post image

Chart of the Week: concerns for sustainable events

More than a quarter of Millennials and Gen Z rank environmental concerns as their top priority, a survey shows.

Findings from the Deloitte Global’s 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey show 26% of both generations ranked protecting the climate as their top personal concern.

It comes despite threats to health, family welfare and careers being closer to home and imminent – but they are already the largest proportion of the workforce worldwide.

We can also see how the environment is considered more important than the economy – which is ranked highest by 15% of Gen Z and 19% of Millennials,

What’s behind the figures?

The threat of the climate crisis, changing attitudes and an increasingly unstable political environment have all reaffirmed the need to limit risks.

Governments around the world are creating targets to hit net zero emissions – which our industry will play a part in meeting.

Global leaders will gather in Glasgow, UK, in November for Cop26 to discuss plans to tackle the climate crisis.

However, research has shown Gen Z and Millennials place more importance than those who came before them.

Rob Davidson, of MICE Knowledge, told ExpoPlatform: “Sustainability was important for previous generations as well, but for younger people it’s not just a nice-to-have thing it’s a really essential thing.

“They care much more, they have understood something important – which is this is the only planet that we have and we need to look after it in everything that we do.

“They understand that going to a conference is not a holiday from reality where you can consume what you want without thinking about the impact of your actions.

“They’re very attentive to things like energy consumption and recycling.”

What does it mean for organisers?

Creating sustainable events is now something event planners must place sharp focus on in their business models.

But this isn’t just about cutting emissions – it’s about futureproofing success.

More than half of the global workforce will be made up of Gen Z and Millennials by 2025 before rising to around three-quarters by 2030, according to ExpoPlatform analysis of UN population projections.

Around 60% of this demographic told the Deloitte survey they fear that businesses are less concerned about making a commitment to reversing climate change while leaders deal with challenges from the pandemic.

It is important for organisers – especially those in senior positions – to pay attention to how this will impact the sustainability of their businesses in future if not handled carefully.

There are three areas which are important to sustainability which can be turned into positives for planners: the environment, accessibility and economics.

Read our full guide on sustainable events to find out more.