What is ESG, and why is it important for your meeting strategy?
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards are becoming increasingly important in the modern business world. These three areas of focus for companies are vital considerations for organizations looking to run more sustainable, ethical events and meetings and will only become more crucial in the coming years.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a term used to represent an organization’s corporate financial interests, focusing mainly on sustainable and ethical impacts. It is a must for large Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 organizations whose stakeholders are demanding they align with these standards. Organizations already aware of these standards will find it easier to interact as a partner by focusing more on sustainability and diversity, which is especially relevant in meetings and events.
Let’s find out why.
Environmental standards for corporate events and meetings
Since the global pandemic, more and more organizations have turned to virtual and hybrid events to mitigate their meetings’ environmental impact. Switching to virtual events helps eradicate the carbon footprint of traveling to and from the venue and removes the effects of printing paper resources, onsite meals, and buying and transporting meeting supplies.
However, as travel restrictions have eased, organizations have started revisiting in-person events through a more sustainable lens. Using QR codes linked to online resources and choosing more sustainable venues with good public transport links are just the beginning. Opting for hotels that source locally can also help reduce the environmental impact of food and beverage at events. Asking the question of your venue, “What are your strategies for sustainability?” and ensuring they adhere to your goals will help decrease your meeting’s environmental impact.
Social considerations for the corporate meeting & events industry
Social considerations are an important, often-overlooked aspect of ESG. Organizations prioritizing ESG are now thinking more about the diversity of their workforce, supply chain, and partners. This could include championing marginalized communities, increasing the number of women-owned businesses in the supply chain, or working with people of color as ambassadors.
Social-oriented policies go beyond observing International Women’s Day, Pride, or the Black Lives Matter movement; it’s about embedding diversity at the organization’s heart. At AMI, we truly believe in social diversity and work to strengthen our inclusive supplier chain with every event.
Governance for event businesses prioritizing ESG
Diversity matters at every level of the organization – including the governance team. A diverse range of viewpoints supports inclusion throughout the organization, ensuring that more voices are heard. Many businesses are looking to partner with organizations with diverse governance, including gender, sexuality, race, religion, and more.
It’s also about having ethical policies in place to ensure that the entire organization upholds the ethical standards at the core of the business. This helps reassure customers that their event partners work to the same ethical standards for producing meetings and events for their audience.
Why ESG matters in the corporate events industry
At AMI, we’ve found that more and more clients are requesting ESG policies and want to know how these topics are being considered and acted upon by their events partners. If an organization is looking to produce greener, more sustainable, more diverse events, working with an events partner with a strong ESG stance will help them ensure they get it right.
The world, in general, cares more about looking after the environment, supporting diverse communities, and partnering with businesses that share their ethics, which is why having clear ESG policies in place matters. Organizations are more conscious than ever before of reducing their carbon footprint, reducing waste, and being more inclusive. Those in the events industry who can prove that they live and breathe ESG will stand out.