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Cities not measuring environmental impact of events

Most destination marketing organisations (DMOs) are not measuring the environmental impact of business events – or even including them in their ‘climate strategy’, a report suggests.

The 2021 GDS-Index found 86 per cent of cities had a climate strategy – but only 36 per cent specifically include ‘business events’, such as conferences and exhibitions, in their strategy.

Furthermore only 22 per cent of DMOs are measuring and reporting the environmental impact of business events, although 46 per cent measure the economic impacts of events.

The statistics show how far the business events industry must go if it is to meet its pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and reach Net Zero by 2050.

Signatories of the pledge, which is being administer by the Joint Meetings Industry Council, must now work out a roadmap to Net Zero to be launched at COP 27 in Egypt next year.

“The COP26 deal is now sealed,” said Guy Bigwood, chief changemaker at GDS-Movement, owners of the GDS-Index, “and while the Glasgow gathering has not guaranteed 1.5°C, it has kept the prospect of achieving it alive. What’s more, the last two weeks produced many solid national and citywide pledges to action within tourism, events, cities, finance, and other industries.

“This creates unprecedented convergence between investors, businesses, cities, and subnational regions that can and will drive authentic economic transformation. Now the real work begins. We must return to our businesses, cities, and associations, and turn these pledges into clear strategy and a short-term action plan that radically reduces emissions towards a net zero target, while fighting inequality and poverty, and supporting those in vulnerable communities.”

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