How beam helps members to move forward on their sustainability journey

Louisa Watson, beam’s ESG director and Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort

Sustainability has reached an exciting turning point within the UK events industry.

The focus on sustainability has shifted. Originally, it was solely about green issues. Now ithas a more holistic meaning that goes beyond the environment and reducing carbonfootprints. It covers economic issues, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), health and well-being, reward, and recognition. There is also a greater emphasis on ESG, which is ameasured assessment of sustainability using benchmarks and metrics.

Event organisations will increasingly create ESG roles and teams, opening a new talent field.For organisations that already have a head of sustainability, the role itself is changing. It’sbecoming more of a liaison role, working with various teams across a business to ensure allaspects of ESG are fulfilled.

Accreditation, measurement, and offsetting were the biggest talking points to emerge frombeam’s recent Sustainability Forum. One of the key takeaways was that there is so muchnoise around ESG that many organisations do not know where to start on their journey. Theoverwhelming response to this barrier? Accreditation. It doesn’t matter if your business is onthe lowest rung of accreditation because the process will get you started and help identifywhich areas need attention.

The sooner everyone gets started on their journey, the better, especially as the Forumidentified that sustainability measurement of events has become standard at blue-chipcompanies. Measuring events in their entirety will only become more commonplace.Offsetting is a major interest area too, particularly on the rules, regulations, and differentapproaches being used.

Since the Forum, one-to-one support for members on sustainability has been provided bybeam’s ESG action group, which I lead with the help of Justine Meek, agency relationshipsmanager at Warwick Conferences; Dana Moore, sustainability lead at Agiito; Laura Dudley,head of account management at ArrangeMy; Pauline Beattie, sales director, ConferenceCare and Callie Richards, head of partnerships and strategic projects at Inntel, with newaction group members soon to join.

Over the next 12 months, the group will be working on new initiatives such as an ESGToolkit and a Sustainable Suppliers List, which will include exclusive agreements with someof those on the list. The first one is an exclusive partnership with Trees4Events, whichprovides members with preferential rates when off-setting.

Looking ahead, we want to be the go-to group that can support and help all beam members,whether they are at the start of their ESG journey or are already making headway, to ensurethe industry is collectively and collaboratively working towards a more sustainable future.