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A reporting tool for improving the sustainability of events by Manon Glauden

03 October 2018
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VO Event has a reporting tool for improving the sustainability of the events we organise. We use it to raise awareness and encourage our clients, service providers and teams to demonstrate greater social responsibility.

Anyone involved with event management today needs to contribute to the improvement of the quality of their events, while taking into account societal and environmental issues. This is why VO started building a CSR reporting tool a year ago (guided by the principles of the ISO 20121 standard), to evaluate the sustainability efforts at each of its events. The company aims to use it to routinely find ways of progressing towards offering more responsible services in view of the issues facing society.

 

How does the reporting tool work?

After organising an event, a questionnaire is sent to the suppliers and service providers. The questions involve every aspect related to an event: communication, catering, logistics, location, mobility, etc. The answers allow the impact and the level of commitment of each participant - including our own teams - to be assessed, from an ethical, economic, social, citizenship and sustainability perspective.

All of the data is then cross-referenced by the platform developed by Sense, a partner of VO Group.

 

This set of data is very useful for 4 reasons:

 

Empowering our own teams

Reporting helps trigger internal reflexes so that thinking of ways to improve CSR becomes second nature. It drives each individual to ask the right questions, to ask what he/she has or has not done, to think about what could be improved, who are the preferred suppliers, etc. Having all of this data available for every event means we can compare and update them and improve our recommendations to win the events of tomorrow.

 

Defining a “responsible” supplier profile

And hence encouraging them to upgrade the services they offer. Putting our questionnaire in front of a supplier can act as a prompt, an incentive. An agency like ours needs to be able to exercise this kind of influence over its suppliers, to guide them towards a circular, local, sustainable economy.

 

Gauging the profile of an event

Cross-referencing data gathered from suppliers - some of it encrypted - helps build a picture of the event in the form of a final report (overall rating) intended for the client. This document can subsequently be used to improve recurrent events and act as a template to be referred to when developing new events. Even better, each client can use the report on their event as evidence of their status as “star pupil” in terms of social responsibility. Moreover, some companies (with more than 500 employees) are obliged to produce an extra-financial report each year that includes the sustainable aspects of their business activities.

 

Promoting awareness among clients

Even now, few of our clients are interested in the sustainability aspect of their events. With our reporting tool, we aim to raise awareness among them. Moreover, and going even further, we envisage routinely offering them a section on CSR in our recommendations, as well as suggesting solutions for more responsible events.

For us, offering such a service is an additional way of rethinking the way events are organised and positioning ourselves as a responsible business, taking our share of responsibility in the battle against waste, pollution, etc. Clients, suppliers and VO teams alike will all benefit and grow from the proper use of this CSR reporting tool. The test phase lasts until the end of 2018, and the tool will be fully operational in January 2019.