Walking the talk: running a sustainable event with The Bulb & GGA
The Global Good Awards is about encouraging the development of ethical business practices. So if we are to talk the talk, we make sure that we are walking the walk too: these awards practice what they preach! The 2017 event boasted many sustainable practices including: marketing materials printed on 100% recycled and carbon balanced paper from Denmaur (Revive100), by carbon positive printing company, Seacourt as well as a sustainable Pescatarian menu, food waste donations and ‘eco-tie’, fair fashion dress-code.
The 2018 Awards will take things even further. It will be carbon balanced through the World Land Trust (including delegate travel); the beautiful glass awards will all be made from re-used Belu water bottles from the 2017 event as well as off-cuts of glass by Siobhan Jones; the menu will be vegetarian and vegan, with vegan wines; and a percentage of awards entries will also go to Charity of the Year, Royal Marsden.
This year, the GGA are working with The Bulb – the UK’s first B Corporation event agency – to make the ceremony as sustainable as we can. Here, Selina Donald, CEO for The Bulb, explains the change they are bringing to the way events are run. And why, now more than ever, making events sustainable is a great way to have a huge positive impact:
The phrase ‘climate change’ has a lot of negative connotations; imagery of melting ice caps, deforestation of beautiful landscapes, hurricanes, floods… it’s all very bleak and doesn’t make you feel very hopeful for the future. But what about the word ‘change’? Defined as to ‘make or become different’, change is positive, change provides hope, it indicates exciting developments and new ways of being.
The Bulb was born out of frustration at the antiquated ways of working in the events industry, and a desire to see such a change. 13% of the UK’s landfill can be traced back to the events industry. That’s shameful. Especially when we, at The Bulb, know there is a better way of working and it really isn’t that hard to implement.
The mission of The Bulb is to design and deliver our client’s events as sustainably as possible without compromising on creativity or quality. So far so good, just ask ASOS, the team at Lush or the activists behind Vivienne Westwood’s SWITCH campaign who are all just a few of our clients. When we were building our agency, we hired experts in sustainability and target setting to work with us in creating measurable targets which were relevant and challenging. We chose to focus in five key areas that we knew our work had an impact: Food, Materials and Production, Social and Legacy, Energy and Transport.
Millennials are fueling the experience economy, 72% of millennials would rather spend their money on an event than a material object. Creating an exclusive, fun and shareable experience is the most surefire way that a company can create brand loyalty with their target audience, but that’s not everything. Millennials are more likely to expect and demand that sustainability is core to the brands they buy from and from their employees. How an organisation producing an event highlights what matters to them and what they value. It is a public statement of how conscious they are, of their approach to using resources, exceeding employee and customer expectations and creating a legacy. Millennials are no longer the future, they are already our clients, the guests at our events and our trusted advisers.
There is no more exciting place to witness the power of this change in attitude and behaviour than the United Nation’s Conference of Parties (COP23). An impressive event of up to 25,000 government bodies, organisations, NGOs, activist groups and passionate environmentalists all discussing, sharing, protesting and debating viewpoints on how we can tackle climate change. Despite some conflicting views, there is one common thread connecting every single delegate – the recognition that change has to happen now.
The Bulb is proud to be trailblazing that change, we’re future proofing how events are run and shining the (energy efficient) torch into a truly brighter future.
Selina Donald, CEO for The Bulb
Entries for the GGA open on the 1st December 2017 and close 2nd February 2018. You can find out more here.
Anyone wishing to be part of the Global Good revolution and the unique awards programme can contact Commercial Director, Richard Roe on 07776 206077 or email richard@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk.
For entries and other enquiries, contact Founder, Karen Sutton: karen@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk