Sustainability is about little steps as much as about big steps. As regards big steps and pioneering spirit, VOK DAMS have created several groundbreaking changes for the company and the industry over the past decades. In the late 1990s, they created “sustainable events”, carried out the first surveys. A little later, they set new standards with a “Carbon Footprint Calculation for Events”, which, years later, was developed further as the CO2 climate calculator.
In 1998 VOK DAMS were the first agency in Germany to be ISO certified – here, too, strict sustainability requirements applied and still apply. A little later they joined the UN Global Compact. As a result of early and intensive commitment to sustainable action, the company supported the first-ever award ceremony of the German Sustainability Award in 2008 and ensured the sustainability of the event through their consulting services. (quote taken from VD website – sustainability and CSR).
Stephanie is strategic consultant at VOKDAMS for sustainable policies and she has helped to integrate existing sustainability measures in the quality management system.
Question 1) How open are your customers to consider sustainable options for their programs? What extra miles are walked by your company to convince customers about sustainable options?
1 a) Very different. We have clients who systematically consider sustainability requirements in the tender, and sustainability criteria may even come into play in the award decision. Other clients like to be convinced in a conversation. However, there are also clients for whom sustainability aspects do not play any role in the implementation of events.
1 b) Sustainability is firmly anchored in our processes. The aim is to place the topic of sustainability with each of our clients as part of the rebriefing. In this way, the necessary foundations are created to create awareness among clients and to consider sustainability aspects as early as the concept phase. Because the later sustainability aspects are incorporated into event management, the more difficult it becomes to implement them.
Question 2) What is your motivation for joining the ecomice explorers group at IMEX?
I want to gain an insight into where the MICE industry stands in terms of sustainability, get to know exciting concepts and innovative solutions. The minds behind the processes are always important. That is why I am looking forward to new exciting contacts!
Question 3) Can you give an example of a conference, event or other program that you have organised taking sustainability aspects into account?
My focus is on systematically anchoring sustainability in our event processes, not on the implementation of individual events. With a view to our brand promise “creating better results”, we at VOK DAMS have committed ourselves to setting a good example at events. In short: Creating better and more sustainable results defines our claim. The first milestone was the firm anchoring of existing sustainability measures in our quality management system. The core is formed by our 12 fields of action, which cover ecological and social sustainability aspects. We have defined goals and suitable measures for each field of action. Process models, checklists and tools such as a CO₂ calculator support the implementation of sustainability measures in our projects.
It is an initiative of tmf dialogue.
Travelling today means to reduce negative impact as much as possible and to take responsibility for the destination. Our collaborative business model integrates all stakeholders to jointly follow the sustainable goals of the UN Agenda. We support building legacy projects (environmental and societal) and creating new programs. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/ecomice
Thanks so much for your interest and support in showing the industry that we can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.