Sustainability: the new disruption



# tags: Exhibitions , Sustainability

Prior to the start of IBTM World, in Barcelona, there was a space for reflection dedicated to corporate buyers with two main axes: sustainability and technology.

In the first part, in partnership with American Express Meetings & Events, it was assumed that sustainability is the new disruption to which all of us, at one time or another, will have to respond. It was argued that sustainability in events corresponds to a strategic advantage, which involves factors such as reputation, the well-being of all, success, financial results, involvement and compliance rules.

In the chapter on reducing the carbon footprint, the need to help organisations understand and establish tangible actions and goals that can be measured and evaluated was pointed out. In a survey conducted by American Express, 55% of companies surveyed said they had concrete targets for reducing carbon emissions across the company; 23% said they have these goals for business travel; and 9% have these objectives for meetings and events organised by the company itself.

Another advanced number, very relevant, was that 83% of the companies surveyed by American Express already take sustainability into account when preparing their events. A large majority, 77%, consider it a priority to raise awareness of this issue among employees, customers and other stakeholders. And 63% say the main barrier to taking further action is monitoring and tracking data. Another very significant number is that of 76% of buyers who say they have incorporated - or intend to do so - sustainability in their respective action policies.

Some pressure points were also identified, such as: "I don't know where to start", "How can I measure", "I need easy solutions", "Pressure from leaders", "I don't have enough information" or "How I know that a supplier is sustainable”. And the advice, for example for the reduction of carbon emissions, was: choose one or two categories, depending on the greater ease of implementation and control. And the suggested areas were: Destinations, Transport, Hotels and Venues, F&B, Materials and Waste Management. In this, as in many projects, the important thing is to start. Take the first steps, even small ones, and evolve from there.

Finding your way in the tech jungle

The afternoon was under the responsibility of BW Events Tech. They shared several case studies, in order to try to demonstrate the importance of good consultancy in this area nowadays. The truth is that there are so many solutions, the variables of each initiative are so many, that it is often difficult to understand - without professional help - what is the platform, app, etc. that we should use. And with that, ensure that it is the technology that adapts and responds to the needs of the event, and not the other way around.