National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Audit

For Australia’s Business Events sector

A report commissioned by Business Events Australia, Tourism Australia Released February 2009

“Tourism Australia’s National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit demonstrates how seriously Australia takes the issue of sustainable tourism and it provides proof of the milestones being reached across the sector. The Audit will play an important role in strengthening Australia’s global reputation in delivering world-class, sustainable events. This is a terrific opportunity for the Australian business events industry to highlight their expertise, products, and commitment to sustainability.”
Media release from the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Tourism, 28 July 2008

This report outlines the results of Tourism Australia’s National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Audit, conducted with the Australian Business Events industry in the second half of 2008.
Internet You can access this report and further information on CSR initiatives online at businessevents.australia.com

About Business Events Australia Business Events Australia is the business group within Tourism Australia dedicated to promoting Australia as a sustainable destination for corporate meetings, incentives, association conferences and conventions. The Business Events Australia program is delivered by a specialist team located in Sydney and the key markets of Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. For more information about Business Events Australia go to: businessevents.australia.com or call +61 2 9360 1111 Acknowledgements Tourism Australia would like to acknowledge the CSR Audit Pilot Group: Qantas; Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre; BridgeClimb; Hayman Island; Great Southern E-vents; and Encore; for their contribution to the development of the Audit. Special thanks to Frank Hubbard, IHG; Australia’s Convention Bureaux; and to the 278 organisations who completed the online questionnaire. The Audit was conducted by AMR Interactive for Tourism Australia. Source of Verbatims Throughout this report, verbatim quotes have been used from respondents to the online survey. These appear on pages 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and show the range of commentary provided about CSR initiatives.

National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Contents 02 Identifying Australia’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Credentials 02 03 03 03 03 What is CSR? About the National CSR Audit CSR Audit Objectives CSR Audit Methodology Key Issues 04 CSR Audit Participants 04 04 04 04 Number of Participants Geographical Locations Key Respondents Size and Profile of Key Respondents 08 10 Executive Summary Green Accreditation 10 10 12 12 12 Current Levels of Green Accreditation Range of Accreditation Types Growing Commitment to Accreditation Barriers to Accreditation Selecting the Right Accreditation 14 CSR Management 14 14 16 16 Strategic CSR Decision-Making Written CSR Policies and Strategies Day-to-Day Management of CSR Issues Changing Behaviour: Internal Communication of CSR Issues 16 Measuring Environmental Impact 17 Green Products and Initiatives 17 17 18 18 18 Increased Demand for Green Product Driving the Demand for Green Product CSR Responses to Client Demand Programs to Reduce Environmental Impacts Benchmarking 20 Conclusions .

environmental and social sustainability of communities through the on-going engagement of stakeholders.shtml 2 .org/glossary. labour and environmental standards and compliance with legal requirements within its operations and in its relations to the societies and communities where it operates.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Identifying Australia’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Credentials What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves a commitment to contribute to the economic. environmental and social arenas. Increasingly CSR is the decision-making and implementation process that guides all company activities in the protection and promotion of international human rights. active participation of communities impacted by company activities and the public reporting of company policies and performance in the economic.bench-marks.” Source: http://www.

