Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has commissioned Leeds Metropolitan University to manage a three year study into the importance and value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the meeting and event industry. This study, the most comprehensive of its kind ever undertaken, intends to bring new insights into how the meeting and event industry can build a sustainable future through best practices.
“Our goal is that this research initiative will provide our members and our professional colleagues around the world additional information and tools in practice, reporting and professional development,” said Didier Scaillet, MPI chief development officer, “We feel confident that our selection of Leeds for this effort will provide outstanding results.”
Academic researchers from the university’s three leading centres include the UK Centre for Events Management, International Centre for Responsible Tourism and the Centre for Hospitality. The centres will analyze global trends by interviewing top executives of major venues, organizations and suppliers, and event consumers worldwide.
“We are delighted to be have secured this opportunity to support MPI in its mission to lead industry and support its members and the sector to meet the demands of the future,” said Project Coordinator Jackie Mulligan, principal lecturer at UK Centre for Events Management, “CSR is a hot topic for businesses increasingly seeking to reduce the negative impacts of their activities and strengthen the positive contributions that events can offer.”
Given the breadth of the study which includes the need to involve a diverse range of stakeholders in the global hospitality and meeting industry, MPI will manage the progress of the study in conjunction with Leeds closely. The overall goal is to produce a detailed report against three core areas defined as external environment, industry engagement and consumer demand. MPI intends to release results in three phases at major global industry events in the United States, Asia and across Europe mid-2012 through 2013.
Research Director Dr. Xavier Font from the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) said, “We have an excellent track record in sustainability and responsibility related research that is making a real difference to businesses and communities globally. Our research will uncover how and why this subject is important and the growing concern for us all in achieving the triple bottom line, people, planet, profit”.
The launch of this research initiative is just one element of a major focus on CSR by MPI, made possible thanks to a US$500,000 investment in the MPI Foundation from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). More information about MPI’s comprehensive efforts in sustainability and social responsibility can be found through the CSR portal at mpiweb.org.