Over the past decade, the term sustainability has caught on in event venues, meeting rooms and office environments. A growing number of associations and corporations are integrating sustainability into their operations including their events, and although some might argue that the concept has reached the mainstream, there are plenty of opportunities abound for implementation.
Before jump starting your green strategy, here are five sustainability trends to prepare for in 2018.
1. Local experience and uncharted destinations vs big cities
As rates in large popular cities are increasing year after year, smaller destinations are gradually becoming more attractive for meetings, conferences and events. This also reflects the event planners’ focus on reinforcing local communities and creating unique experiences with a local taste. Tourism, and effectively events, are now more about the local experience and less about seeing a picture-perfect destination. More and more people are off to exploring new areas outside big cities and touristic areas craving to experience the local life. This particularly helps community development, especially in emerging and developing destinations, as it facilitates the creation of new jobs, builds bridges across cultures and promotes responsible tourism.
2.The UN Sustainable Development Goals
Launched in 2016, the SDGs are gaining unprecedented momentum as organisations are encouraged to consider how they can contribute to achieving these 17 Goals to transform our world for the better. The events and tourism industry has a key role to play in helping achieving these goals, and understanding how this can open-up a world of opportunities. You will hear a lot about the SDGs in 2018 and top companies like Tetra Pack or Dell are already implementing significant plans to measure their contribution and take action.
3.The rise of the ‘Smart Cities’ movement
Destinations and cities are becoming more aware of the impact of sustainability, investing resources in green solutions. This trend comes as no surprise, as we’ve already seen the ‘Smart Cities’ movement coming to life, aiming at providing a better quality of life for citizens. For sure, this movement is having a massive impact on the events industry by changing the way we travel and commute, access information about hotels, restaurants, venues and measure social, economic and environmental impacts.
Living in a fast-paced world dominated by a digital hype only boosts people’s need to connect more with nature. More and more people are seeking ways to take a break and appreciate the natural habitat. Such employee incentives and getaways can work wonders, creating unique and memorable experiences, and increasing engagement. This is a great opportunity to educate your audience about the importance of preserving our natural habitat.
5.Plastic and ocean pollution
Since the UN has launched their campaign against plastic bags to save the ocean, there has been a huge momentum around this topic. Many other associations followed suit and the recent BBC Blue Planet 2 documentary opened the eyes of the public on this major pollution problem, affecting marine life and human health. Reducing plastic use can easily be applied to events by ensuring suppliers like caterers, hotels and venue provide alternative solutions to single use plastic, such as water bottles, straws, packaging. etc.
The article was authored by Mélanie Delaplanche, MCI Group’s Sustainability Services Director.