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A critical analysis of a sustainable event company: Seventeen Events

This paper presents a critical assessment of the sustainability policy of Seventeen Events. Seventeen Events is an events management company. The paper has also made a critical comparison of the sustainability of the company with the bottom line theory. The bottom line theory focuses on there main bottom lines of corporate social responsibility activities. The findings of the assessment indicate that the policy of the company is comprehensive and has close links to the bottom line theory. CSR are included in the policy standards that are adhered to by the company. A number of recommendations have been made. The recommendations can be a basis of improving the sustainability policy so that it can capture the detailed bottom line goals of sustainable management.
A critical analysis of a sustainable event company: Seventeen Events
According to Jones and Meegan (2012), sustainability of operations is an important practice for every company. Business companies are pressured to adhere to standards of operation which are sustainable in nature. The field of sustainability in events management is relatively new. However, it is gaining momentum at an accelerated pace with event management companies taking up the challenge and implementing policies on sustainability. Other companies are taking this seriously and are even using sustainability as a positioning strategy (Raj and Musgrave, 2009). Sustainable practices are critical in increasing the satisfaction levels of consumers of products of services of a company (Redclift, 2000). This paper carries a critical assessment of the sustainability policy of Seventeen Events. Seventeen Events is a company that deals in the organization of sustainable leisure activities and events. The operations of the company began in the year 2004. The company operates across different countries in the world. The main aim of the company is to manage events in the most amicable way by employing the green aspect in event planning and execution. The paper analyzes the sustainable policy of the theory by employing attributes of the Triple-Bottom-Line theory. The paper then comes up with recommendations which can help the company to appraise its sustainability policy (BSI Group, 2012).
Overview of Seventeen Events Company
Goldblatt and Goldblatt (2011) ascertain that Seventeen Events has become a prominent company in the global leisure and event organization event. The company has a strong mission and objectives. These have been behind the growth of the company in the industry and the market. The mission of the company is to ensure the delivery of high quality events through the application of style, substance, as well as sustainability. The services of the company range from the organization of simple small scale events to complex and lengthy events. According to the BSI Group (2012), the company works basing on the philosophy of sustainability. The company has classified its services into several categories. The first service category is sustainable event management. This is the core service category for the company. Other services categories are: sustainable event production, sustainable event consultancy and sustainable event technology (Bell, 2009). In the delivery of its services, a lot of attention is paid to standards of environmental protection by sticking to the definition of sustainable development (Goldblatt and Goldblatt, 2011).
The triple-bottom-line theory seeks to capture an expansive picture of values, processes and criteria that is used in measuring the performance of organizations. According to the theory, the success of organizations should be based on level at which an organization articulates between economic, social and ecological considerations. Performance of organizations is not just about maximizing profits but also about the leaving an ecological footprint. As they report on their policies, companies are required to deal with practices of managing to follow an accountability model that shows their commitment to corporate social responsibility (Seventeen Events Website, 2012). According to Keinert (2008), CSR should feature in the commitment of top management of an organization, investment in policy that supports corporate social activities, organizational programs and deployment of resources in staffing. Other indicators of commitment to corporate social responsibility are: the support of voluntary standards, adherence to the United Nations principles – Compact – Ceres Principles and taking an initiative of global reporting (Henriques and Richardson, 2005).
The main bottom lines as presupposed by the name of the theory are: people, planet and profits. These must be factored in sustainability policies of companies as they pursue the economic and social goals. According to the United Nations Environment Program, sustainability practices in event management have a lot of benefits. The benefits are very diverse. They include: the promotion of a clean environment, sculpturing of positive images for events and the planners of the events, financial gains as well as bringing social gains for communities where the events are organized. This acts as a true road to the attainment of sustainable practices in managing events. The needs of events organizers and managers are catered for in the part of the financial gains. The community and the environment are also catered for. Sustainable event management has other secondary effects. Among the positive secondary effects are: the raising of awareness and concern about the environment, encouragement of sustainable creativity and innovation and setting grounds for long term sustainable development initiatives. Sustainable events management entails the organization of an event and leaving the environment or the venue of the event cleaner than it was found. The sustainability policy of Seventeen events capture most of the aspirations of event sustainability that are being promoted by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme, 2012).
