New report shows demand-driven corporate social responsibility accreditation is up in Australian business events sector

1 December 2010, Australia

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Key facts

  • 36 per cent of Australian business events organisations now hold at least one accreditation for environmental or social responsibility; up from 31 per cent in 2008.
  • 75 per cent for Australia’s convention and exhibition centres are accredited, as are 56 per cent of transport and 47 per cent of accommodation businesses.

Key quotes

  • ”When it comes to business events, it’s a total myth that CSR stands for ‘Can’t See Returns’, international corporate tourism customers are increasingly required to investigate the CSR credentials of suppliers they use. In fact it’s vital to winning competitive tenders. ” Penny Lion, Head of Business Events, Tourism Australia
  • ”This report demonstrates the progress that the Australian business events industry has made over the last two years in developing practices and policies that adhere to these principles. Although we still have a way to go, this solid and real change is remarkable.” Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia

Full story

Continued demand from clients for corporate social responsibility credentials is driving increased industry accreditation in Australia according to a new report released today by Business Events Australia.

The report, Destination CSR: How Australia is travelling in 2010, reveals significant momentum for formal CSR accreditation by business event providers.   Driven by corporate customer demand both domestically and from key international markets, 36 per cent of Australian business events organisations now hold at least one accreditation for environmental or social responsibility; up from 31 per cent in 2008.

Within this group, 75 per cent for Australia’s convention and exhibition centres are accredited, as are 56 per cent of transport and 47 per cent of accommodation businesses.  These positive changes are driven by demand for business event clients who contribute almost AUD$6 billion to the Australian economy. (i)

“When it comes to business events, it’s a total myth that CSR stands for Can’t See Returns,” said Penny Lion, Head of Business Events Australia.

“International corporate tourism customers are increasingly required to investigate the CSR credentials of suppliers they use. In fact it’s vital to winning competitive tenders.

“The demand for CSR credentials is also one that isn’t going to go away – the recent Convention 2020 survey forecasting what the business events industry will look like in 2020 showed that 70 per cent of respondents believed ethical and environmental decisions will play a big part in determining which events are attended – which was higher than security issues, which only rated at 55 per cent. (ii)

“Australian operators have responded to this call – the report shows 75 per cent of operators have some form of CSR policies, strategies or plans. There is more to do to encourage formal accreditation but the movement detailed in the report is a big step forward,” she said.

“This report demonstrates the progress that the Australian business events industry has made over the last two years in developing practices and policies that adhere to these principles. Although we still have a way to go, this solid and real change is remarkable,” said Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia.

The report found more than four in 10 organisations surveyed expressed their commitment to CSR principles via the implementation of formal policies. Encouragingly, a large proportion of those organisations without such policies intend to implement them in the near future.

Many organisations surveyed use a variety of CSR-related initiatives from giving preference to locally sourced products and services to the employment of local residents.

The aviation industry is also responding to demand for CSR credentials and environmentally responsible travel, with carbon offset programs and more efficient air travel ticking the right boxes for international customers.

According to Rob Kella, Chief Risk Officer, Qantas, ”The aviation industry has been a global leader in taking steps to reduce its environmental footprint, from the development of cleaner, more efficient modern aircraft to extensive fuel conservation work and research into sustainable aviation fuels.

”Qantas’ fuel conservation program has saved over one million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent since its launch in 2005, and the Qantas and Jetstar carbon offset programs have offset a further 780,000 tonnes since 2007.  In the 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project, Qantas was included in the Carbon Leaders Index for Australia and New Zealand” said Kella.

“Once business event travellers arrive in Australia, the report shows there is a plethora of tour operators, accommodations, exhibition venues and transport operators that are also treading softly when it comes to the triple bottom line,” said Lion.

The CSR audit report was completed following a survey of 347 organisations on their commitment to CSR, their level of environmental and other accreditation and how they managed relevant issues within their organisation.

Business Events Australia is a dedicated team within Tourism Australia devoted to promoting Australia as a business events destination. The unit is hosting a stand at the global meetings and events tourism trade show – EIBTM – in Barcelona, Spain, between 30 November and 2 December.

Business Events Australia will be supporting EIBTM’s own sustainability initiatives at a high level by reducing waste and energy usage, and participating in the event’s sustainability monitoring and measurement questionnaire.

The report can be downloaded from www.businessevents.australia.com/corporate-social-responsibility

(i) Business Events in Australia: Results from the International Visitors Survey and the National Visitors Survey, Tourism research Australia, Tourism Australia. October 2009
(ii) Convention 2020 – the Future of Exhibitions, Meetings and Events, 5 March 2010, www.convention-2020.com

 

 

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