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NTT DATA’s Asia Pacific (APAC) Sales Kick Off brought together 900 delegates in Thailand. As an organization that has a strong global commitment to sustainability, this was top-of-mind as they planned the event.
Working with an external partner, NTT DATA’s events team in APAC examined how travel, catering, energy consumption and waste would affect the sustainability of the event, and put measures in place to minimize the environmental impact of all these elements.
Measuring the carbon footprint of the event allowed them to find ways to improve future events, and post-event communications helped to raise awareness of sustainability among delegates.
NTT DATA is a USD 30 billion IT services provider and leading IT infrastructure and services company serving 65% of the Fortune Global 500 and more than 75% of the Fortune Global 100 companies. We lay the foundation for organizations’ edge-to-cloud networking ecosystems, simplify the complexity of their workloads across multicloud environments, and innovate at the edge of their IT environments where networks, cloud and applications converge.
Taking a sustainable approach to event planning
At the beginning of each financial year, NTT DATA hosts Sales Kick Off events across the globe, briefing sales teams on the strategy for the year and aligning everyone to the company’s goals and focus areas. In Asia Pacific, this requires bringing almost a thousand people, from 14 countries across the region, to the same location. The 2023 event was of particular importance as it was the first large, hybrid (online and in-person) Sales Kick Off in the region since the pandemic, and the first to be held alongside other NTT DATA companies under their new brand. This provided the opportunity to bring new teams together, showcase their combined portfolios and build the organization’s culture, setting the tone for the year ahead.
Sustainability was a critical consideration in planning the event: NTT DATA wanted to minimize the negative impact of the event on the environment.
“From hosting a hybrid event to eliminating the use of plastics and reducing waste at every opportunity, the team has set a benchmark for how we approach sustainability for events in future.”
Creating a sustainable event for a regional team
To align the Sales Kick Off event with NTT DATA’s global sustainability targets, the events team worked with a partner to create a sustainability plan that considered all aspects of the event, including travel, catering, energy consumption and waste.
To limit unnecessary travel, they offered a virtual option for attendees, building on the experience from previous events that we held only online.
They eliminated the use of plastics at the event, covering signage, tags and catering. At mealtimes, meat-free options were made available and, by partnering with Scholars of Sustenance, a food-rescue foundation in Thailand, food waste was kept to minimum.
All paper used for the event was sustainably sourced. Delegates’ badges were printed on FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) paper and recycled afterwards. Using an event app to share the agenda and updates digitally also helped to reduce paper and printing.
Delegates were presented with fun facts to educate them on the sustainability goals of the event, and a QR code linked to further information for those who wanted it.
“Our Sales Kick Off is vital to aligning our priorities for the year ahead. As an organization that has sustainability as a key focus, this needed to be part of our planning form the start.”
An event that’s measurably sustainable and sets the standard for future initiatives
The concept of sustainability was embedded into the event from the start. By using TRACE, a carbon-measurement platform for events, the team could accurately measure the total carbon footprint of the event and the average carbon footprint per attendee.
Hybrid event to minimize travel
By offering a fully hybrid event, NTT DATA were able to have 900 delegates at the venue with another 500 attending virtually. This cut the cost and environmental impact of travel.
No plastic, no food waste
Usually, an event like this would see 600 plastic bottles being used per day. Instead, the team replaced plastic water bottles with glass bottles and eliminated the use of plastic wherever possible. In addition, all surplus food was donated to charity, local communities and animal farms. This ensured that they minimized the amount of waste that ended up in landfills.
The sustainability focus didn’t end with the event: the results achieved through these efforts were shared with all delegates afterwards, helping to raise awareness of the issues surrounding sustainability and climate change.