Sustainability in Events – Is it all green hushing?

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Written by Matt Coyne of Waves Connects

Or does it beat with a heart concerned for our world?

At BMA House, an insightful discussion ensued of shared experiences and knowledge from the panellists of Event Sustainability Live’s Breakfast Briefing, after a suitably delicious sustainable breakfast of course.  

Before we dive in, I should clarify what “green hushing” means. Green hushing is a term that a growing number of businesses who are unwilling to publicise either their net zero targets or sustainable practices and policies, for fear of getting it wrong. With a potential PR disaster waiting at every turn, some companies prefer to stay silent rather than risk being called out by the public or media and understandably, that could be a concern.

But, as panellist Matt Grey of Event Decision said, “We can’t get it all right today, but what we can do, is give it a go as otherwise, you’re going to get left behind.“

In no way am I suggesting our industry is hushing sustainability under the recycled carpet, but perhaps if you’re wondering where to start – my takeaway here is, give it a go, try your best, and be transparent about your efforts towards sustainability. 

Corporate mindset—The catalyst for change

When a lot of the ”battlefield“ for environmental change is often focused at corporate institutions, is it the fact that these corporations who are eternally focusing on increasing profit and driving efficiencies (and more

 recently, their people), could be the  guiding light for change in sustainable practices?  

It’s a valid question to ask – is the corporate mindset truly capable of spearheading sustainable change, or are they simply using sustainability as a marketing ploy? 

The panelists shared their thoughts and experiences on this and many other aspects of ESG (environment, social, governance) in the events industry. 

Much of the conversation was based around on savings, efficiency, growth, revenues, and such like achievable within the events industry. But fundamentally, aren’t we on this sustainability movement because of our environment? Our

 earth? Our world? Our people? 

Everyone agrees, of course, but perhaps it’s the change of mindset in the corporate world that will drive change and help protect our future. So if the question is about profit, efficiency or sustainability – the answer is not one, but all of them. 

If that helps to move the needle on applying sustainability initiatives throughout your events business / service / product / supply chain, then the panellists unanimously agreed – just do it.

Measurement, it’s the only way forward

The panellists underscored how imperative it is to measure the impacts on our people, planet, and profit, advocating for a business approach that sees beyond bottom lines to the broader horizon of impact.

But if you really want to effect change in your business, go with an armful of stats to support your fight. And, if you don’t know where to look, engage with a specialist consultant who can support your unique business aims and objectives. 

After all, if you don’t measure, what can you prove?

Event sustainability – exciting times ahead

The session served as a reminder that events are about connectivity and experience—but shouldn’t compromise on the values of sustainability, or rather ESG initiatives. There were many exciting ideas and experiences shard by the panel of experts, but you’ll have to watch the session on demand or download the Sustainable Events Guide for more detail.

Attendees we spoke to left todays session with a renewed sense of responsibility—the future of events must be reflective of the world we hope to sustain. And the best way to do that?

By continuing the conversation, share experiences and knowledge, and working together towards a truly sustainable events industry.

Click here to download your free copy of the Sustainable Event Guide for more insights and guidance on sustainability in events

Matt Coyne
Author: Matt Coyne

Everyone has a story to tell, you just need to know how to tell it. With two decades of experience in the events industry, Matt knows how to craft content for a multitude of needs. From captivating presentations and podcasts to informative content resources as part of your marketing strategy, visit https://wavesconnects.com/ to see how Matt can help you make waves with your content.

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