Sustainability Takeaways from Greengage’s Insights & Sustainability Awards 2023

Last week Greengage hosted their inaugural Insights & Awards event – a chance to celebrate sustainability champions in the meeting and events space, whilst also looking ahead to what we should expect to see in 2023.

It was a packed agenda, so wanted to share some key themes that stood out for me:

·      Power of the individual and keeping it simple

“It’s just 1 toothbrush” said 7.8 billion people.  Tommie Eaton founder of Bambuu Brush shared his story in a fantastic keynote and demonstrated how we cannot underestimate the power of individual and consistent action and taking baby steps towards a bigger goal.  Finding ‘net zero’ too much of a complex story? (you’re not the only one!)  Tommie’s advice is to keep it simple and start with plastics.  As a Surfers Against Sewage Rep for my local village I totally agree – people can relate to something they understand and can see – it’s tangible.  Use the simplicity of plastics to open up a wider conversation around sustainability.

·      Collaboration not Competition

As an industry we are very good at sharing knowledge and best practice and this must continue to sustainability.  Ask questions.  Share recommendations.  Everyone’s sustainability journey is different, so don’t be discouraged.  But if you can measure you can benchmark your progress – just keep going.  And as Ami Taylor from Thrust Carbon said – “use your own data and run your own race”.

·      Challenge the Norm & Be Bold

I loved hearing from Louise Watson at Wyboston Lakes Resort who spoke passionately
about being big on sustainability with #noapology – we all need to be confident
to do things differently.  Taking meat off the menu at your next event?  Own
that decision and be proud of the sustainable strides you are making and honest about the areas you are working on.

·      Sustainability = Creativity

Sustainability is not about compromise – if you think that, you’re doing it wrong!  Olivia Hughes from MeetEvents shared some great ideas for incorporating sustainability creatively into events:

·      Potted plants or herbs instead of cut flowers for décor

·      Choosing English wines over champagne – its cheaper and more exciting than prosecco

·      Gift an experience like a National Trust Membership rather than plastic tat

·      The power of events to drive change

As event professionals we are experts in bringing people together to educate and inspire (and often celebrate!) but above all we create memorable experiences.  We touch all
industries which is why we have such a huge opportunity to show sustainability in action and drive the sustainability agenda. Johnny Palmer from PYTCH summed it up perfectly, “we have the ability to change the way people think through the platform of live events”.

Amazing speakers!  Huge congratulations also to all the winners and nominees – all examples of the incredible progress being driven in the meetings and event industry to push the sustainable agenda.  But remember sustainability is not a trend or a nice to have.  2023 will see a renewed focus on sustainability but this is just the beginning.

#sustainability #sustainableevents #sustainableawards #sdgs #saynotosingleuse
#sustainablevenues  #eventprofs #meetingsandevents
#netzero #collaboration

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