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