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May 17, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa: 5 Common Mistakes Planners Make When Creating Sustainable Events

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As President of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) with over 14 years’ experience in designing and delivering winning sustainability strategies and organising sustainable events, Roger Simons looks at the five common mistakes planners make when creating sustainable events.

Photo by Freeimages.com/Mikaela Kobayakov

1.    Sustainability is unidimensional

It isn’t only about protecting the environment, saving energy/paper or about having a CSR project during your event. Sustainability combines all the economic, environmental and social benefits and the present generation to come.

2.    Operational burden

There is an opportunity to transform sustainability from an item on your ‘to do’ list into a catalyst to bring your client’s organisational values to life. For a medical client this may revolve around wellness and health which is then complemented by good environmental practice rather than the other way round.

3.    Aiming for a “zero waste” event

The first goal should be to reduce the impact, it could be by 20% or even by 50% but starting with zero impact is trying to sprint when we are learning to crawl.

4.    Carbon offsetting as a cure-all

Excessive resources consumption and environment pollution cannot be solely re-balanced by investing in carbon credits. We must first try to reduce our impact and then as a last solution offset what can’t be reduced.

5.    Sustainability isn’t important to clients

The volume of corporate brands requesting commitment to their principals is booming and it’s only going to get more robust as they mature and focus deeper into their supply chain.

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