Over the last ten years sustainability has become increasingly important to the event industry, yet confusion still exists on exactly what it means and how to implement it.
I want to share five grassroots initiatives, led by Positive Impact, which are transforming sustainability from being a purely academic term to one that can inspire action. By ‘grassroots’ I mean initiatives that are being created by the global event industry. If sustainability is of interest to you these are the initiatives you should get involved in because they will give you the chance to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact.
1. Share a Positive Impact
Share a Positive Impact was launched globally last month and combines the values of Pinterest and Facebook for those interested in initiatives in the event industry. With a target of generating 16,000 collaborators in its first year, it could be the ideal way for you to learn what is happening around the world and what your event attendees want to see. www.shareapositiveimpact.com
2. Become an Ambassador
The ambassador scheme at Positive Impact is a great example of our innovative and inclusive approach. If you have a passion for sustainability, sign up to be an ambassador and take the online leadership course. You will then receive content and invitations to take part in global opportunities to champion sustainability. www.positiveimpactevents.com/pages/ambassadors
3. Join a Group
Positive Impact Groups were established to gather people from sport, business and cultural events to decide what support they needed to create a sustainable event industry. In 2014 there are plans for Positive Impact groups to launch in three different countries so global collaboration can progress towards a truly sustainable event industry. www.positiveimpactevents.com/pages/groups
4. Follow the 10 Guiding Principles
As we learn more about our impacts we are likely to see an increase in targets set to manage our behaviour. WWF and Bioregional have made an effort to identify 10 guiding principles: One Planet Living. http://positiveimpactevents.com/pages/one-planet-living-10-guiding-principles-envisioned-by-bioregional-in-partnership-with-wwf
5. Get educated!
Education is vital in our ongoing journey to creating a sustainable event industry. Positive Impact provides a number of online courses, easy to read guides, and monthly e-mentoring subscriptions where you can ask questions and be updated on the latest trends. Resources are created according to community demand so get involved and ask us what you need! www.positiveimpactevents.com/collections/online-courses
As our industry’s understanding of sustainability increases so will our ability to collaborate to generate real change. Positive Impact works to collaborate with industry associations to make this change as easy and impactful as possible for every member of the event industry. In the last few years the number of our collaborative partners and community members has greatly increased. This can only mean that the grassroots demand for change is growing.
Whether you think sustainability is an academic term or a call to practical action – it is definitely the chance for YOU to make a difference.
Fiona is MD of Positive Impact, a not-for-profit that exists to create a sustainable event industry. She launched the organisation in 2005 to provide education and collaboration opportunities in order to realise this ambition. Fiona is also managing director of Sustainable Events Ltd, as well as voluntary chair of ISO 20121, a management system for event sustainability inspired by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.