Analysis of the sustainability policy of Seventeen Events
Seventeen Events is a modern company that has gained growth out of the sustainability initiatives. Being a company that deals with the organization and administration of leisure events, the company has done quite well in matters of sustainability. Having a comprehensive policy on sustainability is important. The policy guides the development of sustainable practices (Ferdinand and Kitchin, 2012). The company also offers consultancy services. Consultancy services that are offered by the company center on how sustainable practices of managing events can be attained. The company has a detailed sustainability policy which helps it in attaining its business goals. The sustainability policy of the company follows standards of quality management as set by the International Standardization Organization. Seventeen Events captures all the details of the definition of sustainable development as defined in the Brundtland report. Of great importance to organizational activities, is the conscience over the impacts of each activity. The sustainability policy of the company stipulates that the company works on the basis of reducing the negative effects of every activity conducted. This is made appealing by the search of search of a positive influence on other players in the market and the industry at large. The company sets platforms of sustainability and implements it. This in turn sets an example for other players to follow. The sustainability policy of the company gives details on the approaches of sustainability as practiced by the company. The approach to sustainability has been clearly communicated to company members (Seventeen Events, n. d).
Raj, Walters and Tahir (2008) observe that a good policy presents all the details of issues that concern the issue being addressed by the policy. Sustainability policies in business organizations are often require balancing between all issues of business development and corporate social responsibility issues. This ensures that profits are earned on sustainable basis. That is; people attain quality services, companies attain their motives of making profits and the standards of environment remain unhampered with. The values and operations of the company have been clearly stated and explained in the sustainability policy. The scope of the policy also covers the main business activity of Seventeen Events. The policy explains seventeen policy areas of sustainability as identified by the company. The policy areas are codded in the seventeen standards of sustainability. The standards, as brought out in the policy, capture the major areas of sustainable development (BSI Group, 2012).
The three main bottom line sustainable practices in triple bottom line theory have also been addressed in most of the standards set by the organization (Henriques and Richardson, 2005). These are the people, the planer or environment and profits. The policy takes a dull approach on sustainability for each of the standards of sustainability. This makes the policy more detailed and eases practices of implementing it. The two approaches are: the explanation of each standard in the context of the company and a similar explanation in the context of events or activities of the company. This organization of the policy is important as it factors all aspects of sustainability on a long term as well as short term. Short term approaches revolve around the events that are managed by the company. Issues of sustainability are easily forgotten in short term activities as organizations keep valuing the long term goals of policies. The policy explains how the company deal with every issue on a long term or company basis as well as hoe the issue is deal with in the real activities of the company. Thus, the many gaps and leakages that come during the implementation of organizational activities are addressed in the events section of each sustainability standard (BSI Group, 2012).
Going as per the seventeen standards of sustainable practices of the company, it can be termed as one of the benchmark TBL companies. Corporate social responsibility activities are captured in each of the main of sustainable policies. The organization also involves all its members in ensuring the attainment of collective responsibility of fulfilling the policy goals. People are involved in the policy plan at different levels. These are: the internal level of involvement which entails the staffs of the company and the external level which involves the external resource people. This is explained in the sustainability seventeenth standard that talks about external communication. Under this point, it is evident that the company benefits from the external environment and vice-versa. The company offers trainings and a lot of publications on sustainable practices in event management. According to Seventeen Events (n. d), the company also seeks to link with other people and organizations that are investing in sustainable development practices. The planet is the main beneficiary in as far as the fulfillment of the last standard is concerned. The policy points to the fact that the company focuses so much on the crating of a sustainable environment. This is an expensive affair for a company that is working for profits. While this is a positive indicator of the concern for people and the environment by the company, the questions of profits is left unattended to.
