"SITE recognises the positive impact incentive travel events can have on the world we live in and want to lead our members in understanding the sustainability challenges the industry faces, and take steps to improve them."
Sustainability. It’s still one of those words that can seem a little ‘ambiguous’ to many of us. What does it cover? Who does it apply to? How should we be acknowledging it? Is there a cross over between our personal lives and our careers? How do we merge both?
The topic of sustainability and what we should be doing as an industry comes up regularly within our membership and this year, under the leadership of President Annamaria Ruffini, SITE has chosen to make it a key priority.
We all want to make a difference in the communities that we live and work in, that is a given. But there are also incredible opportunities when we chose to live sustainably, not least when it comes to our work lives. In an industry that demands constant innovation and uniqueness, choosing the sustainable path can make great business sense.
Take an incentive proposal for example. You are searching for something new to offer your client in your destination, something that will make your proposal stand out from all the others they are looking at. Why not look to the smaller independent retail community for ideas?
One such example is a social enterprise in Indianapolis called PUP: People for Urban Progress. PUP is a nonprofit that salvages the city’s discarded materials and redesigns them for public benefit--creating everything from public seating and bus stops to products for sale such as duffle bags and purses. The items that PUP makes are created from waste that is unique to Indianapolis—for example, the demolition of RCA/Hoosier dome, seating from Bush Stadium, and signage from the Indy 500 and 2012 Super Bowl, therefore reducing the waste of the city while creating jobs in the process. Their motto is ‘’we make goods for good.’’ Simple, effective, creative--the perfect example of a company that we in the hospitality industry who use the very venues that naturally create waste can look to support and showcase as a unique concept in proposals to clients.
Or take a look at IMEX, one of the leading trade shows in our space. IMEX is asking everyone attending the show this year to bring reusable coffee cups. If everyone used their own cup, even just for their morning cup of coffee, for 3 days of the show in Las Vegas it would prevent over 37,000 cups going to landfill. What a simple concept to introduce to an event, with zero cost to the trade show, minimal effort by the participant, yet a huge impact to the local destination that they are operating in.
SITE recognises the positive impact incentive travel events can have on the world we live in and want to lead our members in understanding the sustainability challenges the industry faces, and take steps to improve them. This year we have made it a priority to focus on sustainable elements in each and every event that the Association operates.
We have also created a community of SITE Sustainability Champions that are passionate about educating and empowering our members and are partnering with Positive Impact to deliver sustainability tools and education and create a Sustainability Charter for SITE to ‘live by’ in 2019
In order to gather input from the global SITE community, a number of engagement opportunities have been created including webinars, a questionnaire and a toolkit for our SITE members and Chapters to contribute to a 2019 Sustainability Charter for our Association. You can access this info easily HERE.
We would love your feedback so please take a look and share your thoughts!
Thanks so much for all of your support!
Aoife Delaney, CIS
SITE International Board of Directors Member and Sustainability Champion