclable tableware. The trash can at a trade show or conference can also indicate to attendees whether or not there is a concern about what we’ve left behind. Make waste separation at these places a clear and simple story and check with your contractor about what happens to your waste and whether it will be recycled. Reflect on what kind of transport and sharing possibilities exist before, during and after a conference. For your catering, make sure all your contractors use the local food providers you’ve instructed them to use. You can even introduce participants to producers that offer sustainable products. This can be so fascinating and educational with the potential to make everyone’s experience unique and, above all, fun!
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.