Message from the CEO

A look back – We said we will

Before we embark on a new decade, I wanted to reflect on the last ten years and look back at all we have achieved. In our 2020 Vision, we wrote:

“We will integrate principles of Responsible Business in our daily work. MCI will be the market leader in the organization of meetings about sustainability,  guiding world-leading events to achieve award-winning sustainability performance. We will report our activities in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.  We will be costconscious as an organization and run a profitable company. Profits finance our growth and will give us our freedom of choice, to take risks and to give back.”

Ever since we signed the UN Global Compact Agreement in 2007, we have been on a journey of continuous improvement to lead real change in sustainable business.

In 2010, MCI launched its first sustainability report “Taking Action” and became the first international events agency to use the GRI framework to report its economic, environmental and social strategies to benchmark performance. Ever since we have been voluntarily and transparently reporting on our progress, and challenges, at integrating sustainable development principles into its operations and services.

We are getting close to 1,000 events organised about sustainability, and we won 24 industry awards for sustainability, and many won by and with our clients. And I hope there will be many more in the future as we believe sustainable events are better events.

One of the achievements I am most proud of is the culture of caring we managed to build at MCI. In the last 10 years, MCI talents invested more than 43,800 hours of their time and energy to helped raise close to €15 million for 626 community projects around the world. A big thank you to all our talents, you rock!

I am very happy to see sustainability embedded into our culture, operations and services. We know that there is still much to be done and we will continue to challenge ourselves.

Today – Our progress

In 2019, as part of our regular assessments, we had identified a few risks we wanted to tackle in priority. One of them was to review our risk assessment and performance review for our partners and suppliers. A taskforce was created and a new strategy is in place. Tools and process will be rolled out in 2020.

We also continue our ambitious process of “walking into the cloud” by migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure, strengthened our data and it security policies, and upgraded our telephony and videoconferencing solutions, allowing for better inter offices collaboration, and reducing travel needs.

Ultimately, our goal is that MCI will no longer have to maintain an energy-sapping IT environment. 

Finally, we have created a new tool and processes to track our carbon emission, allowing us to report more accurate figures on our carbon footprint. Over the years, we have taken actions to reduce our carbon emissions by being more efficient and encouraging our offices to green their operations, but focusing mainly on energy consumption and travel. As the way we do business is changing and our ways of working are moving more towards more digital solutions, we decided to factor in now also our “digital” consumption (e.g. data storage and transfer) in our overall greenhouse gas emission. With this new calculation, our carbon footprint has increased from last year, but this motivates us to review and improve our ways of working in a digital world.

The future – What we will do

This report was prepared amid the COVID-19 crisis. The events industry, representing over 26 million professionals across the world, has been heavily impacted by global lockdowns and travel restrictions.

For MCI, our priority was to make sure our talents and their family were safe, ensure business continuity and remain a trusted advisor to our clients. 

The COVID-19 crises forced us to press “pause” just as we were about to launch our 2025 sustainability strategy. We have decided to refresh our materiality assessment to make sure that the sustainability issues we had identified are still important or relevant to all our stakeholders, given the current situation. You will discover our sustainability goals for 2025 in our next report.

But looking towards the future, MCI will continue to actively champion sustainability, helping our client connecting the dots between their sustainability commitments and their events, and collaborating with our partners, suppliers and the event industry (that’s the only way to go). 

We are building a company that is profoundly human and we want to keep on making a difference: for our people, for the planet and for humankind.

Sebastien Tondeur

Chief Executive Officer, MCI Group

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