Thomas Jelley, Sodexo’s corporate citizenship manager, was a speaker alongside representatives of brands such as Coca-Cola, BP and BSkyB at The Sustainable Events Summit, an event designed to promote the continuous development of a global sustainable events industry.

The one-day summit, organised by Smyle, Positive Impact and Sustainable Events Ltd, took place at The Crystal, Siemens’ new £30m centre for urban sustainability, in London’s Royal Victoria Dock. It featured a mix of case studies, panel discussions and ‘meet the expert’ advisory sessions.

The event, endorsed by The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was attended by around 200 delegates and attracted speakers such as Nick de Bois MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry.

Jelley took to the stage with Shaun McCarthy, chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, Andrea Abrahams, BP's global director for BP Target Neutral, Kevin Worster, director of global projects for Siemens, and Kirsten Henson, director of Gallowglass Sustainability, to discuss what brands look for when making purchasing decisions for sustainability.

Jelley, who recently received a Business in the Community ‘Game Changer’ award in recognition of his advocacy of responsible business, said: “In the aftermath of the London 2012 Games, which aspired to be the ‘greenest games ever’, and following so much hard work by Sodexo Prestige on the BS 8901 standard for sustainable event management, it was great to have participated in this event. There is so much good work being done in the events industry and it was an honour to be part of the discussion.”

Coca-Cola’s environmental manager, Olivia Knight-Adams, joined Tricia Thompson, director of cycling at BskyB, and Cisco’s senior event marketing manager, Ben Atherton, as members of a panel exploring whether clients are demanding sustainability and how the supply chain should be learning to read sustainability signals.

Sodexo Prestige, the event hospitality and corporate dining arm of Sodexo, was the summit catering partner. Sodexo Prestige in London, which has the contract to provide public, workplace and event catering at The Crystal, provided a specially created menu featuring local, seasonal and certified produce.

Rick Stainton, Smyle managing director, said: “The breadth of official support for the summit from the key associations, agencies, venues and the supplier-base demonstrates that initiatives that encourage a collaborative approach can engage at all levels. The Summit community’s representation across the entire live events industry has become a reality, powering better understanding, innovation and education to all.” 

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