It may not seem obvious, but event and meeting planners have a great opportunity to integrate corporate social responsibility into their events. Corporate social responsibility or CSR is a policy that functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. Translation = embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, and stakeholders.
CSR is most frequently seen occurring in the non-profit sector with galas, auctions, walks/runs, and more; however there are plenty of other creative ways to incorporate CSR into your event, regardless of the type of events you plan.
Here’s some CSR inspiration:
- Dedicate a morning or afternoon of an event to clean a park or restore a playground.
- Donate excess funds from an event to a charity.
- Recycle all paper products used for your meeting or event and try to go electronic with as much of your materials as possible. (ie. provide a PDF that can be emailed or downloaded rather than print out)
- Reserve some space on the guest list for inviting individuals who could not ordinarily afford to attend your event.
- Donate extra trade show or event t-shirts to a charity.
- Donate leftover flowers to a local nursing home.
- Supply guests with reusable water bottles instead of single serve plastic water bottles – they’re also great for sponsorship opportunities!
- Recycle name badges – they can be used at your next event.
- Opt for online registration programs – it will help keep you more organized anyway!
- Book with venues that support green and energy-efficient initiatives.
- Source your needs locally and buy fair-trade when possible.
Embedding CSR into your planning process does not have to be a daunting task. It can be as simple as making a donation or as complex as planning a large charity event. All it takes is a little creativity (which all of us planners are known for!) and a little extra coordination to make a huge difference in our communities!