AS PART of the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, not-for-profit Positive Impact has issued a call to action to bring the world’s events professionals together to ensure a sustainable future for the industry. Reed Exhibitions, Tourism Vancouver and Oregon Convention Center are already supporting elements of the campaign, and new sponsors are being enlisted.
The campaign aims to tell the story of the power of events by sharing best practice, engaging ambassadors and educating stakeholders all around the globe on how the events industry can have a more positive social, economic and environmental impact.
Positive Impact CEO Fiona Pelham explains:
“We live in a time when we are seeing examples of world leaders tweeting rather than meeting and overlooking the power of what happens when we are face to face. This campaign is an opportunity to share the economic, environmental and social power of events and we are asking the industry worldwide to participate in this project, which aims to:
• Educate two million people on the UN’s Sustainable Development goals
• Share two million examples of best practice (using the hashtag #ShareAPositiveImpact)
• Recruit one thousand ambassadors worldwide to spread the word
• Create a top ten examples of how the event industry can make a big difference to the world
• Produce a research paper by the end of the year, from UK academics, which collates, analyses and models data from the campaign and demonstrates the instrumental role the events industry plays in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
The campaign is already progressing strongly, with Positive Impact and its sponsors having provided over 90,000 opportunities for education on event sustainability, and so far 138 volunteers have come forward to be ambassadors for the event industry and share their insights and experiences.
Examples of best practice being shared include the team that is exploring how much food waste the event industry creates and how with a change in legal and practical infrastructure the event industry could contribute to the UN sustainable development goal of zero hunger.
Some big names are already involved. In order to reach the global audience and support the production of the university research paper, the campaign is enlisting sponsors from within the industry. The first platinum sponsor is announced as Reed Exhibitions, producer of IBTM World, who said:
“Reed Exhibitions and IBTM Events are proud to be the first platinum sponsor for the Positive Impact Campaign, created to tell the story of the power of events during the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We are very aware that our social, economic and environmental approach has a strong influence on how our future attendees engage with our events.
“Supporting this campaign is an opportunity for us to work together with a team of experts in this field to raise awareness of the importance of taking a sustainable approach to business as well as to share our own sustainability journey and be part of the vital conversation on the global role the events industry plays in bringing people together to create solutions for our future world.”
The next initiative in the year-long campaign will be CSR Share Day. On April 21st (the day before Earth Day) the global event industry will have a unique opportunity to be part of a global conversation over Twitter, sharing best practice and inspiration on the creation of a sustainable event sector. Over 24 hours the hashtag #csrshareday will be used by over 24 hosts who will share best practice on themes including gender equality, accessibility and carbon management. Sponsored for the second year by Oregon Convention Center, this year is set to go beyond the reach of 1.2 million that was achieved in 2016.
A spokesperson from the UN added:
“We are impressed by the excellent work Positive Impact is doing during the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, to tell the story of the power of events. It could really make a difference in the event industry. The results we are already seeing are important.”