278 organisations completed the online Audit questionnaire. CSR Audit Objectives In response to these demands Tourism Australia conducted a National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit in the second half of 2008 to identify the CSR credentials of the business events industry in Australia. outlined below. appropriately benchmarked CSR operators. Key Issues The National CSR Audit focused on the following issues to identify the CSR credentials of the Business Events industry in Australia: • Current and intended levels of green accreditation • How organisations manage CSR issues • Demand for green products and services • Breadth of ‘green’ product • Green community initiatives. From the Audit results presented in this report.” Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) About the National CSR Audit There is now greater global demand to deliver business events which have a strong social and environmental focus.Identifying Australia’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Credentials “Within our event contracting we offer a range of services and advice on waste reduction and energy minimisation initiatives. and • CSR programs and projects. which can assist businesses in staging events that are more sustainable. and • Develop an inventory of product and case studies for best practice in the Business Events industry. operator and host community. Key objectives of the CSR Audit were to: • Gather evidence to market Australia’s CSR credentials to position Australia as a destination where the natural environment is valued and protected. This will ensure that clients are presented with credentialled. Increasingly. Hayman Island. There is now greater global demand to deliver business events which have a strong social and environmental focus. Great Southern E-vents and Encore. The Audit will help inform marketing with evidence of accredited product. BridgeClimb. These operators included: Qantas. potential and existing clients of Australia’s Business Events industry can be better informed about Australia’s green and socially responsible operators – from convention centres. CSR Audit Methodology Business Events organisations from around Australia were invited to participate. If Australian operators can assist clients towards conducting more responsible events this will ultimately benefit the client. The Audit was undertaken following a pilot survey conducted in June 2008. 3 . Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. corporate meeting and incentive planners from around the world are seeking information on venues and services in Australia. • Use information and evidence to support the marketing of Australia as a sustainable business events destination. conference and incentive hotels to staging companies. The Audit questionnaire asked respondents a series of questions on a range of key issues. it will be up to clients to choose the type of event they wish to hold in Australia. Between 1 August and 31 October 2008. where six key operators assisted in developing the Audit. In the end.

Chart 3 shows that half of all key respondents are relatively larger organisations. Geographical Locations Over half of respondents were from NSW. and Convention Bureaux (see Table 1). The responses also provide a better understanding of the availability of resources for. This includes accommodation providers. Size and Profile of Key Respondents The responses of the key respondents most closely reflect current CSR policies and practices in the business events industry in Australia.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector CSR Audit Participants Number of Participants 278 organisations participated in Tourism Australia’s National CSR Audit. it is noted in this report. and influences on. Table 1: Key Respondents Key Respondents Accommodation Convention & Exhibition Centre 1 8 2 0 Venues Convention & Visitors Bureaux 1 0 0 14 Accommodation Convention & Exhibition Centre Venues Convention & Visitors Bureaux 121 1 57 1 57 2 79 0 Please note: Organisations selected multiple sectors and as such. Key Respondents Many organisations in the tourism industry cater to both the business events and leisure tourism sectors. out of 121 of the respondents from the Accommodation sector. Where key respondents express significantly different responses from the total group of Audit respondents. venues. CSR initiatives undertaken in Australia. As the purpose of the Audit is to identify the CSR credentials of the business events industry in Australia. The Key Respondents are the major operators in the sector with the biggest ecological footprint. are represented in multiple sector categories in the reporting of the results. It is therefore relevant to note what proportion of the Audit respondents they form. representing a broad range of operators within the business events industry in Australia (see Chart 1 overleaf). Another 30% were from Victoria and Queensland combined. For the location of Audit participants across the States and Territories (see Chart 2). The CSR Audit results show that larger companies and those which are part of an international organisation are significantly more advanced in addressing CSR issues. For example. Similarly. 4 . 57 also selected Venues as a sector. a core group – 58 per cent of Audit participants – have been classified as ‘Key Respondents’. Convention and Exhibition Centres. with more than 100 employees. slightly more than half of key respondents are part of an international organisation.

local community from which we employ & systems to continue property operation to meet sustainability design criteria.” Mirvac Hotels & Resorts The CSR Audit results show that larger companies and those which are part of an international organisation are significantly more advanced in addressing CSR issues Left: BridgeClimb has several CSR initiatives in place and regularly donates Climbs to charitable organisations for fundraising purposes. Ongoing procedures include embracing the local environment.CSR Audit Participants “All Mirvac developments are designed to enhance the latest in environmental & sustainability controls adopted or required by state or local approval authority. 5 .

