Led by Jill Taub Drury and the team at Drury Design Dynamics, the New York Metro Chapter of ISES (International Special Events Society) presented its second annual Sustainability Summit at the Rubin Museum of Art this past Tuesday, April 3rd. The ambitious late afternoon/evening program included educational workshops, presentations and an expert panel discussion. After being well educated and inspired, attendees were invited to mingle with experts and other guests in a stylish alternative to the traditional trade show floor, dubbed “Marketplace 2.0.” Add the sumptuous offerings of Stephen Starr Events (cold curried pea soup topped with lobster and an assortment of local artisan cheeses were among my personal favorites), and you get a sense of just how luxurious sustainability can really be!
For ISES, an organization of event professionals, it was vital to show that sustainability as a goal and a practice is not only attainable, but contains within it endless possibilities for creative expression. On aesthetics alone, this summit proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that sustainability can be sexy. Moreover, through well presented data and practical instruction, attendees learned that the event industry can indeed adopt sustainable practices that will support us in delivering quality to our clients while at the same time enhancing our events in many ways.
The mandate for change is clear. According to the EPA, behind the building and construction industry, the meeting and event industry is ranked the second most wasteful in the country. Clearly we can do better! Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance, explained that many of the positive changes that are now taking place with suppliers in the global agricultural sector have been in response to industry demand, fueled by consumer consciousness. In our industry, event planners and producers may hold the key to driving increased sustainability practices by vendors and manufacturers of event related goods and services.
With an impressive commitment to reduce their carbon footprint by 50% by the year 2013, Bloomberg LLP is a corporate leader in adopting sustainability standards. Sustainability Manager Lee Ballin illustrated this in detail. By creating an entire corporate culture devoted to sharing, promoting and demonstrating the benefits of practices such as more efficient waste disposal, reduced energy consumption and repurposing used materials wherever possible, Bloomberg has demonstrated the cost saving benefits of such measures. According to Ballin, for every $1 invested in environmental management, the company has saved $2 in operating costs. Since 2008, they have measured and tracked $25 million in savings!
To read the rest of this post, please go to http://www.eventwist.com/blog/event-planning/sustainability-sexy-nyc/ Posted with the permission of Deborah Pannell.