Events expert and three times Managing Director (MD) of companies Positive Impact, Sustainable Events Ltd and Organise This, Fiona Pelham, has received an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Fiona, who was Chair of ISO 20121, Technical Advisor for the environment for the England 2018 World Cup Bid and Chair elect for Meeting Professionals International is one of the most influential women in the events industry, in particular as a voice for sustainability.

Speaking about receiving the award, Fiona said: "I'm incredibly honoured to be receiving this award from this University today. I've worked in sustainability within the events industry for almost ten years now and this recognition is really showing the importance of sustainability and that is no longer a side subject, but is now something that is integral to the event industry."

She added: "My advice to graduating students is to really create your own career. When I graduated in 1999 this was not a clear career path for me and I was told many times that working in sustainability couldn't be more than a hobby. It's now an amazing career for me and I would really urge all the graduates to go after what they are passionate about and create their career around their passions and make a difference in the world. We have all got the leadership ability to be able to do that."

As MD of Sustainable Events Ltd and not for profit Positive Impact she leads and inspires the event industry to implement best social, economic and environmental practice. Working with an innovative team to provide strategic support, education and collaboration opportunities, Fiona demonstrates best practice of sustainability in action.

For her contribution to industry and commerce and to public voluntary service she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality and School of Sport.

Fiona is the MD of Sustainable Events Ltd, a company which provides strategic support to create an event industry with positive social, economic and environmental impacts. She is also founder and MD of Positive Impact Events - a not-for-profit dedicated to providing education and collaboration opportunities for a sustainable event industry. For example the globally supported Share a Positive Impact (www.shareapositiveimpact.com).

Since 2006 Fiona has chaired BS8901 which then become ISO 20121, a standard for a sustainable event industry inspired by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Fiona was the youngest female ISO chair at that time and co-ordinated input from over 30 countries and five liaison bodies.

In July 2015 Fiona will also become global chair for Meeting Professionals International, the largest meeting industry association with international membership of approximately 20,000 and she will be the first British person to hold that role.