inVOYAGE sustainability panel calls on industry to take action

inVOYAGE has created a new LinkedIn Group for event professionals committed to creating a more sustainable events industry, following a panel session and C-Suite debate on the topic at inVOYAGE 2019 this week.

On Tuesday, our expert panel lead by John Kelly, BCD Meetings & Events and featuring representatives from all sides of the industry, agreed that we could and should be doing more around CSR and sustainability.

“As an industry, we have a significant impact on the way we can change the world. Otherwise the risk is to impact billions of people. Today we have no choice,” said Sandrine Camia, Deputy Director at the Monaco Government Tourist Authority, our host destination for inVOYAGE 2019.

“Climate change is real. It’s clear that sea water is rising, it’s clear that more hurricanes are happening and that the world is changing. We need to stay connected to understand what to do about these issues that are affecting everyone,” said Daniele Menache, MD, AllianceBernstein.

Nagesh, founder of DMC Incent India/Sri Lanka, added: “Sustainability isn’t a buzz word anymore – its serious. We see in our homes, in our hotels, in our offices. But I think it has to go from want based to need based.”

The panel, which also featured Stephane Duchenne,  GM of Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles, and David Watt, CEO, CI Group, shared practical tips and advice, debated whether luxury events can ever be sustainable, the main CSR/sustainability challenges faced by event professionals, and whether events businesses can use sustainability to gain a competitive edge.

“One of the major challenges for us because of where our hotels are based is coastal and marine erosion. Other key challenges we have are waste management and greening the supply chain. What do you do with food waste and how do you put waste management systems in place across every single hotel?”, said Stephane Duchenne.

Watt challenged the industry to be brave and get on the innovation curve. “As an industry, we should be stepping out and saying, do we want to deal with companies that aren’t prepared to invest in CSR programmes?”, he said.

“We are going to build portal that actually lets you find and select venues based on sustainability rather than room capacities. That is the way that the industry is going effect change. And you can’t hide from that because data is a fact, it’s not an emotion. If you can use data to drive change, I think that will make a huge difference.”

The panel agreed that the industry needs to get better at communicating and sharing what we are doing around sustainability and CSR.

And our new LinkedIn Group is the first step. There are many hotels, destinations, agencies and corporates out there doing some great work around sustainability, and this group is about sharing those ideas, best practices and resources with the inVOYAGE community and wider events industry a platform for the greater good.

Search inVOYAGE – Sustainability & CSR on LinkedIn Groups and join the group now. Together we can make a positive impact on our planet!

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