Corporate Social Responsibility at Events

How Much Do Companies Care About Society?

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In this SEEbtm issue, we look at how much do events in our region include elements of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how much focus does event planning actually place on green meetings and taking care of (giving back to) the community where events take place.

Considering that corporate social responsibility is an important segment of any serious big company or organization, most of the respondents – 76.5% – attended an event that incorporated elements of CSR (Chart 1). As for the very planning of such events, the situation is slightly different. In this case, somewhat more than 50% of the respondents had organized an event like this. The split is nearly “fifty-fifty” between those who have and those who have never organized this type of event (Chart 2).

According to the participants in the survey, the most common form of corporate social responsibility is en­vironmental approach in production and service delivery (70.6% selected this type of CSR), closely followed by raising different types of donations and respecting employees’ human rights with almost 60% of the respondents. The next form of CSR that stands out are team building activities that have a corporate social responsibility angle, such as tree planting, park cleaning, and the like, as well as green meetings/events (Chart 3).

In this regard, 47% of the respondents had raised some type of donation at an event, and the same percentage stated that they had organized a green meeting or event. Based on the responses obtained from the survey, a green event usually involves recycling, ride sharing to the event, using materials in digital forms (instead of printed), and using biodegradable plates/cups/utensils.

Efforts are invested towards increasing energy efficiency by using appropriate lighting, donating food leftovers, using locally sourced food, as well as hiring local workforce. Of the above, the least common is serving drinks or spices from larger packaging (Chart 4), which is certainly something that event planners should address, since catering can enable big savings financially and environmentally. For example, water can be served at an event in big pitchers instead of hundreds of bottles.

Tatjana Radovic from the Ljubljana Tourism/Convention Bureau listed some other examples not only for green meetings but also for creating green destinations, which Ljubljana certainly is. She mentioned on-site examples of green projects and best practices (green supply chain, urban beekeeping, road closure in the city center, and new principles of urban mobility).

Among the above types of CSR activities that are used are also team building activities.
Specifically, around 65% of the respondents had organized team building activities with elements of CSR (tree planting, park cleaning, etc.). Notably, a large share (88.2%) of the respondents believe that the company they work for applies environmental approaches in production and/or service delivery.

On the other hand, the survey participants think the area of corporate social responsibility has plenty room for improvement, given that a majority (52.9%) stated that the company they work for is insufficiently engaged in corporate social responsibility.

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