Can you still remember when the Al Gore’s movie an Inconvenient Truth was released? It has had great impact on the growing awareness for the importance of sustainability both for businesses and for our personal lives. But this important moment in history is already 11 years ago, yet the impact still echo’s on till this day.
Looking back on these years, the impact on the meetings industry has been tremendous. The process of changing views and behaviours, creating and adopting new innovations and dealing with the cost aspects of this change.
It started with a rocky start, with wild ideas like completely stop flying to international conferences, only use bio-degradable materials, buying only bio-certified and fair trade produced catering, et cetera.
Both planners and suppliers soon met the boundaries of these new green changes in terms of budget, quality, material feasibility, product availability and acceptance of the delegates. Often by trial-and-error did we learn how to really become more sustainable in organising meetings.
Despite this rocky start, the meeting industry has since been developing towards more sustainability ever since. The changed mindset has resulted in great achievements in green-certifications of hotels, venues and suppliers, new AV and IT technologies, better education, reduced waste, CO2 compensation programmes and enhanced efficiency.
This is a great achievement of the complete meeting industry, which in many cases had to re-invent itself to be meet the expectations of all stakeholders in this green change.
Far from over
The change-process is nevertheless far from over and many things still need to be changed and improved. Sustainability is maybe not as prominent on the agenda or menu as some years ago, but has become a natural part of each organisation and individual. Just don’t forget to keep on challenging your suppliers, your delegates, your colleagues and yourself!