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Sustainability the key issue for Conference & Meeting Venues!

May 12, 2022

The recent IACC Meetings rooms of the future report In the 2020 edition of the Meeting Room of the Future study.  IACC asked venue operators what the most important venue elements would be for the future,  they ranked sustainable and ethical practices as the most important element for meeting and conference venues.

Environmental or Sustainability Policy Statement

Despite numerous other public health, economic and social shocks that have taken place since the 2020 edition, respondents continue to recognise that growing climate concern has made the “sustainable lifestyle” an imperative.  Reflecting this growing concern with sustainable practices, 87% of responding venues report having an environmental or sustainability policy statement, and 82% report having a social responsibility statement.

Donating food

There is one sustainable practice in particular where venues have shown considerable improvement since 2020 and that is the ability to donate unused food to local community outreach programmes. More than one-half of responding venues report this option compared to only 23% of venues in 2020.

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European Meeting & Conference Venues leading the way on Sustainability

In general, there is more of a focus on environmental and social responsibility at venues in Europe/Australia compared to America’s venues. Americas venues report a greater likelihood of offering healthy food options and the ability to donate unused foods. Americas venues are far behind venues in other regions in terms of continuing to use single-use products.

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How to Introduce more sustainable practices into your meeting or conference

Sustainable and ethical practices and messages can be implemented beyond just the policy statement and food elements of a venue. It can be integrated into every aspect of a venue from meeting space and furniture to technology, to equipment and the venue’s use of resources. Venues that are able to show that they are ethical and sustainable will be more desirable to attendees as well as planners as this area grows in importance and Tracy Stuckwrath, CEO of Thrive! Meetings & Events provides tips on how to put in place positive environmental initiatives at conference venues and meetings.

Rethink how you plan and source your food – case study example

  1. Calculate here the water usage of the meals you plan
  2. Are chefs purchasing foods that are made from Upcycled foods? –

ReGrained is one brand — and check out the Upcycled Food Association With 46% of respondents to this year’s IACC MRoTF operator survey reporting that they are receiving increased requests from clients to either state or provide social responsibility and environmental credentials, sustainability continues to be an emerging topic. However, the emphasis on Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) initiatives does appear to be prioritised at different levels depending on the location of the venue.

Single-Use Products

One key way venues can make a difference is by not using single-use products, again Europe leads the way:

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At Cavendish Venues one of central London’s leading group of conference and meeting venues we are determined to lead the way in delivering the lowest possible environmental impact whilst offering market leading customer service and facilities. As such, we were perhaps the first conference and meeting venue to be accredited as landfill neutral, we offset all carbon generated by our events, a log running a campaign to buy local etc.

 

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