Telling the Story of the Power of Sustainable Events

As part of the United Nations' 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Positive Impact, a not-for-profit organization that provides sustainability education and best practices for the events industry, has issued a call to action to bring the world's events professionals together to ensure a sustainable future for the industry. The campaign aims to tell the story of the power of events by sharing best practices, engaging ambassadors, and educating stakeholders worldwide on how the events industry can have a more positive social, economic, and environmental impact.

"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," says Positive Impact CEO Fiona Pelham. "This campaign is an opportunity to share the economic, environmental, and social power of events."

The campaign, a plea to the industry worldwide, aims to:

  • Educate two million people on the UN's Sustainable Development goals
  • Share two million examples of best practices (using the hashtag #ShareAPositiveImpact)
  • Recruit one thousand ambassadors worldwide to spread the word
  • Create a top ten list of how the event industry can make a difference to the world
  • Produce a research paper this year from UK academics, which collates, analyzes, and models data from the campaign and demonstrates the instrumental role the events industry plays in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

An example of a best practice being shared is a team that is exploring how much food waste the event industry creates and how with a change in legal and practical infrastructure it could contribute to the UN sustainable development goal of zero hunger.

April 21, the day before Earth Day, is the Positive Impact-created CSR Share Day, in which the global event industry uses Twitter to share best practices regarding the creation of a sustainable event sector. The hashtag #csrshareday will be used for themes including gender equality, accessibility, and carbon management. Sponsored for the second year by Oregon Convention Center, Positive Impact predicts that the 1.2 million tweets garnered last year will be exceeded.