Over the past few months, RX Global UK’s Sustainability Working Group has been working hard to improve sustainability across the company’s events, buildings and people, with impressive results.

“Whilst our events are pursuing some excellent individual initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment and promote sustainability within their industries, we want to take a more coherent action as an organisation” says Lucy Gillam, UK Commercial Director and sustainability sponsor. “The Sustainability Working Group was established at the end of 2019 by 26 of our employees who are all passionate about driving change, not only from a personal standpoint, but in response to growing customer demand.”

The group’s progress since them has been rapid. Over the past six months they have:

  • Published a RXUK Sustainability Charter which aligns to four UN Sustainable Development Goals (8, 12, 13 and 17). This will soon be publicly visible on all UK show websites
  • Launched a dedicated Sustainability Hub for all staff to access, which includes a monthly newsletter to keep everyone abreast of sustainability actions within Reed, and raise awareness of global sustainable initiatives such as World Environment Day.
  • Become active members of the AEO/AEV/ESSA cross association Sustainability Working Group for the industry
  • Joined parent-company RELX Group’s Green Teams network, working more closely/in alignment with RELX and its Corporate Responsibility team

RX UK is working to prepare a preferred suppliers list with sustainability due diligence to form part of the supplier tender process. The group has also developed a sustainability section for every Event Strategy outlining key initiatives, goals and metrics to measure progress. And they are drawing up a sustainability section to be included in each Show Manual to help inform exhibitors and suppliers.

Individual events are also committed to reducing their own and their industry’s impact on the environment through initiatives such as World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Award, ILTM’s Carbon Free Programme and in-cosmetics Sustainability Corner.

“Sustainability is not only good for the planet, it’s good for business”, concludes Lucy. “While events have often been associated with wastage there is so much we can do to reduce our impact on the environment, raise awareness and even make a positive net impact. Critically too, as we look to the future, we will be better able to attract the industry’s best young talent as an employer with a sustainable ethos.”