“If we achieve our sustainability efforts and no one follows, we will have failed.”
– Paul Polman, Author & Fmr. CEO of Unilever
Our Commitment to Sustainability
As the world’s leading experience marketing agency, we have both the obligation and the ability to create lasting change in our industry through our commitment to diverse, equitable, inclusive and sustainable live, digital and hybrid experiences.
Environmental stewardship, as part of a larger respect for all living things, is part of the fabric of who we are as an agency. It is woven through GPJ leadership and business practices, and informs and inspires our work.
Sustainability is and will be an evolving journey. We pledge to continually examine, adopt and recommend sustainable practices that yield measurable results – together with our clients and partners – for the benefit of our collective home.
Understanding the Challenges
At GPJ we’re helping our clients navigate what has become a complex sustainability landscape. Our internal experts have created a considerable collection of measurements, which help minimise business risk and design more sustainable and responsible initiatives.
• When sustainability isn’t a client priority, as a trusted partner, we step up the conversation to elevate the subject as a priority
• When planning each element of an event, we consider the environmental impact of decisions made and do what we can together with our clients to mitigate the impact
• We ask difficult questions of our clients and supply chain when necessary
A Global Commitment
For over a decade, our teams worldwide have taken the initiative to embrace event sustainability to its fullest.
At GPJ UK, we are one of the 12 founding members of isla, a non-profit organisation created by the events industry for the events industry. Our membership includes training, resources and connection to a network of industry professionals, suppliers and shared commitment towards the path to a net-zero carbon industry by 2030. We’re also implementing the isla TRACE program, which will measure the environmental impact of events as a path to further reducing their carbon footprint.
GPJ India teamed up with Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE) to further enact change within the events and experience industry. ENSYDE has been working on reducing the environmental footprint through awareness and action for 3 decades now, and the recent partnership only strengthens our belief that every individual and collective action can have a positive impact on our environment.
Since 2011 GPJ Germany has been DIN EN ISO certified according to Environmental (ISO 14001), Work & Health (OHSAS 18001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001). As of 2018, GPJ Germany is also certified climate neutral and we just received the FAMAB Sustainable Company Certification.
Our Environmental Policy is regularly updated and is the responsibility of the Head of Operations, HR Manager, our internal Sustainability Consultant and Office Managers from each office for our internal activities and the account teams for our external client activity. Work standards, policies and employee guidelines are published in our employee handbook. Employees are also encouraged to discuss and bring new initiatives and ideas forward.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”.
– Robert Swan, OBE; Author and Renowned Explorer
It Start With Us
GPJ graphic production strives to provide customers with the best experience and product. Great care needs to be taken to understand not only the physical products that are utilised and produced, but the methodology of how they are made. Endeavours must be balanced between external expectations, sustainability desires, environmental concerns, and production feasibility.
To that end, being a good steward of positive environmental efforts is not only good practice and a moral obligation, but often goes hand-in-hand with sound economic efforts:
• Updated facility light fixtures to high efficiency LED with motion sensors – with savings of up to 28% over traditional lighting technology.
• The high efficiency dust collection system reduces cutting waste emissions for wood and metal particulates and saves up to 50% energy usage over similar models.
• GPJ always looks for sustainable material solutions that are durable, pristine, and environmentally sustainable/safe.
• A large portion of the printing effort for grand format and vinyl printing is with ultraviolet curable inks – allowing us to move away from solvent and high VOC type ink.
• Materials like ConVerd Board and Falconboard are 100% recyclable, variable colours & styles and cost-effective
With clients like Salesforce, Cisco, Google, Workday, and others, we’re partnering on innovative practices in sustainability, and broadening efforts across a wide portfolio of our client events. Here are just a few examples of how we’re changing the landscape of how events are produced.
Food & Beverage:
• Eliminating single use plastic water bottles
• Providing recycling and compost waste receptacles
• Communicating food sources and sustainability on menus
• Including vegetarian and vegan meals
• Limiting animal proteins
• Participating in a cork recycling program
• Reducing amount of plastic used: Avoiding/limiting individually packaged food
• Removing disposable food vessels and utensils and replacing with china & flatware
• Utilising robust food recovery programs
• Selecting local and organic food/drink choices when possible to reduce trucking
• Pre-event blogging to communicate goals and green initiatives
• Creating post-event blogs as a follow up communication of sustainable efforts
• Encouraging attendees to get involved in their local communities by sharing ideas
• Pushing content through mobile apps to reduce printed materials
• Communicating sustainable efforts to conference attendees through mobile apps, onsite communications and sustainability lounges
• Broadcasting/live streaming sessions
• Creating QR codes for collateral everywhere possible
• Eliminating printing of certificates and moving to digital certificates
• Requiring printed materials to be produced on paper that is recyclable by the local municipality
• Sourcing signage locally
• Choosing sustainable materials for all booth/structures
• Communicating transportation alternatives – highlight quickest walking paths and/or encouraging public transportation
• Promoting ride sharing to conference hotel and offsite activities
• Coordinating/encouraging ride sharing from airports (Set up location and support staff)
• Reducing site inspection travel and attendees
• Designing conference bags to minimise wastage
• Notebooks made with recycled paper or eliminate notebook completely
• Presenting sustainable premium options for various recognition items
• Speaker gifts designed around sustainability
Recycling & Reusable Materials:
• Reducing carpets to plastic pellets for future use
• Updating wayfinding and apparel to be used at future events
• Using plastic-free name badges, using recyclable cardboard
• Keeping and storing event assets for use across future events
• Using up-cycled decor and furniture
• Expanding post show donation programs to include sponsors
“Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other.”
- Jane Goodall, DBE; English Primatologist
You can access our current environmental policy here to see how George P. Johnson (GPJ) embraces its environmental responsibilities. We comply with environmental and health & safety regulations and legislation in each country we are operating in.