GRI Unveils Guidance For Event Sustainability - Business Travel News

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GRI Unveils Guidance For Event Sustainability

January 27, 2012 - 12:55 PM ET

By Chris Davis

The Global Reporting Initiative this week released sustainability guidance and standards developed specifically for meeting organizers to assess and report the impact of their events.

The GRI's Event Organizers Sector Supplement not only includes traditional reporting capabilities for such environmental factors as meeting waste produced and bottled water used, but also social factors like the impact of the event on the local workforce.

The guidance is designed to cover the "complete project life cycle of an event, from bid to planning, execution and, finally, post-event—including the issue of event legacy," according to the organization. The guidance contains options for reporting such meetings management aspects as site selection, recruiting and training of the event workforce, sourcing of materials and services and "managing impacts on communities, natural environments and local and global economies associated with the event."

"Over the last 10 years there has been a growing interest in the 'greening' of events, with more and more organizations considering the sustainability performance of their activities," said GRI reporting framework senior manager Maaike Fleur in a press statement. "Public sustainability reporting is still quite a new concept for event organizers, but we anticipate that this new guidance will help them be more transparent about the impacts of their activities.

"Reporting is also about sharing best practices and can enhance learning for event organizers not yet so familiar with sustainability strategy and reporting," Fleur continued. "Attendees are interested to know the sustainability strategies behind events. Events are a significant business investment so it is vital that we start measuring and reporting sustainability impacts if we are to move to a sustainable global economy."

According to GRI, the supplement was developed by a group of volunteers representing "events companies, governments, labor and civil society organizations," and was finalized after two public comment periods.

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