National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Chart 1: Sector Categories of CSR Audit Participants 44% Accommodation 3% Convention & Exhibition Centres Business Event Management (incl PCO’s. Entertainment Agencies. Interpreting Services. State or Federal Gvt & STO’s) 14% 9% Attraction 28% Venues 1% Retail 1% Travel Agent Marketing & PR (incl Advertising. Media & PR) Business Event Services (incl Audio Visual. . Software Supplier/Web Services. Local. DMC’s. IT. Marketing Representation. ITO’s & Incentive House/Agent 35% Industry Representation* (incl Convention & Visitors Bureaux. Education. Speakers Bureaux & Team Building) 6% 31% 10% Transport Question 3: How would you classify your organisation? *80% of City Convention Centres responded to the survey. Catering. are represented in multiple sector categories in the reporting of the results. Please note: Organisations selected multiple sectors and as such.

.CSR Audit Participants Chart 2: Location of CSR Audit Participants 01 02 03 08 07 06 05 04 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Western Australia Australian Central Territory New South Wales Northern Territory Queensland South Australia Tasmania Victoria 6% 5% 53% 1% 14% 5% 1% 15% Chart 3: Size and Profile of Key Respondents Number of Employees 15% 23% 10% 50% 2% International Brand/Chain 53% 47% Less than 10 10 to 49 50 to 99 100+ Don’t know Yes No Question 2: Approximately how many full and part time employees (including contractors) are there in your head office? Question 15: Are you part of an international brand or chain of companies? Base: Key Respondents.

compared with the Accreditation levels for large and industry average. The CSR Audit results suggest that Australian clients are the major drivers of demand for green offerings.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Executive Summary The CSR Audit results provide insight on how the Australian business events industry is performing in terms of the major Corporate Social Responsibility issues of green accreditation. although industry trends. as well as accredited organisations. 8 . smaller operators appear to be uncertain about which accreditation programs to pursue. the CSR to the day-to-day management of CSR. international enterprises. and measures the industry is taking to reduce its environmental impact. Barriers to accreditation revealed by the CSR Audit include lack of understanding concerning the different programs and a perceived lack of resources to devote to seeking accreditation. with a large number international enterprises are twice the having specific personnel dedicated industry average. The Audit shows that strategic CSR decision-making generally rests with senior management. internationally. the Audit results highlight potential barriers to achieving CSR aims for smaller businesses. The results of the CSR Audit make clear the industry leadership on CSR issues being shown by large companies employing over 100 people. Importantly. both in terms of impact measurement and public accountability. although a high level of responsibility applies across all layers of many enterprises. the markets of Europe the United Kingdom and United States of America are actively looking for low impact business events. reputational issues and client demand all influence the decision to adopt CSR practices. The industry noted a marked increase in demand for green products and services over the past year. green products and services. However. The Green Globe Bronze and Silver. handle these issues. Allocation of responsibility for CSR policies and practices reflects the profile and importance of CSR issues within an organisation. Venues. with other activities and programs to reduce environmental impacts preferred. including both in-house and external initiatives. practices are implemented. Convention and Exhibition Centres and Convention Bureaux. particularly among Convention Centres and Venues. Accommodation. Conversely. A pleasing result is that a significant number of respondents give preference to locally sourced products and services. organisational management of CSR issues. the majority of Audit respondents do not currently measure their environmental impact. while half of key organisations appoint CSR teams to respondents are accredited. Audit shows that levels of accreditation While the Audit identifies a variety are set to rise significantly over the of communication channels and next year for all industry sectors. Almost Currently one third of all respondents twice as many large and international are accredited. The Audit revealed that two in three respondents are not participating in offset programs. Green accreditation provides Specifically allocating responsibility third-party acknowledgement that for day-to-day management of CSR an organisation has met agreed issues is critical to ensuring policies and standards of CSR policies and practices. initiatives which are being used to change behaviours in the workplace. especially among smaller businesses. CSR policies are mainly driven by company policy and regulatory obligations. Australia’s biggest operators appear well placed to cater to a growing demand for CSR options in business events. Larger companies and international chains. Larger and international enterprises are leaders in this regard. offering a range of low impact options identified by the CSR Audit. Tourism Accreditation Australia and the Ecotourism Australia accreditations are the most popular with the respondents choosing from the wide range of accreditations available. are much more responsive to such demand.

