On March 30th Reeve Consulting attended the World Conference on Sport and Environment which is organized every two years by the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme. The conference is designed to encourage strong social responsibility and reduce the impacts that sports events can have on the environment, particularly the Olympics.
This year the theme of the conference was ‘Innovation and Inspiration: Harnessing the Power of Sport for Change’. Reeve would like to note a few interesting points from the delegates of the conference:
Thomas Van Dyck, Senior Vice President – Financial Consultant, Senior Consulting Group RBC Wealth Management – SRI Wealth Management Group, USA delivered a compelling opening plenary presentation speaking to the critical importance of ethical and sustainable purchasing as a market mechanism to scale up a green and sustainability oriented economy.
Ann Duffy, Corporate Sustainability Officer, Vancouver 2010, and David Stubbs, Head of Environment and Sustainable Development, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG 2012) highlighted how purchasing is a central tenant of their overall strategies to advance zero waste, carbon neutral commitments and other sustainability priorities. Reeve worked closely with Vancouver 2010 on the development of their Buy Smart program and was happy to see this program being profiled in Ann’s presentation.
Hon. Gordon Campbell, Premier of the Province of British Columbia, was impressive as he highlighted the importance of investing in a green economy and that we need to act now on the issue of climate change. He painted an optimistic vision of how we can capitalize on investments in green technologies and infrastructure to build a stronger and more productive economy in BC and beyond. Reeve Consulting shares this vision and it’s great to hear the premier of BC showing leadership on an international platform.
The conference was a great opportunity to network with likeminded firms, organizations and individuals. A couple of our observations from the conference include:
- sport management professionals and other major event representatives at the conference are clearly hungry for details on sustainable purchasing
- many we spoke with were looking for more tangible examples of actual program implementation / challenges and success
- many sessions were struggling to get started and finished on time as there was a thirst for networking and folks were keen to continue conversations outside of the sessions
- some question periods were quite limited, which in some cases, stifled some potentially interesting discussions
- hopefully day two will begin really start to unpeel the implementation onion and move from discussion of plans and management systems to actual results