When Kermit the Frog first sang “it’s not easy being green’” onSesame Street in 1971, Jim Henson’s adorable puppet was not referring to environmental correctness, he was singing about adversity and diversity. Fast forward to 2010 and being green has moved from the fringe to centre stage. Global warming has become the hot topic.
Many of us feel we need to play our part in the quest to reduce our environmental footprint. Over in the US, which has led the way with eco-campaigns and initiatives, a handful of forward-thinking organisations have appointed a Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) as the newest C-level executive. However, some organisations and individuals are referring to “Green Fatigue” as the new challenge, as industries are unable to sustain a green approach in the long term.
Within the events industry in Asia, being green has still not hit the mainstream. There are eco resorts, hotels displaying green certification, and community projects underway. However, we feel that more could be done to fulfil our ultimate responsibility to our own organisations, the community, the environment and humanity at large. Meanwhile, there are quite a few organisations who make a profit by “green washing” their products. Some hotels are going green as a marketing tool with no genuine long-term plan.
We need guidance on what solid actions constitute true environmental commitment. The events industry should be encouraged to pursue efforts to conserve energy and resources. Let’s make value chains sustainable by paying attention to and foreseeing the redesign of our operations so that we use less energy and water, produce fewer emissions and generate less waste.
Hopefully, corporates which stage events will become more eco-savvy with their procurement and show preference to environmentally conscious hotels, venues and DMCs over similar suppliers with no green commitment.
Being green is more than a passing fad, it is a long-term commitment and key to the future. The events industry’s stakeholders who are committed to being green in the long run are the ones who win consumers. So it is up to us, when we appoint suppliers, to check that our partners are part of the green movement.