our accommodation uses only rainwater and has an envirocycle for the garden. Left: Adelaide Convention Centre CEO Alec Gilbert with worms from their new worm farm. We recycle all of our waste products. 9 .” Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours The Green Globe Bronze and Silver.CSR Audit Results: Executive Summary “We renew our vehicles every two years to make sure we have the most fuel efficient and latest emission controls. Tourism Accreditation Australia and the Ecotourism Australia accreditations are the most popular with the respondents choosing from the wide range of Australian accreditations available. We also employ only local staff and use as much local produce as possible.

Current Levels of Green Accreditation One third of total Audit respondents and almost half (46 per cent) of the key respondents reported holding at least one green accreditation from a list of 18 programs (refer to Chart 4). which is the highest level of support for any one form of accreditation. 10 . where around 60 per cent hold at least one accreditation. Green accreditation is considerably higher among large organisations employing over 100 people and international chains. There is no industry concentration around a particular Australian accreditation program.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Green Accreditation “In 2008/09 it is anticipated that approximately 40% of the 2007/08 carbon emissions will be avoided simply by moving all Conservation Volunteers Australia properties across Australia to 100% green electricity suppliers. where around 60 per cent hold at least one accreditation. and one quarter of attractions hold TAA accreditation and 10 per cent of transport operators are Australian Building Greenhouse Rating accredited. For example. followed by the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (now NABERS Energy) at four per cent. New South Wales and Victoria are leading the way when it comes to accreditation. 14001 accreditations are held by 16 per cent of Audit respondents and 25 per cent of key respondents. More than half (56 per cent) of accommodation providers. The business events industry was asked about what types of green accreditations they currently hold and their plans to seek accreditation over the coming years. certain types are favoured by different sectors of the business events industry. Respondents were also asked about barriers to seeking accreditation. half of the Convention & Exhibition Centre respondents hold the Green Globe Bronze accreditation. building-related accreditations and other more general green accreditations. most reported being accredited with at least one of a wide range of programs. reflecting that more operators are within these states and that it is a particular focus in these areas. The most advanced sectors of the business events industry in Australia in terms of CSR accreditation are Convention & Exhibition Centres and Venues. While no one Australian accreditation dominates. Seven per cent are accredited with Tourism Accreditation Australia (TAA). retailers and travel agents are also accredited. with two thirds (63 per cent) currently holding at least one accreditation. Range of Accreditation Types While ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 14000. Green accreditation is considerably higher among large organisations employing over 100 people and international chains.” Conservation Volunteers Australia Green accreditation is a public acknowledgement that an organisation has met agreed standards of CSR policies and practices. including Australian travel and tourism accreditations.

Qualmark Gold Sustainability: 4%) 08 4 Star Green Building Council of Australia 09 6 Star Green Building Council of Australia 1% 1% 11 Greenhouse friendly 12 Carbon Reduction Institute 3% 2% 05 Ecotourism Australia – Nature Tourism 3% 06 Ecotourism Australia – Advanced Ecotourism 07 Green STAR AAA Tourism Green Globe Gold 2% 5% 0% 10 Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (now NABERS Energy) 3% 5 Star Green Building Council of Australia NABERS 0% 0% 13 Climate. could you select the statement which best describes your organisation’s position? Base: Key Respondents. Community and Biodiversity Design Standards 1% 14 Respecting Our Culture 15 ISO 14000 16 Other ISO (eg 14001) 1% 1% 24% Question 4: For each accreditation. .Green Accreditation Chart 4: Types of Accreditation Held by Key Respondents 07 01 06 05 08 04 11 12 13 09 14 03 15 16 02 10 Travel & Tourism 01 At least one Accreditation 02 Green Globe Bronze 03 Green Globe Silver 04 Tourism Accreditation Australia 46% 5% 4% 6% Building Related Other (Other accreditations reportedly held: HACCP: 20%.

