Go ‘deep green’ with a holistic view on your operations and what this means to event buyers.
The start of spring is on the horizon with fresh growth on the trees, fields across the country showing the first signs of life and spring greens on menus too. The term ‘green’ is increasingly used in the events industry as planners show a conscientious outlook towards the sustainability of their live events.
Corporates are becoming swayed by working with a supply chain that has a social conscience and values; whether it’s using sustainable meat suppliers, banning paper at events, ditching the conference giveaway or giving left over food to a local charity.
Green is ardently on the agenda for event planners, however, it’s no longer solely about being sustainable. People are recognising that a fully sustainable event is hard to achieve and is fraught with pitfalls. While local food suppliers may be contracted, and their electric vehicles may carry out the delivery, there’s a school of thought that the lithium battery powering the transport has significantly more damaging airmiles attached to it. Thereby negating the whole benefit of sourcing locally. Even recycling paper is being scrutinised for the damage it does to the planet with some asking if it’s better to simply bury it and let it turn to coal?
Most businesses now have CSR initiatives rooted in their core values which means that conferences, dinners and team-builds must mirror social responsibility. What is clear is that there are no hard and fast rules and venues should realise that every little effort can collectively add up to a large impact. Whether it’s specifying a local supply chain, putting in electric charge points for delegates’ cars, ensuring conference table waters are bottled in glass, supporting the local catering college for manpower or supporting a diverse workforce.
People buy people in any sector and never more so than in the events industry. If you think that being green ticks the box for today’s buyer, go deeper. How you manage and interact with people is scrutinised even more by today’s event buyer who is influenced by cause and culture.
It’s a given that venues must be able to trace their supply chain but now there is far greater ownership placed on people: from the impact on employees to the interaction with suppliers. When sending a proposal back to a potential client, venues may want to consider differentiating themselves by sharing details on their employee engagement policies and their supplier code of conduct. How you deal and interact with people highlights your values, after all no one wants to work with the customer who advocates making a 30 day invoice payment a three month trial. And potential partners will soon switch off if you ask for a proposal and fail to acknowledge their response.
If you think that being green ticks the box for today’s buyer, go deeper and consider the inter-personal relationships by:
• looking at your team’s length of service
• their vicinity to the venue
• your diversity
• how you manage partner and supplier relationships.
Being conscientious doesn’t just mean banning plastic – it’s a holistic overview of every touch point in the supply chain including your outlook on people.
And just by considering your cause and culture you too can turn your competitor set ‘green’ with envy this season.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events. www.triggerfish.co.uk