Standing firm on sustainability

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"When it comes to sustainability, companies fall into three camps: those who live it, those who kind of get it, and those who just don't care," Says Craft House Consulting Founder and Director, Yvette Jong.

Sustainability is a topic I try to approach from a new light to avoid scaring those who’d be glad to label me as a tree-hugger. In short, I think the hospitality and MICE industries are still very ‘green’ when it comes to being ‘green.’ And while many CSR budgets are growing, few companies adopt sustainability as more than a tick box for stakeholder reports, much less a long-term business strategy. When it comes to sustainability, companies fall into three camps: those who live it, those who kind of get it and those who just don’t care.
In the first camp, companies understand the value of using only what is needed and avoiding what is not. These companies have an edge, and it’s time they start showing it by sharing their experiences and educating others.
Those companies who adopt sustainability practices because they have a partial awareness of it – or just want to keep up with a trend – are part of a growing group, and their efforts are noteworthy regardless of their motivations. By marketing themselves as ‘green,’ companies in this second camp are vulnerable to criticism. To avoid it, they need to communicate their efforts when they have measurable results to illustrate the impact. There’s always more these companies can do and plenty of case studies and courses from which they can learn. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get their sustainable practices on par with the first camp’s.
Finally, the third camp of companies is not on board with sustainability – yet. These organisations offer more than necessary as a sign of service and luxury, and sometimes consume more because it’s cheap to do so in the markets where they operate.
Optimized management of resources an result in bottom-line savings that are more consistent and require less effort than finding new business. As energy costs increase, water supplies diminish and waste costs rise, consumers are starting to care more about sustainability. So share your ideas, learn from others and remember: It’s possible to do well financially while doing good ethically.”

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Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, is a regular contributor to CEI Asia, Asia-Pacific's leading source for conferences, events and the latest incentive travel industry news, venue listings, case studies. Her contributions address operational challenges and solutions across the MICE industry.