Why Sustainable Events are More Important than Ever (Plus 5 Ways to Plan Greener)

October 17, 2019

The focus on sustainability in the world of corporate events will only continue to increase, according to CWT Meetings & Events. In the new M&E Future Trends Report bonus feature, The Future of Sustainable Events, CWT provides insights into the state of the industry and offers tips on how organizations can embed responsible business practices into meetings and events.
 
“Having a responsible business approach and company culture is ever more important as employees and consumers want to be associated with a brand that reflects their values,” said Ian Cummings, vice president EMEA, CWT Meetings & Events. “Meetings and events are a great way to articulate that as they can have a very strong influence and social impact on a destination and local communities.”
 
According to the Future Trends Report, the global meetings and events industry is estimated at $840 billion — and is growing at a steady 8 percent. Between 25 and 30 percent of marketing budgets are spent on live events each year. That provides a significant opportunity for responsible businesses to work towards more sustainable events.
 
InfographicWith environmental activism on the rise, and protests being held in many common meeting destinations, it’s impossible to ignore the issues. Initiatives such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are also raising awareness. The 17 goals are a call to action to work together to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. With a deadline of 2030, there is just a decade left to meet these goals.
 
Companies are employing various initiatives, including offsetting air miles with carbon, eliminating plastic waste, opting for locally-sourced and produced food and drinks, and choosing ethical suppliers. But is that enough?
 
“The sustainability of the meetings and events industry, in fact of the entire travel industry, is at the forefront of companies’ and planners’ minds in 2020,” said Derek Sharp, senior vice president and managing director, CWT Meetings & Events. “It’s driven by news coverage of climate change but, more importantly, it’s supported by the next generation of travelers – the millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travelers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them.
 
Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 has found that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation, and that if their work environment (or, by extension, the events they attend) doesn’t match their beliefs they will find one that does.
 
“These are people for whom travel has become commonplace and accessible in a way that it wasn’t for older generations,” said Sharp. “They want to continue meeting in popular destinations, but they are also hyper aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment and local communities wherever they go.” 
 
This infographic from CWT offers five tips to help you keep sustainability in mind as you plan your next event.
 

 
To get a copy of the full CWT M&E Future Trends Report with The Future of Sustainable Events bonus feature, go here.

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Partner Voices
  MGM Resorts is renowned for its exceptional service and diverse venue options across Las Vegas, Detroit, Springfield, National Harbor, Biloxi, and Atlantic City, providing flexible spaces for meetings of any size. Beyond these offerings, MGM Resorts distinguishes itself through a strong commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, making it an ideal choice for your next meeting.  At the core of MGM Resorts' company values is its platform, "Focused on What Matters," dedicated to meeting customer needs while advancing socially responsible practices. This commitment is evident in several key areas:  Protecting Natural Resources  MGM Resorts is home to industry-leading recycling, renewable electricity and water conservation programs. Some highlights include a cogeneration power plant at ARIA, producing ultra-efficient electricity; one of America’s largest contiguous rooftop solar arrays atop the convention center at Mandalay Bay; and onsite wells that provide water for the celebrated Fountains of Bellagio, avoiding reliance on precious Colorado River water. These efforts and many more save on natural resources while boosting attendee satisfaction.  Committed to Community  Always striving to be good neighbors, MGM Resorts works to avoid food waste and combat food insecurity with the Feeding Forward program. In partnership with local food banks, they safely divert unserved food to food insecure members of the community. Since 2016, over 5 million meals have been provided, highlighting MGM Resorts' commitment to minimizing food waste and addressing community needs.  MGM Resorts supports clients in their responsible-meetings efforts, not only with efficient venues but also waste-reducing décor and signage; sustainable food and beverage options; and outreach to help planners communicate sustainability efforts to attendees. What’s more, they offer a Mindful Meetings series that puts attendee wellness first—through fitness and mindfulness activities, and in give-back events with local charity organizations.   Fostering Diversity & Inclusion  To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.  MGM Resorts offers unparalleled service and venue options while standing out for its proactive approach to sustainability and community engagement. Choosing MGM Resorts for your next meeting means aligning with a company that values social responsibility, efficiency, and attendee satisfaction, ensuring a meaningful and impactful event experience.