Large-scale events such as conferences, concerts and sporting events leave a mark on the communities in which they operate. Done correctly, events can drive enormous benefits in terms of economic activity, inclusivity and even social and political benefits.
But when it comes to the environment, the impact is almost always negative. Indeed, according to Jäckle’s calculations, the average CO2 balance of a conference visitor ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 tons of CO2 equivalents per three-day ECPR meeting. In comparison, every German emits a total of about 11 tons of CO2 equivalents per year.
To put things into perspective, the global events industry is accountable for over 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, consumers and governments are increasingly demanding that major venues and events take responsibility for tracking their impact on the environment, encompassing carbon emissions, plastic waste, legacy, human rights and diversity standards.
According to a recently released consultation paper by the Treasury, the Australian government intends to enforce compulsory regulations on climate-related financial disclosure for companies operating in the country. Large organisations would be required to comply with the reporting requirements by 2024, while smaller entities would have a phased implementation over the next three years.
Why is Sustainability Tracking Important for Your Venue?
With 77% of consumers more inclined to support companies committed to improving the planet, implementing effective sustainability tracking produces numerous benefits, including:
- Engaging your team in sustainability efforts.
- Reporting achievements to stakeholders.
- Demonstrating accomplishments to visitors and fans.
- Ensuring compliance with current and upcoming government regulations.
- Empowering an equal and diverse workforce.
Which Sustainability Metrics Should You Track?
Environmental sustainability involves taking actions to conserve resources, protect ecosystems and support the well-being of future generations. Measuring the overall carbon footprint of your venue serves as a useful headline metric that encompasses your entire environmental sustainability strategy.
Legacy refers to the long-term impact of a major event on the host area, encompassing cultural, economic, social, environmental, physical and sporting considerations. Tracking metrics such as participation in grass-roots level sports, post-event use of new infrastructure, environmental impact, job creation and education can help assess the event’s legacy.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
CSR involves addressing environmental impacts and larger societal concerns while also focusing on internal governance, including working conditions, gender balance and anti-corruption measures. It is vital for large, impactful venues to prioritize sustainable global development rather than solely focusing on profit, as demanded by customers and stakeholders —73% of investors support efforts to help the environment and society.
Effective CSR tracking requires an examination of internal factors, such as gender pay equality and maternity leave policies, as well as external factors like charitable contributions, community involvement, carbon emissions and supply chain practices.
- Equality and Diversity:
Equality and diversity encompass equal opportunity, removing discrimination, and foster an inclusive work environment. Tracking headline metrics such as gender representation, ethnic diversity and other relevant factors like race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, education, experience, age, disability and family status helps evaluate the diversity of your venue and industry.
Ensuring consistency of opportunity for staff, providing equal training, and implementing unbiased application and interview processes are essential for achieving equality and inclusivity across all individuals.
- Human Rights:
Human rights comprise of fundamental standards of basic quality of life and treatment that every human being deserves, protected by local and international law. Tracking human rights metrics overlaps with CSR and internal governance, covering areas such as liberty and security, nutrition and food safety, access to healthcare facilities, and equal access to positions of power and legal protections.
Taking the First Step Towards Sustainable Events
Sustainability is not only a responsible decision but also a smart business choice that benefits the entire industry and the world at large. With the rise in consumer demand and government regulations for sustainability measures, it’s imperative for organisations to start tracking their initiatives.
By utilising the appropriate tools, your venue can pursue better sustainability practices and demonstrate progress towards their goals. Momentus Technologies now offers leading software solutions to help venues better manage and track their sustainability efforts. Contact our team of experts today to get started.
Download your copy of the Ultimate Guide for Sustainability Tracking at Venues and learn the importance of effective sustainability tracking, key themes of sustainability and external frameworks and certifications to help you get started.
By Peter Ward, VP ESG and Major Events at Momentus Technologies