CWT Meetings & Events has released a bonus feature for its M&E 2020 Future Trends Report, titled The Future of Sustainable Events.
CWT says that sustainability will continue to be an ever more important business consideration for the $840bn events industry in 2020.
As activists protest in some of the world’s best-known destinations – including London, Sydney, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York and Washington, DC – demanding action on climate change, companies are increasingly taking notice.
Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, CWT Meetings & Events, said: “The sustainability of the meetings and events industry, in fact of the entire travel industry, is at the forefront of companies’ and planners’ minds in 2020.
“It’s driven by news coverage of climate change but, more importantly, it’s supported by the next generation of travellers – the millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travellers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them.
“These are people for whom travel has become commonplace and accessible in a way that it wasn’t for older generations. They want to continue meeting in popular destinations, but they are also hyper-aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment and local communities wherever they go.”
Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 has found that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation.
In response, companies and meeting planners are adopting various initiatives, including offsetting air miles with carbon, eliminating plastic waste, opting for locally-sourced and produced food and drinks, or choosing ethical suppliers.
Major international initiatives such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are helping to drive home the message that, in 2020 and beyond, sustainability and responsible business are no longer just a feel-good item on HR’s agenda, but have real consequences for a company’s brand and bottom line.