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UN SDGs: inspiring us to deliver extraordinary events with purpose

In a world grappling with environmental and social challenges, we understand our responsibility as a global corporate events management agency to make a positive contribution. We recognise that our activities and actions can have a significant impact on the environment and the global community, so we’re committed to creating events that not only deliver exceptional experiences but also leave a minimal footprint and a positive legacy.

That’s why, for us, sustainability cannot just be a buzzword: it’s central to our integrity. It’s long been embedded in our own operations and driven our approach to planning and executing events. But now, we are excited to share a major milestone.

We have been working over the past few months to evolve and formalise our position on sustainability and have opted to align our business with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help us navigate the path towards a better future, one event at a time.

How can we make a real difference?

We initially set out to understand how we, as an SME, could drive meaningful change in the context of two unalterable truths: we are, on a practical level, subject to the demands and constraints of large, multinational corporate clients; and on an industry level, our core business of bringing people together necessarily involves international travel and resource consumption.

But through this exploration, we realised that we are an integral part of the value chain. By prioritising sustainable sourcing, working with suppliers who adhere to responsible practices, and supporting our clients to meet their own environmental, social and governance objectives, we can influence and encourage sustainability throughout the entire value chain.

Why align to the UN SDGs?

For a company of our size and resources, it simply doesn’t make practical sense for us to try to “boil the ocean” or “reinvent the wheel”.  The 17 SDGs adopted by the United Nations member states as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are a globally recognised framework, providing a common language and roadmap that any business of any size in any industry can follow.

This makes it easier for us to communicate, educate, engage and inspire all stakeholders – clients, employees and suppliers – in a shared sense of purpose and encourage sustainable choices at every turn. By creating a ripple effect, we can spread sustainable practices far beyond our own business, and directly and indirectly contribute to the achievement of multiple SDGs.

Secondly, the SDGs address a wide range of global issues, from climate action and responsible consumption to gender equality and economic empowerment, providing a comprehensive approach to tackling the world’s most pressing problems that goes beyond environmentalism. By aligning with the SDGs, we can identify and prioritise sustainability issues relevant to our business and take innovative, creative and decisive action to address them.

Lastly, by joining a global movement, we can tap into a rich seam of cumulative knowledge, resources, experience and best practices, helping us to stay at the forefront of sustainable, equitable business.

Actions speak louder than words

First, we identified which of our clients are already signatories to the UN SDGs and plotted out their goals and objectives to determine where and how we could most effectively support them. We also looked at our own role as an employer, buyer and member of both our local community and the global business community, to direct our efforts where they could make the most impact.   

From the output of our thorough analysis, we have prioritised three primary goals plus six secondary goals to guide our actions. These are:

Primary goals

  • Climate Action
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Decent Work & Economic Growth

Secondary goals

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health & Wellbeing
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water & Sanitation
  • Affordable & Clean Energy.

Next, we comprehensively re-mapped our sustainable project journey, which already incorporated sustainable practices, production and consumption into every step of the event lifecycle. We have expanded the scope of data capture and insight reporting, enabling us to holistically identify more opportunities to drive measurable improvement in the sustainability of future events.

Transparency and authenticity

Our commitment to sustainability is not just about ticking boxes or bolstering our reputation; it is about creating a positive and lasting impact on our planet and society. Transparency is the foundation of our sustainability approach and we’re committed to “walking the talk”.

We pledge to be open and honest about our progress, challenges and setbacks. We recognise that the path to sustainability is complex, and we are committed to ongoing learning and improvement. We have invested in the tools to continuously measure and regularly report on our sustainability metrics – including monitoring Scope 3 emissions in our value chain, not just those within our direct control – and hold ourselves accountable.

As a result, we have published our evolved Sustainability Strategy for People, Planet and Prosperity, which clearly and simply sets out our positioning, our commitments, our efforts and our non-negotiables for all our stakeholders. Read it here!

Collaborating for impact

Sustainable transformation cannot be achieved in isolation: collaboration is key. We actively seek partnerships with our clients, suppliers and industry peers to drive collective impact. By working more closely and consciously, we can share knowledge, inspire innovation, and amplify the positive outcomes of events. Together, we can make a significant difference in shaping a more sustainable events management industry.

We invite you to join us on this journey as we strive for a better future. Whether you are a client, partner, team member or advocate for sustainability, together we can build events with purpose and help deliver the change we want to see in the world.

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