unlike infrastructure operators such as venues and hotels. Some organisations like business event service providers do not believe they have a need to become accredited. and • 19 per cent say the accreditation process is too costly and requires too much effort to pursue. currently being sought by 35-50 per cent of businesses. with one fifth of this sector currently seeking them. Those sectors which have been slower to take up accreditation aim to do so over the next 12 months. venues and business events services. Of those organisations not yet accredited. one third of respondents were familiar with Ecotourism Australia’s Nature Tourism and Advanced Ecotourism accreditations. These operators in the sector tend not to have regulatory or planning obligations to become accredited. This lack of familiarity with accreditation programs naturally makes it difficult for industry participants to decide which are the most relevant for their business. Barriers to Accreditation One in five respondents has not yet initiated green certification or accreditation with the Audit results identifying a number of barriers to seeking accreditation: • 30 per cent say they don’t have enough time to seek accreditation • 28 per cent say they don’t have the information they need to seek accreditation • 23 per cent say they lack guidance from industry bodies and/or associations. but commented that they felt these accreditation programs were not relevant to their organisation. These businesses also have Green Globe Gold accreditation in their sights over the next five years. and just over half (55 per cent) of accommodation providers. set carbon and sustainability targets and track trend results and targets for the industry. One third of respondents in the accommodation sector stated that the Green Building Council of Australia’s accreditation only related to new buildings.” Sustainable Event Solutions Growing Commitment to Accreditation The Audit results show that levels of green accreditation among respondents in Australia are rising and are set to remain a focus over the next few years. Bronze or NABERS accreditations are the most popular in the industry. Selecting the Right Accreditation The Audit results show that two out of every three industry participants are not familiar with. including three quarters of Convention & Exhibition Centres. Similarly. Green Globe Silver. Sixty per cent of this group reported that accreditation was of minimal value to their business. The Ecotourism AustraliaNature Tourism and Ecotourism Australia-Advanced Ecotourism are prized by attractions. it may not be seen as relevant for that business. Almost one third (31 per cent) of total respondents report they are currently seeking accreditation. This view is shared by almost half of those with between 10-99 employees.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector “Sustainable event management systems identify industry and sector carbon and sustainability benchmarks. Even where there is significant familiarity with a program. or do not understand the different types of accreditation available. along with one quarter of industry representative bodies. half employ less than 10 people. Almost one third (31 per cent) of transport operators and one quarter of attractions plan to get accredited. and by 30 per cent of large organisations. 12 . and one quarter with the Green Building Council of Australia programs. suggesting that the perceived costs of accreditation outweigh the benefits for smaller businesses.

Green Accreditation “A notice has been sent to all suppliers requesting information on their plans with regard to sustainability. Once received and reviewed.” Marque Hotel. specific requests will be made to ensure they fit in with our organisation’s policy. Canberra Almost one third (31 per cent) of total respondents report they are currently seeking accreditation. 13 . Left: The new Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre will open in 2009 with a ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmental rating.

