For this week’s Member in Focus, we talked to Daniel Snape, Director of Convenzis, about his business’s sustainability journey.
To get us started, why don’t you tell us a bit about Convenzis, how you got started, and what you do?
The initial idea for the Convenzis Group was based in a garden shed!
Historically public sector events have charged the sector for conference attendance. Sometimes this resulted in 10s of thousands of pounds lost via non-attendance at events, money which could easily be used to improve public-facing services.
So the plan was simple, build an organisation that provides the NHS and wider public sector with high-value, policy-led networking and learning platforms but with one key feature…. they are all free for the sector!
Fast forward three years, Convenzis has run over 150 in-person conferences, over 200 virtual conferences, and have been trusted and recognised by some of the most reputable public sector bodies in the UK, including NHS England and The Royal College of General Practitioners.
More recently, we have branched out into the education space and have registered Convenzis Education as our 2nd arm, which focuses on providing strategic conferencing platforms exclusively for education providers, fitting in with the Convenzis motto, the events are complementary for the sector to utilise.
Why is sustainability important to you, personally and in your business?
As a relatively young team, sustainability is ingrained in our organisation both on a collective and individual level. Our team are all passionate about sustainability and have brought that passion to the Convenzis brand.
The importance of sustainability for us is high. We are actively pursuing sustainability practices on a daily basis and are always looking for further advice and guidance on how we can achieve a fully sustainable status.
When starting out, was sustainability something you considered immediately or has that been something that has evolved within your business over time?
Admittedly, in the early stages of organisational development, the focus was on getting off the group as quickly as possible. However, we quickly knew that we have a responsibility as a new company to ensure sustainable thinking was at the forefront and for all future employees to adhere to.
What made you choose a Climate Positive Workforce with Play it Green?
As mentioned, we knew we needed a key partner to help guide us through the world of sustainability as a business, and we feel like Play it Green was perfectly placed to be this partner. A key benefit for us was planting 13 trees per person per month as members, something we are looking to build on.
What has the experience been like? What does your team think of it?
The team have been very enthusiastic about this partnership. We have had some amazing internal ideas which we are planning to build on and implement over the coming months and years. As mentioned, it’s key for us as employers that the team are focused and passionate about sustainability.
Events, such as workplace conferences, can have a pretty big impact on the environment, particularly with so many people travelling to them. Is this something you’ve had to take into account?
Yes, the rollout of a virtual events arm provides the opportunity for delegates to review content remotely. This, of course, has a positive impact on people travelling, also, when hosting an in-person event where travel is inevitable, we promote the use of public transport via email and other communication channels. When booking speakers travel, we always aim for the most sustainable transport options.
Do you have anything planned in the future to continue your sustainability journey?
Yes, we have some big plans in the pipeline. This includes the plan to plant a tree for each delegate that attends our events. For some perspective, we have welcomed over 50,000 delegates to our events over four years of business.
What would you say to other businesses that haven’t yet taken any steps towards being more sustainable?
There is no time to spare. The time for action is right now; there are no excuses!
As a Play it Green business member, Convenzis is planting trees to balance the carbon emissions of its entire workforce, reducing their footprint with weekly tips and through our Net Zero Framework, and regiving 10% to their chosen charity, the WWF, to support biodiversity worldwide.
You can visit the Convenzis Group Forest Garden here; they have planted 2288 trees in just ten months!