Event Insight: How to Drive Sustainability via One-off Events?

While a one-off event like Earth Day and annual company days of service offer great opportunities to engage employees, and show externally how passionate they are about their community and the environment, many firms fail to leverage the full potential. When executed in this way, firms see momentum and excitement quickly disappear, and the only tangible output is a team selfie and a short paragraph for the annual CSR report. An output we can all agree can do more harm than good for firms that are trying to drive a culture of sustainability.

It is for this reason that our April’s Beyond Business As Usual Executive Luncheon focused on how to drive long term sustainable engagement through these one-off events. To help us bring tangibility to this, we have invited Chitra Hepburn, Head of Corporate Communications, and Sustainability at Bayer China to give her insights on the topic.

Kicking off the session, Chitra talked about the value of an event in building public association and awareness. She gave an example of the Bayer China’s Self-Care Day, which attracted 20,150 visitors in 3 days and generated public awareness on ‘self-care’. She then discussed how one-off events could be used to create challenges and momentum.

To illustrate this point, Chitra discussed Bayer’s Mobile Health Workshop and how it offered platform for participants from different sectors to bring different perspectives to the table. In the Mobile Health workshop, participants were challenged to collaborate with each other and come up with potential solutions to the challenges. Such engagement like this helps to bring up to speed and create a consensus on the issue. It also helps to identify a common mission so different stakeholders can work together. In the healthcare workshop case, 40% of the participants said they would include ideas in the workshop in their business objectives.

Event Recap Chitra - Collective Responsibility

Lastly, Chitra discussed the key to conveying message and aligning focus through the event. To raise diversity in the workplace, and re-align Bayer China’s CSR strategy to focus on women. Bayer introduced the He4She for Diversity and Gender Equality Campaign on this year’s International Women’s day. This  initiative has attracted a lot of attention and led robust internal discussion on the topic; it has fully engaged Great China top talents on Bayer’s new focus. To sum up her talk, Chitra said Sustainability is about connecting dots and one-off events are good tools for drawing the lines between communication, raising awareness, creating challenges and better alignment.

If you wish to learn more about the tactics of driving sustainability via one-off events, please reach out to Charlie Mathews at [email protected] or Yuxin Wang at [email protected] To join our next luncheon, or to learn more about the series, please click here

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