As April 22nd marks International Mother Earth Day, we take the opportunity to remind ourselves and our peers to remember that throwing a pebble into a still lake creates ever expanding ripples – ones that make waves beyond what the eye can see. It’s time to put an end to the misconceptions feeding the idea that organising sustainable events is hard, pointless, and of little value to our planet.
“I’m only one person, so what difference will this make?” is, unfortunately, something we hear a lot when discussing the world’s environmental challenges. Similarly, when organising events many planners will echo similar sentiments with claims that “one event isn’t going to make a difference” or that “it’s not worth the effort”. After all, what’s one more plastic bottle or one more tree cut?
Though some sustainable options can cost more than their less “green” counterparts (think going 100% organic), many options are actually cost neutral or have the potential to generate significant cost savings. The simple act of replacing bottled water with water dispensers filled with beautiful cut fruit can save you as much as $1 per litre. That’s $3,600 a day for a 1,000 person event, and $3,600 you can now allocate to offset the price of other more costly sustainable options like organic food.
“It’s a luxury event, so we don’t want to look cheap”
Gone are the days where going green meant going for less. Instead, sustainability should be used as a guiding framework to come up with innovative and engaging solutions. Why use disposable plates when you can have porcelain? Why print out thick programmes (which bring with them the threat of scrambling at the last minute to amend them anyway) when you can use an app? Why get a backdrop made on PVC when you can use dynamic 3D projection mapping?
“It takes too much time”
Sustainability should not be treated as an extra item to add on to one persons “to do” list. It should be used by everyone as a guiding principle for how you operate. Source suppliers with strong sustainability commitments, caterers who can design tasty and nutritious menus and exhibition providers who can create engaging spaces with responsible materials and you’ll find that it takes no extra time at all.
Our point is this – events of all budgets, sizes, types and timelines can be made more sustainable, and doing so will make a difference. If we want to create a better future, every action (and every event!) matters.
We aim to grow our business responsibility by embracing sustainability as a significant competitive advantage and a driver of innovation, to not only enhance our own value but our clients’ too. Based on the triple bottom line, MCI’s vision is to build a sustainable business with a culture of care, responsibility, and sustainability. As the first company in the meetings and events industry to sign the UN Global Compact in 2007, MCI has since emerged as a thought leader in sustainable events and managed over 128 projects about sustainability and energy issues, adding to a total of 740 projects conducted since 2010.
To discover how we can design a sustainable event that elevates your organisation and to find more information on our sustainability approach , please visit here.