I just read and loved this guest post from sustainability expert Shawna McKinley on the Event Manager Blog outlining the six major sustainability issues facing events, and what you can do about them. Carbon emissions, solid waste, and pollution, of course, make the top six. But what was really interesting to me are the first three she listed: health and safety, accessibility and inclusion, and fairness. And do click through for more on each, and especially for the tools she lists to help get you started/further down the road in each area.
The word "sustainable" has become almost synonymous with "green" in many a meeting manager's mind (and mine too, I admit). This is a great reminder that for a meeting to remain sustainable, it has to put the physical wellness of its participants, their ability to participate in the full event, and the ability of those who support the event with products and services to do so in a moral, ethical, and fair manner, also are vital to an event's living on to face a new day. The best advice I've heard in a while, from Shawna:
To prevent wasting resources on superficial efforts that are less material, or over-selling green efforts that have little impact, stop and ask which issues are most important to you, your staff, vendors, attendees, sponsors, and other stakeholders.
These six I would think would be pretty universal, but I'm sure each meeting manager could, and maybe should, add a few more based on the specific needs of all those involved (I am coming to loathe the word "stakeholders") and the event's goals. Anything you'd add to her list?