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Refocusing on a Critical Issue: Sustainability

The 51st annual edition of Earth Day is Thursday, April 22—an opportune moment for planners and suppliers alike to once again prioritize their efforts to build eco-friendly in-person events.

With so many meeting professionals focused on the face-to-face business gatherings that are likely to take place later in 2021, this year’s Earth Day on April 22 might not receive as much attention across the meeting and incentive industry as in years past. 

But as people start to travel again for business, the issue of event sustainability should be top of mind for planners. Why? According to a Kearney survey conducted shortly after the Covid pandemic began in the United States in March 2020, nearly half of respondents said that they are more concerned about the environment going forward than they were prior to the pandemic.

Fortunately, some meeting professionals spend the majority of their time focused on sustainability and can provide guidance to those who are now revisiting the issue. For instance, Julia Spangler, a sustainability consultant who runs Ecosystem Events, provides four tips for keeping events Covid-safe but also eco-friendly.

And in this MeetingsNet article, Hamburg, Germany-based sustainability consultant Stefan Lohmann lays out 52 questions for planners to ask in order to ensure their events have the least impact possible upon the environment.

Lastly, this article shows the perspective of a director of sustainability for a large show producer. His challenges include the specific areas of event management that are most difficult to make fully sustainable; the regions of the world where different sustainability issues are tougher to deal with than others; and the effort required to have an event meet the Events Industry Council’s Sustainable Event Standards.

For other sustainability-related information and resources, check out the Events Industry Council's sustainabilty web site.


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