They are responsible for helping save energy at the hotel. followed by the need to meet regulatory obligations. which is named by 57 per cent of Audit participants. Thirteen per cent of respondents said they were yet to adopt any CSR policy or strategy. or urgency for. one third nominated a lack of time as a key reason. Two thirds of Audit respondents have written policies. CSR responsibility rests across multiple layers of management. Main drivers behind the adoption of a written CSR policy are illustrated in Chart 5 (at right). Forty per cent also pointed to general staff and one third to middle management as being tasked with making some CSR decisions. plans and strategies relating to environment. For almost two thirds (62 per cent) of total respondents. strategies and plans relating to environment. company policy is a major driver. a CSR policy. while half advised the Board and Executive also have some responsibility. sustainability and CSR. The business events industry was asked who has responsibility for strategic CSR decision making and for day-to-day management of CSR issues. Melbourne Allocation of responsibility for CSR issues reflects the profile and importance of CSR in an organisation. with two thirds of respondents from these segments saying that each layer has some responsibility for CSR issues.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector CSR Management “We’ve launched a ‘green team’ at our hotel chain and there’s a team champion per department. 14 . Written CSR Policies & Strategies Two thirds of Audit respondents have written policies. while 31 per cent saw no perceived value in. Respondents were also asked how they promote CSR issues within their organisations and whether they measure their environmental impact. For almost three quarters (71 per cent). Of these. In large organisations employing over 100 people and international chains. major responsibility for CSR decisions lies with senior management. These pressures are felt more keenly by bigger organisations and international chains.” Langham Hotel. Strategic CSR Decision-Making Responsibility for CSR within organisations appears to be widespread. sustainability and CSR. where the vast majority (75 per cent or more) report adopting CSR policies in response to company policy and regulatory obligations.

CSR Management Chart 5: Main Drivers and Motivation for Written Policies. Base: Organisations that have a written policy. Strategies and Plans 71% 58% 74% 79% 81% Company policy 84% 57% 44% 41% 46% To meet regulatory obligations 78% 71% 49% 37% 40% 38% 68% To align with industry trends 57% 40% 31% 28% 35% Enhance CSR credentials and reputation 58% 57% 38% 26% 31% 15% 57% Client demand 53% 26% 34% 31% 19% 20% 21% Total Less than 10 employees 10 to 49 employees 50 to 99 employees 100+ employees International Brand/Chain Question 10: What was the main driver for consideration or implementation of this written policy. strategy or plan. strategy or plan. Please select as many as applicable. .

which are made publicly available. • Almost two thirds (63 per cent) promote a recycling culture • 55 per cent include CSR issues within new employee induction programs • 55 per cent have clear CSR signage in the office • Around 40 per cent of respondents include CSR issues in training programs • One third have a staff ‘Green Committee’ and feature CSR matters in employee newsletters. although this figure is considerably higher among large companies (52 per cent) and international chains (48 per cent) compared to Australian companies (19 per cent). For those which do calculate their carbon footprint. 65 per cent of large organisations employing over 100 people. including Carbon Planet. Changing Behaviour: Internal Communication of CSR Issues When it comes to communicating CSR priorities across the organisation and changing organisational culture. 90 per cent of these international companies are prepared to be held accountable for their performance in mandated initiatives.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector “We appointed a building services manager to oversee the three sites we operate. with the figure climbing to 75 per cent for those with more than 100 employees.” Wests Hospitality Group Day-to-Day Management of CSR Issues When it comes to the day-to-day management of CSR issues and implementation of policy. more than three quarters (76 per cent) of these organisations raise awareness and discuss CSR issues through each of the channels mentioned above and 40 per cent have CSR Award programs. Each year he has saved the company more than the initiative costs. Notably. What is striking in the Audit results is the dedication of international operators. On average. particularly Convention & Exhibition Centres (88 per cent) and venues (62 per cent). Audit participants report a wide range of channels of communication. Measuring Environmental Impact Most respondents (69 per cent) said they did not participate in accredited greenhouse gas offset programs. The remaining 16 per cent named a wide range of offset programs they participated in. taking steps to change behaviours and to monitoring progress. while 15 per cent said they were unsure whether they did or not. to developing CSR policies. compared to a significantly lower use of initiatives by domestic respondents. Importantly. such as Todae. which form one third of the Audit respondents. and • On average. 37 per cent of respondents say that a specific team or individual has been appointed to manage matters. most (79 per cent) do so in consultation with a third party. and international chains have specific personnel dedicated to day-to-day management of CSR. the Audit results show that larger organisations use more channels of communication to spread the CSR message. Planet Footprint or Missing Link. Sixty per cent of these green accredited international companies say that they follow head office requirements relating to ecologically responsible practices. Nearly one third of total respondents (30 per cent) calculate their carbon footprint. Focusing on key respondents. Carbon Reduction Institute and Climate Friendly. 16 . He has a budget and looks at ways to reduce our energy use and manage all types of material incomings and outgoings. Similarly. almost half (48 per cent) assign specific teams/individuals to manage CSR issues. However. 16 per cent have CSR Award programs. the majority of international chains (over 70 per cent) report using the full range of communication tools to raise the internal profile of CSR issues.

