Incoming agencies and PCOs (professional congress organizers) play an essential role in the ecoresponsible dimension of an event, from its conception to its execution. The project leader must be able to give concrete examples of eco-responsible event initiatives in the business travel sector. They have a duty to be an ‘environmental and social ambassador’ to raise the awareness of clients and put forward ideas.
Several certifications have been created, in particular the ISO 20121 standard (that will be introduced in 2012) for organizations that wish to incorporate sustainable development into their event management process. Although they are not specific to the events industry, the standards ISO 14001 (environment), ISO 9001 (quality), OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety), and the Label Diversity (non discrimination) still have a certain relevancy to this sector.
If you wish to evaluate the level of commitment of an agency or PCO before organizing an event, there are several aspects to take into account:
• The integration of your sustainable development criteria into the technical requirement specifications, leaving the organizer sufficient leeway to propose eco-designed solutions;
• Request for references: of previously organized events, listed sustainable development service providers, eco-responsible innovations in the business travel sector;
• Survey of measures, charters and internal policies linked to sustainable development that the organizer has incorporated into its activity.
• Establishment of awareness-raising, internally and externally.