The Event Greening Forum (EGF) is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote sustainability within the events sector. The EGF was established through dedication and support of eight industry associations who are recognised as founding members. The founding members are key industry associations working together to promote South Africa as a destination for various types of events. They host educational sessions for industry and lobby government in an effort to implement sustainability principles into the daily operations of the events industry.
The Event Greening Forum identified the following main objectives:
- To raise awareness and promote training opportunities for event greening principles and practices,
- To promote event greening principles and practices through appropriate marketing and branding,
- To provide a platform for sharing information and best practice around event greening principles and practices,
- To be industry driven and have mandated representatives from main industry role players,
- To set minimum standards around event greening within the events industry,
- To integrate current initiatives and role players and to draw existing frameworks into one system as far as possible,
- To initially work as a voluntary system, but encourage regulation over time,
- To ensure communication with Government which will promote event greening processes, standards and regulations,
- To raise funds to ensure the long-term sustainability of the forum, and
- To “walk the talk” through our actions based on the triple bottom line principle of people, planet and prosperity.
- Professional Conference Organizers (PCOs) and Destination Management Companies (DMCs),
- Exhibition and Events Organizers,
- Suppliers, Service providers and Sub-contractors (infrastructure, AV, transport, products, etc), and
- Venues, including conference and exhibition facilities, as well as accommodation.
Event Greening first made an appearance on the industry radar screen in South Africa with the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. Needless to say it was an event that had to include sustainability principles into the planning and implementation simply due to the topic, but what has happened in South African since then?
Founding member representatives and key role players at their first AGM in Sandton, February 2012.
If we look at some of the landmark international events hosted in South Africa we can pick up on the event greening that was implemented with the 2010 FIFA World CupTM and COP17 held in Durban in 2011. Both of these events had strong support from National Government to implement sustainable principles into the actual event, as well as leaving positive legacies, such as Hazelmere Solar PV Farm, Cato Manor Green Street and the Durban CEBA initiative.
While these mega events are trendsetters, there are thousands of smaller events hosted around the country annually and it was felt that the establishment of a formal organisation would add value. The Forum was initially set up in 2009 and formalised in 2011, with the establishment of a non-profit organisation in 2012.
Most significantly was the buy-in and support received from eight founding member associations: EXSA, FEDHASA, SATSA, IFEA Africa, SA Roadies, CMP Network SA, TPSA and SAACI. Their contribution to the EGF in terms of knowledge, experience, networking and access to players in the events industry has been invaluable.