Speaking yesterday at Event’s Guide Live at Sliverstone Wing, Rick Stainton, managing director of Smyle, said the Olympics showed how brands could conform to Locog's sustainability requirements and still deliver a dynamic and engaging activation.
"Until the Olympics, there was a lot of talk and not a lot of action on sustainability," he said. "The events industry has to wise up to sustainability.
"Sustainability for any business is a commercial decision," Stainton continued. "Integrating it should benefit the business, make it more money and more competitive.
"Sustainability has three major prongs – social, environmental and economic. It affects every part of a business, and provides a framework within which companies can implement change and benefit financially."
As Stainton explains, it can be as simple as switching to energy saving lightbulbs or introducing a paperless invoice system.
"You may have to invest to make some of these things happen, but it pays to do so. We reduced wood waste from our workshops and are now spending 30% less on skips every month. We’re saving £1,000s."
It’s not only Smyle that’s been initiating sustainable practices. In the past three months, Logistik Group and EC&O venues are among several businesses to have achieved ISO2012-1.
Earlier this month IET Venues urged the industry to have a greater focus on sustainability as it pledges to offset three tonnes of carbon accumulated at September's Square Meal event.
Eco conference and events venue Pines Calyx in Kent was declared carbon negative – one of the first buildings to achieve this standard in the UK.
Plus, today will see the launch of Sustainable Events Summit – an initiative launched by Stainton and sustainable events guru Fiona Pelham.
The aim of the summit is to create a digital community that will engage with every sector of the industry to discuss they are doing in terms of sustainable business practices. This could include educational initiatives and content suggestions from around the world. The pinnacle will be a live summit in January 2013.
According to Stainton, 60% of FTSE 100 companies publish a Global Reporting Initiative report that shows how sustainable their business is. In January, an events section was added to this report, which means over the next year these reports will start showcasing at a very high level how such companies manage events.
"That section of the report will be scrutinised and if these companies care about it, they will want to make it to look good – and that’s where the industry comes in," said Stainton.
The two-day Guide Live out of London concludes today.
What sustainable initiatives is your company getting involved in? Let us know inthe comment box below.
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