The business events industry was asked to indicate whether such demand is increasing. respondents nominate New South Wales (70%) and Victoria (64%) as the most interested in seeing ecologically responsible products and practices offered by the Business Events industry. We’re mindful of. Respondents also indicated the range of in-house and external initiatives they use to reduce their environmental impact and the extent to which they benchmark these efforts. Two thirds of respondents say the European market is the most interested in green products and services. It is noted by 88 per cent of Convention & Exhibition Centres. and work with. services & operations. wellness and the environment. 81 per cent of venues. Half also point to the United States of America and the United Kingdom. services and operations. and to what extent they are responding by offering low impact options. attractions and travel agents report the same increased demand. 75 per cent of retail operators and 69 per cent of accommodation providers. Yet less than a third of transport operators. Increased Demand for Green Product In the last year almost two thirds (61 per cent) of Audit respondents noticed an increase in client demand for ecologically responsible products. In the last year almost two thirds (61 per cent) of Audit respondents noticed an increase in client demand for ecologically responsible products. Driving the Demand for Green Product The Audit results identify the international markets perceived to be driving the demand for CSR product. Some sectors of the industry have felt this increased demand for ecologically sustainable products and services more strongly than others. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of large businesses and international chains report increased demand from their clients. 17 . individual clients’ needs and have created a philosophy of synchronising the whole business event with the resort’s focus of relaxation. Among domestic markets.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit | For Australia’s business events sector Green Products and Initiatives “We have a carbon offset program and are part of Rainforest Rescue.” The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa Client demand for green product is a significant driver of CSR policies and practices in organisations. from which domestic and international markets. but only one quarter perceives increased demand for green offerings from Asia.

inbound tour operators. water and waste levels. only 22 per cent of domestic operations monitor their energy. as currently 39 per cent of the industry advises suppliers of their organisation’s commitment to CSR. While 45 per cent of the total respondents (55 per cent of key respondents) give special consideration to the employment of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Specific causes. However more large organisations and international chains are committed to benchmarking (86 per cent). 88 per cent of Convention & Exhibition Centres offer low impact options to clients. and • 25 per cent participate in waste management and recycling programs.” Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre CSR Responses to Client Demand While 61 per cent of the respondents perceive increased demand for eco products over the last year. 18 . More than 90 per cent of key respondents. there is potential to influence businesses right along the supply chain.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector “Our clients have the option of purchasing ‘green’ power for their event. business event management companies (this includes destination management companies. this figure is much higher for larger organisations (74 per cent) and international chains (65 per cent). such as Plant a Tree Day (29 per cent) and supporting nominated charities (12 per cent) are the most popular among a wide range of programs. Around 60 per cent say they have special programs for increasing the eco-efficiency of materials used. Larger organisations. and more of these organisations actually do track their performance in CSR programs (70 per cent). with 55 per cent of these segments offering low impact options. accommodation providers and venues. theming and special event companies) at 49 per cent. international chains and those respondents who are green accredited are much more responsive to client demand. Benchmarking While close to three quarters (72 per cent) of respondents believe their organisation is committed to continual improvement through benchmarking environmental impacts. By sector. such as Convention & Exhibition Centres. Close to three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents report actively reducing their in-house energy and water use. The vast majority of Audit respondents (84 per cent) give preference to locally sourced products and services and 71 per cent prefer to use locally sourced food products. and business events services (defined as suppliers to the business events industry) at 47 per cent. A wide range of eco offerings were identified by Audit respondents. give preference to locally sourced products and services. professional conference organisers. only 40 per cent actually track target energy and water usage and waste levels. the use of green power and renewable energy is popular with one third of respondents. The most popular low impact choices are: • 42 per cent offer specific day-to-day practices (such as using soy-based ink) • 40 per cent assist or donate to overseas aid • 33 per cent use carbon offsets. incentive house/agents and. ahead of venues (defined as unique venues or dedicated function venues) at 53 per cent. Given these initiatives. greater numbers of large organisations (75 per cent) and international chains (66 per cent) participate in these programs. Currently. Recycle bins are already in place. Over half (56 per cent) of Audit respondents report participating in external initiatives to raise awareness of CSR issues. Again. so they are not negotiable. and for enhancing the wellbeing of local communities. only 30 per cent actually offer clients a choice between low environmental impact and regular event options. reduce their carbon footprint and emissions. Programs to Reduce Environmental Impacts To help reduce environmental impacts Audit respondents undertake in-house programs as well as participate in external initiatives. In comparison.

