INSIGHTS

Educational resources, measurement tools, and more in store for 2024

Meet the SITE Sustainability Community

SITE members from around the world are now able to connect with one another through one of our association’s newest initiatives, SITE communities.

These volunteer-driven groups are designed to help members build relationships with other incentive professionals who share a common interest.

SITE’s Sustainability Community was the first to launch their formal online presence, with the Community’s online hub going live in 2023. The Community will also be embarking on several exciting projects throughout 2024, in addition to supporting SITE’s in-person events.

Here’s a small preview of what this ambitious, energetic group has planned for the year. 

How can SITE members connect with the Sustainability Community at SITE Global Conference later this month?

Our Sustainability Community Co-Chair Katrin Naumann and team volunteers Stijn Huijbers, Tanya Wick, and Kate Cardoso will be available in this year’s Global Conference community meet-up room (room M32, on floor M) on February 28 from 10:45 AM to 12:45 PM.

Here, our Sustainability representatives will host round table sessions to provide further education related to sustainability principles and the Sustainability Community initiatives.

Any conference-goers can also contact Katrin Nauman and Stijn Huijbers via the conference mobile app.

What other major projects will the Sustainability Community be working on in 2024? 

Our primary goals in 2024 include continuing educational sessions & webinars and writing & researching relevant articles (which will be posted on our webpage and on SITE’s Motivate blog).

We’re especially focused on further developing and enhancing our SITE Global Sustainability webpage with current and relevant content. We hope it’s a resource SITE members can review monthly for new insights.

We are also focused on evaluating measurement tools to soundly recommend to our membership at large. These recommendations should be on our webpage by the end of Q3 2024. 

What should incentive travel planners focs on right now to make their programs more sustainable? 

From a grassroots perspective, currently, the most visible and impactful strategies to consider are the reduction in F&B waste. This includes offering more vegetarian or plant-based meal options, agreeing on lower F&B guarantees, ensuring leftover F&B is either donated or reused for staff meals, and removing single-use paper and plastics from an entire program. 

To support these strategies, please download the SITE Global Sustainability RFP for a comprehensive guideline on this subject.

What can supplier partners do to encourage and support more sustainable travel? 

Encourage clients to have a sustainability policy so they can share their expectations with all suppliers.

We also encourage suppliers to maintain and offer their own ongoing sustainability practices — such as supporting a community at risk, through financial or other donations (e.g., refurbished laptops, cellphones), or even something more hands-on like serving as a "pen pal mentor" to youth at risk.

Suppliers can also support sustainable CSR activities like nature walks, reforestation initiatives, and community clean-ups at local beaches or parks.

Transport suppliers can offer hybrid transportation and avoid idling.

Finally, suppliers can also create or implement a reputable, relevant measurement tool to drive efforts toward lowering their carbon footprint. Established and local NGOs can provide more suggestions and supports. 

Final recommendations

We understand how overwhelming this can be. To simplify things a bit, think of the “6 Rs" — Rethink - Reduce - Reuse - Repurpose - Repair - Recycle.  

Start by taking simple steps. If everyone commits to adopting simple changes in their day-to-day life, as an aggregate these small steps will create impactful positive climate reality changes.

How?

  • Avoid single-use plastics
  • Bring your own water bottle on your trips and to your meetings
  • Prioritize clean and resource-efficient transportation options (like high-speed trains) to travel overland
  • Use public transportation or walk, if possible
  • If driving, do not idle (many jurisdictions now have idling laws)
  • Enjoy a plant-based meal day once a week
  • Buy local
  • Always turn out the lights when leaving a room

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