XYZ // Review and Outlook
In June 2020, the ecoABC kicked off. Along the alphabet, our partner 2bdifferent dealt with different topics on sustainability and events for almost a year. Starting with “A” like arrival and departure, over “G” like gender pay gap or “M” like waste, up to the last letter “W” like value chain, numerous interesting topics were discussed. Accordingly, it should be clear to everyone by now at the latest that sustainability should be an essential part of every event and not more expensive, but rather money can be saved through it! With the letter “B” like budget it was dealt with more near. In summary, a creative rethinking is imperative for the implementation of a project under sustainable aspects. It should go away from the usual practices and towards new ways of solving problems with an ulterior motive.
The three central questions here are:
- Do we really need this?
- If so, what sustainable alternatives are there?
- Can we (or someone else) use it again afterwards?
Catering, for example, offers great potential for savings. This was the focus of the letter “C”. Sourcing seasonal and regional food and offering vegan / vegetarian meals offer a lot of potential in terms of cost savings, up to 20% is possible. On the one hand, the serving system is crucial, because a classic buffet generates a waste volume of 20-30%. A flying buffet or menu service reduces the volume significantly. In addition, factors such as the gender, age, origin of the participants should be taken into account as well as the daily schedule in order to plan what is really in demand.
Another important point that should emerge as a result of this series is that sustainability is not only based on ecology, but is built on a total of three dimensions:
Thus, a sustainable event takes into account not only the impact on the environment, but also social needs and promotes economic development in its sphere of influence.
The social dimension at ecoABC, for example, was about the gender pay gap, which compares the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of women and men. Sadly, women continue to earn significantly less than their male counterparts for the same performance and qualifications.
The topic of inclusion and accessibility is also part of the social pillar and was examined in more detail by 2bdifferent. This is about contemporary, open and people-friendly offers! Inclusion starts in the head, is a cross-sectional task and stands for ideas, diversity and creative solutions in which many are involved. In order to show people with impairments that they are welcome at the event, the communication and invitation documents should already refer to the scope of barrier-free offerings within the scope of the event, and as an important signal, the specific needs should be requested on the registration form. Speaking of communication! Particular attention should be paid to this in participant management with regard to a sustainable event: Before, during and after the event, the key success factor is one thing above all: informing and communicating! In order to save paper, digital invitation management should be used, and participants should be informed in advance about the sustainable event and given the names of internal and external offices that can provide specialist information on sustainability issues.
Transparency is also important in communication. This is essential, especially in advertising communication, in order to stand out from companies that engage in greenwashing as a means of cover-up.
In conclusion, it should be noted that along the entire value chain through which a product or service passes, sustainability aims to create a link between value chain management and sustainability management. The social, environmental and economic impacts, as well as the promotion of good governance, should be managed and add value throughout the life cycle of products and services. At its best, this should follow the “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” sequence.
- Reduce – Reduce the amount of things you throw away.
- Reuse – Finding new ways to use things instead of throwing them away
- Recycle – Give new meaning to things that are no longer needed.
A sense should also be given to the future that lies ahead. Important steps have already been taken or are in preparation: The 17 goals of the “Sustainable Development Goals”, which have been adopted by all UN member states and are to be implemented by 2030, are a universal call to action to end global poverty, protect our planet and improve the prospects and lives of all people.
The German government has also recognized that sustainability must move from being a “nice to have” to an absolute “must have” in the future. Considerations to anchor some topics also in the Basic Law are becoming more and more concrete from time to time.
No matter with which topics of sustainability you are concerned, our annual partner 2bdifferent is your competent partner for all questions and will be happy to advise you: www.2bdifferent.de.
With years of experience and expertise in various key topics, 2bdifferent is your best partner now and in the future!