beam ESG Summit Recap

We were delighted to host the beam ESG Summit on 8th May 2024 at Unity Place Milton Keynes with industry experts discussing the very important topic of sustainability.

We were delighted to host the beam ESG Summit on 8th May 2024 at Unity Place Milton Keynes with industry experts discussing the very important topic of sustainability.

And what an event it was, with an agenda carefully put together from our dedicated beam ESG Action Group:

  • Louisa Watson – Wyboston Lakes
  • Dana Moore – Trees4Travel
  • Laura Dudley – arrangeMY
  • Femke Millership – HelmsBriscoe
  • Callie Richards Inntel
  • Justine Meek – Warwick Conferences
  • Judi Oliver -Silverstone
  • Pauline Beattie – Conference Care

This event has been so well received as it provided a fantastic opportunity for sustainable experts to come together and understand the challenges we face across the industry, and how we can work together to overcome them.

Here’s a quick recap from a beam ESG Summit…

First we had Megan Harris from isla who debunked some common sustainability myths. She went into which is the more sustainable option for your menu? Shipping in avocados from Mexico, or using locally sourced beef? Many of us were shocked to learn it’s the avocados during this interesting and often surprising session.

Our Panel Session all about Redefining Waste, moderated by Alistair Turner, featured fantastic conversation from Jo Austin – Lime Venue Portfolio, Alex Grant – Grundon Waste Management, and Chloe Rutherford – Silverstone. They discussed the fact that 9.5million tonnes of food is thrown away annually! It’s just one eye opener about how wasteful we can be as humans and as an industry. And when it comes to waste reduction, one of the greatest challenges seems to be a last of communication – stakeholders don’t educate delegates on their objectives, and the supply chain isn’t yet collaborative enough. There is work to be done, but also some easy wins…

Our next Panel Session on Measuring & Influencing Delegate Travel featured Chris Thompson – You. Smart. Thing, Leigh Cowlishaw – Rail Delivery Group, Rob Turnbull – EICC and was moderated by Matt Grey.

The irony of this session being held during a rail strike wasn’t lost on anyone, while the panel discussed how we can drive more rail travel for meetings and events, including nudging people to make the sustainable choice by informing, incentivising, or transforming the journey to events into networking opportunities and a greater part of the event experience. Collaboration is key – for example, between associations and Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – which is looking at a standardised offering for events. Potential for rail industry to consider large events & conferences and how they can influence engineering works.

Next was a Temperature Check with from Anna Abdelnoor – isla. isla’s forthcoming report includes data on over 1500 events and will support the industry by establishing a baseline. It seems clear that while staff travel and catering data is well covered, energy use and waste data are hardly measured, and on average, less than 50% of production is captured!

Our first keynote speaker was Briony Pete – The Circular Life. In exploring the topic of sustainability culture within businesses, we were all asked about our organisational sustainability allies and influencers – do you know who yours are? Do you know how to communicate/ collaborate with them? If culture thrives on trust and safety, then finding those people is a great place to start.

Our second keynote speaker was Dr Vincent Walsh who provided a fascinating insight into agricultural food practices and creating a more circular system. Learning the ways in which planet Earth adapts and changes is enabling substantial leaps in ecosystems and farming.

“Biodiversity enhances the resilience of ecosystems by increasing their capacity to provide essential ecosystem services. These services include clean air and water, soil fertility, pollination for crop production, and climate regulation. A diverse range of species ensures these services are maintained and delivered efficiently. By protecting biodiversity, we safeguard the very foundation of healthy ecosystems, which in turn support human well-being and the sustainability of life on Earth.”

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