Have your say as the events industry heads to the UN Sustainability Summit

Event industry professionals across the globe are being urged to take part in a vital initiative this month – 'Engaging the global event industry with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals' – ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25-27 September in New York.

An online survey, which goes live on 1 August at http://survey.positiveimpactevents.com/, will provide anyone working in the meetings and events industry the ability to contribute opinions and commitments to how the global event industry could achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The survey has been created as part of the 'My World Global Citizen Survey' to bring people's voices into official debates about the SDGs and will be available in 22 languages. Surveys completed before 1 September will be used to form an ‘acceleration action’ which will be shared with the United Nations.

Positive Impact, a global not-for-profit which exists to engage, educate and collaborate to create a sustainable event industry, will analyse all survey responses and create content for an ‘Acceleration Commitment’ which will identify key action items to take to create a sustainable event industry. The report will be submitted to the United Nations as part of their call for commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals which will be discussed at the summit in New York in September.

Event technology provider Cvent is one of the partners supporting the creation of an acceleration commitment, which will communicate to the United Nations how engaging the event industry could lead to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030. Other partners include IMEX, Maritz and Oregon Convention Center.

Heads of state and government will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to progress the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs address everything from gender equality and an end to food poverty to responsible production and sustainable communities:


The event is the first UN Summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.

Full details of the acceleration commitment will be presented across Positive Impact’s network and at Cvent CONNECT Europe, 14-16 October at the InterContinental O2 in London.

Judy Elvey, director of marketing for Cvent in Europe, commented: “We hear a lot about sustainability in our industry, but many need guidance as to how they can support the global political agenda and crucially overcome any perceived challenges to supporting the sustainable development goals at an industry level. I would urge every event professional in the industry to share their views so that we can present a united voice and look at a range of solutions. This initiative marks an important next stage as we pave the path for a more sustainable events industry.”

Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact said: “‘There is an urgent business case for the event industry to act to show they are part of the solution to reach the UN SDGs and not the problem.  Back in March 2019, 1.3 million young people used an event (a protest) to ask decision makers to support their plea for immediate action. Events touch everyone - we all take part in events whether it be sporting, cultural or day to day business meetings therefore we all have the ability to have an impact.  Through this survey and the acceleration commitment we   have an immediate and unique opportunity to collaborate with global governments and business on a strategic level and tell the story of the power of events.”

UNFCCC, which focuses on goal 13 (Climate Action), concluded: “Our focus is on accelerating climate action in all industries at global level. We need urgent action by all stakeholders. We recently launched sectoral initiatives in the sports and fashion sectors, and we look forward to initiatives that mobilise further action. The events industry is a key one.”

Infographic source: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html.