Green Products and Initiatives “All the products we use are Australian made/grown where possible. 19 . Left: The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa offer rainforest rescue initiatives as part of their business event programs.” Encore Close to three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents report actively reducing their in-house energy and water use. Legal leftover food is donated to OzHarvest and our staff are encouraged and given time off to assist charity organisations.

However. It is also significant to note the disparity between States and Territories in attainment of green accreditation. as well as a clear snapshot of the CSR health of the sector in Australia. The Audit results show that large organisations and international chains are better equipped and resourced to undertake steps to develop and implement CSR initiatives. The Audit has provided crucial evidence to inform marketing. as at present only 39 per cent of the industry advises suppliers of their organisation’s commitment to CSR. or believe that many are simply not relevant. there is potential to influence businesses right along the supply chain. Senior management generally has responsibility over CSR matters. it is possible that while organisations are keen to become accredited they do not have the resources to capture the kind of information required by accreditation programs. more information and assistance is required for smaller businesses who don’t always have the resources to pursue accreditation initiatives. Given these initiatives. Larger organisations and international businesses are well ahead of the game in this respect. It would appear that accreditation goes hand in hand with action on CSR issues.National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit (CSR) | For Australia’s business events sector Conclusions The information collected in the National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit has demonstrated that the Business Events industry in Australia is on the way to developing an industry that is socially responsible and ecologically sustainable. also notable is the statement by 31 per cent of organisations that they lack sufficient guidance from the relevant national bodies and/or associations about accreditation issues. With more than one quarter of respondents reporting having difficulty gathering the information required to complete the accreditation process. is that suppliers to the sector are also being asked for evidence of CSR policies. Smaller operators appear to require more assistance indicating an area of opportunity for educating the sector. The Audit shows the Business Events sector in Australia has pursued accreditation amongst bigger operators. An interesting indicator. There is also a noticeable gap between a commitment to continual improvement and actually benchmarking activities. However. Lack of familiarity with the different accreditations is making it difficult for organisations to choose the most appropriate. which suggests that good intentions are not always translating into practice. 20 . The Audit results show that levels of green accreditation are rising among the Business Events industry in Australia and are set to remain a focus over the next few years. Only 10 per cent of these organisations cannot identify the source of this demand. 30 per cent of domestic operations cannot identify the source of demand. and one that is committed to developing best practice standards to achieve this. By comparison. Audit results indicate that much of the industry is not familiar with the different types of accreditation.

.

australia. please contact: Joyce DiMascio Head of Business Events Australia Telephone: +61 2 9361 1731. .For more information about the National CSR Audit.com Printed on recycled stock with eco friendly ink. Also available online. Email: jdimascio@tourism.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful