Improving the sustainability of conferences and exhibitions, and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a topic on the agenda of many event organisers today. The UN describes the goals as “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.”
Related to business events, there is, understandably, a high degree of focus on avoiding unnecessary travel and reducing waste in numerous forms (food, packaging, give-aways, single-use items etc.).
For ASIS Europe, we are working on a hybrid event format which uses the onsite event in Prague for learning and networking experiences uniquely suited to an in-person format, combined with online events for maximum accessibility.
In combination to a suggestion to support a CO2 offset local activity, there are a number of initiatives taken in partnership with the local partners (event venue, the host city and the catering and exhibit services suppliers) to limit and improve consumption at the Prague event – we have provided a more detailed overview related to goals 12 and 13 on this page.
However, in addition to addressing the environmental impacts of events, we believe that ASIS Europe and other similar events should be considered in a much broader context and can actively support the goals in many other ways, especially when considering this statement from The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019, “Just as problems are interrelated, the solutions to poverty, inequality, climate change and other global challenges are also interlinked. Valuable opportunities exist to accelerate progress by examining interlinkages across Goals.” One very concrete demonstration of this is the Post COP26 Economy – Impacts on Security session examining how companies are not only managing the climate chance risks but also approaching sustainability and circularity as essential components of their business plans.
Looking at ASIS Europe as an integral part of ASIS’ overall mission to Advance Security Worldwide, we believe it is also relevant to highlight examples such as:
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Education is at the core of the event and one of ASIS’ key offerings. By gathering expert knowledge from around the world in a single location and sharing it through various price-point options, the event provides high quality, inclusive education to local and international security professionals and helps their knowledge and skills to remain relevant in a fast-changing work environment.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
ASIS and in particular the activities of the Women in Security community, actively promote and support progress towards gender equality and increasing diversity in the security profession. The event provides dedicated networking opportunities and the chance for women at all career stages to share expertise, experience and advice.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Security plays an important role in organisational resilience and business continuity – processes which keep companies running through challenging times, and of course keeps employees safe wherever they might be. Security is also essential to successful innovation and investment, especially on large scale governmental or private sector infrastructure projects.
Additionally, there is significant economic activity created by and around events – from the promotion of new products and services in the exhibition to supporting the jobs directly related to the event creation and production.
Reduce inequality within and among countries
ASIS’ mission is “Advancing security worldwide”. Through its global education programmes like ASIS Europe, and the promotion of high standards worldwide, the association is reducing inequality among countries. ASIS Europe provides numerous educational and networking opportunities which are free to attend and/or available online.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
A range of concrete initiatives were taken by ASIS in partnership with local event suppliers to help contribute to these two goals at ASIS Europe 2022 – see them all here.
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
By its contribution to the fight against crime and corruption, sharing knowledge amongst organisations and providing a platform for public and private sector stakeholders to collaborate, ASIS and events like ASIS Europe contribute to peaceful and sustainable societies and institutions.
We hope that these examples (which could be expanded much further looking at all the activities of ASIS and the work of its members) show that these events are vital gatherings that generate huge value to both attendees and broader society.