Social responsibility and sustainability focus of new IRF study

i By November 21, 2022 No Comments

Social responsibility and sustainability are the focus of the latest study from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF).

Released November 17th, the study explores the trends and implications around sustainable business practices in the meetings, incentives, conferences, and events industry and examines ways – large and small – that businesses are employing sustainable practices to differentiate themselves, align with corporate goals, reduce costs, and generate competitive advantage.

“Social responsibility requirements and sustainability continue to be part of our industry’s conversations,” said Stephanie Harris, president, IRF. “Our interviews for this study revealed that sustainable practices are becoming more important to clients and more prevalent in RFPs. However, many clients reconsider if there is resulting increase cost or compromises in venues and reward choice.”

Key insights presented in Social Responsibility and Sustainability include:

  • Almost 80% of respondents to an IRF survey report at least some pressure from clients to provide more sustainable options in meetings, events, incentive travel venues, and transport.
  • Cost is the primary barrier to the sustainability movement. It’s important to identify and implement those sustainable practices that can reduce event and incentive travel costs.
  • Destinations closer to home, especially those that do not require air travel, are gaining in popularity, due in part to environmental and sustainability concerns, as well as costs.
  • The use of local entertainers, food suppliers, and speakers can reduce costs, lower environmental impact, and support the local economy.
  • Destination management companies can be engaged to design meaningful, sustainable experiences in communities where corporate events are held.
  • Sustainable rewards and benefits (SRBs) are becoming more prevalent. Examples of SRBs include charitable contributions on behalf of the employee, the opportunity for employees to reward their co-workers, and the donation of employee work time to a charitable cause.
  • Employees report being happier and more satisfied when rewarded with a charitable contribution to a charity of choice as opposed to cash, and this satisfaction is linked to greater overall team performance.

To view or download a copy of the full report,  visit the Social Responsibility and Sustainability webpage.