The following blog post was written by our work experience student Zoe Downs.

Sustainability; noun. Meeting the needs of the present, without jeopardising the potential ability for future generations to meet their own needs, thereby supporting a long-term environmental balance.

Until taking on a week’s work experience with Positive Impact Events, I had never considered in any real depth how much difference sustainability in the events industry makes.

From seemingly small-scale focuses, like the type of water bottles used during an event, to larger aspects of event planning (such as sustainable transport infrastructure development), I have learnt that since events have such important political, environmental, and socio-economic impacts, on a wide range from local to international scales, it is crucial that these impacts are positive.

To myself, sustainability has become more than the above definition; it has become an ever-present, necessary consideration for daily life.

I have been able to share and develop my interest in sustainability through this work experience, by using social media such as Twitter (@PIevents, @Share_A_PI) as a global platform, to discuss and ask questions regarding current sustainability with others that share this interest across the world, but also to encourage people to make their events sustainable, and in general make more thoughtful decisions and choices, which is what Positive Impact teaches people to do.

A particularly inspiring element of Positive Impact’s work is the value placed on female leadership. The Managing Director, Fiona Pelham, runs both Positive Impact and Sustainable Events, whilst being chair of ISO 20121, and an international chair for Meeting Professionals International. Fiona herself has spoken out about female success in the sustainable events field:

 “While women are in the majority in this industry, men hold the majority of leadership positions. That really inspired me to put myself forward - to show a path for the industry”.

Her strong work ethic and passion for sustainability and future events is truly admirable, and my work experience with her has been incredibly encouraging. The importance of leadership within the workplace, in particular for Positive Impact, has enabled me to grow, as an individual, in terms of confidence in my own understanding of what it truly means to develop a sustainable events industry