A new report published by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) presents a comprehensive assessment of meetings industry activities addressing the full range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG’s). The programme was an extension of an initiative begun by UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, with a view to expanding its perspective into other business event sectors.
The report is based on 43 submissions from 16 countries, and includes initiatives from Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Case studies were assessed for compliance with screening standards established by Greenview Hospitality PTE, who then used them to compile the final report.
“While Covid-19 still defines our industry’s short-term agenda, we need to look ahead as well. As we rebuild events, it will be mandatory that we do this in a way that is aligned with global standards on sustainable development. This new report shares successful initiatives from around the world – every one of them can serve as a blueprint for hundreds of companies,” said JMIC president Kai Hattendorf.
The format for reporting created a range of practical insights, including design, strategy, implementation and evaluation. They were aggregated under three overall categories: Event Themes and Content; Event Execution and Operations, and Company Operations, each of which was explored in terms of how activities were aligned with specific UNSD goals.
Some specific practical opportunities that emerged for consideration by other industry participants included opportunities to align performance reporting systems with relevant UNSDG’s and to use the process to create a “culture of sustainable development” within an organisation through the formation of working groups and related policies.
Report authors identified five top UNSDG’s addressed in the portfolio of case studies as:
1. Responsible consumption and production | UNSDG 12
2. Creating partnerships to achieve goals | UNSDG 17
3. Sustainable cities and communities | UNSDG 11
4. Climate action | UNSDG 13
5. Decent work and economic growth | UNSDG 8
In summary, the report authors noted that “The meetings industry has a critical role to play in moving the needle forward given that it enjoys an incomparable outreach – millions of international attendees and exhibitors are engaged every year, spanning a wide cross section of all sectors of business, government, academia and community. The work of the meetings industry wields meaningful influence on how knowledge and business practices evolve, and supports economic, professional, social and academic advancement to the benefit of all”.
Added: “This report, along with the detailed case studies it has summarised, is extraordinarily useful in that is presents the tangible actions of many in our industry who have taken the concepts of the UNSDG framework and applied them in practical and demonstrable way.”
The report, along with details of the component case studies, is available at: www.themeetingsindustry.org