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Sustainability in the Events Industry

Sustainability in the Events Industry

Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive officer of the AEO, shares his thoughts on sustainability in the events industry as he urges us to do less talking and take more action.

As event professionals, it’s no secret that sustainability has become one of the biggest focus points of our world and the central theme of many discussions, including those at The Meetings Show 2024.

But it’s no good just talking about sustainability, if we want to make a tangible difference we need to do less talking and take more action.

If you’re wondering how to turn your words into action, let me share some of the ways we’re moving things forward at the AEO.

Like The Meetings Show and many within its community, we think it is important to promote a culture of sustainability within our membership base, the wider events community and our team. Working together is essential.

The first step in our journey that we took was to collaborate with a leading carbon management company. This was instrumental in our path as it helped us establish ambitious carbon reduction targets to aim towards.

Through the collaboration we also created sustainability guides on topics we found challenging that we could share with our membership and empower them to embrace sustainable practices and make a tangible difference.

Beyond carbon management, the AEO has outlined clear sustainability commitments, providing members with a roadmap to consistent sustainability performance. The emphasis on collaboration has been evident for over a decade with the AEO, AEV, ESSA dedicated cross industry sustainability working group, but in addition, last year we also created one dedicated for members, providing platforms to knowledge share and problem-solve together.

Central to AEO's ethos is the promotion of sustainable events. From supplier partnerships to on-site practices, every aspect is geared towards minimising environmental impact. The commitment to achieving net-zero carbon events by 2050 underscores AEO's dedication to a sustainable future.

Like many event professionals, we are on a journey, and for us, the most important thing is our continued focus on progress over perfection. Are you with us?

What we are taking note of: The Government's recent defeat in the High Court for insufficient action on emissions serves as a reminder of the urgency of the sustainability agenda, and the need for the industry to lead. Despite challenges, the events industry remains unwavering in its commitment to sustainability and its reduction of carbon emissions.