The policy indicates the continued deep expenditure by the company on social corporate activities leaving a worry on whether the company makes profits. However, the company could be raising profits from the act of attain a large base of customers who are attracted by the level of sustainability that is embraced by the company. Payoffs often come from a balance between input and output of the company. The sustainability policy of the company does not explain hoe the company balances its sustainable practices so as to gain profits. In most cases, the profit motive is suppressed when talking about environmental protection. This can be explained by the argument that profit motives have been the main source of violation to environmental standards. Therefore, while formulating policies on sustainable development, the issue of detailing the profit motive is not given much attention. The assumption for this is that the practices of sustainability as is with the implementation of the policy, lead to wider favor and consideration of the organization, by customers. Profits come as the end result of the formulation and implementation of a good policy of sustainability by an organization (Henriques and Richardson, 2005).
According to Bowdin et al (2012), monitoring and evaluation is critical in measuring the progress of policy standards of a company. Monitoring and evaluation ensures that all the practices go as per the stipulations in the policy framework. Leakages in policy implementation are identified through the enforcement of monitoring mechanisms. The sustainability policy of the company contains monitoring. The monitoring and feedback standard has been designed in accordance with the standardization code of the ISO. The standardization rules that form monitoring and feedback on sustainable operation follow BS8901. BS8901 is a certification which has been defined by the events industry in Britain. It heavily borrows from ISO 9001 on quality management improvement (BSI Group, 2012). ISO 9001 goes beyond the normal quality management practices by employing standards of sustainability in management. BS8901 requires organizations operating in the events industry to have sustainable systems of monitoring events. The systems have to assess events and release reports on sustainability of events as organized and run by companies (Seventeen Events Website, 2012). The company avails standardization reports of events to its clients. BS8901 is being developed into an international standardization act on sustainability. The fact that the company has already adopted this standardization is a pointer to the reactiveness of the sustainability policy of the company. The company is often in the fore front as it concerns the capture and, implementation of emergent codes of sustainable management (BSI Group, 2012).
The sustainability policy of Seventeen events is indeed one of the prevailing benchmark policies of sustainability for companies operating in the leisure industry. The policy is broad by effect capturing most of the areas of sustainability for the company. The policy has been crafted in the sense that it has a long-term plan on sustainability. This is what is required in sustainable development. Sustainable development often needs a long term plan that ensures continued implementation of environmental friendly practices. All the aspects of sustainability that are covered in the triple bottom line theory have been captured in the policy. Thus, Seventeen Events can be termed as a triple bottom line company. With little improvements to the policy, it can be more stunning and lead to increased benefits by the company.

Seventeen Events is a business company which has to make profits. To eliminate any doubts about the sustainability motive of the policy, the company needs to explain how it derives profit from each policy step. This is an important part of sustainability for any business company as it ensures that the policy goals of sustainability work for positioning.
To make the policy more workable, the company has to describe their desired ideal events. This has to come in the policy goals section. The definition of ideal events is a framework or a basis on which better steps of managing specific events, are derived. In the policy goals, different specific needs to be featured and defined so as to give the company a stepping stone when implementing the policy. As it is, the policy is general and cannot be easily replicated in specific events.
The policy should also broaden on how the means that are used in ensuring that their employees follow the stipulated sustainability programs. The policy has given little information on how the employees are tailored to help in meeting the policy goals of the company. In management, organizational employees or staffs are the most valuable assets as they play critical roles in implementation of organizational plans and strategies. Therefore, the definition of employees and the position they occupy in sustainable management will make the policy more dilate. When this is incorporated in the plan, the company will attain a high level of coordination of different policy goals. The policy will be easily implemented to the later.

The paper has presented a critical assessed the sustainability policy of Seventeen Events which is an events management company. The sustainability policy of the company has been looked at in length and observations recorded. The policy was compared to the triple bottom line theory. The policy is the company is broad and has close relations to the triple bottom line theory. The three bottom line points of corporate social responsibility are well articulated in the policy. The policy addresses both the long term and short term goals of sustainability. Long term goals are addressed basing on policy goals that are pegged to the company while short term goals are addressed basing on goals that point to event management.

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