– Written by Helena O’Brien, Sustainability Officer & Business Development Manager –
Earth Day takes place on April 22 every year, and it is an annual celebration that honours the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect the Earth’s natural resources.
The theme for Earth Day 2023, ‘Invest in Our Planet’ resonates with us deeply. At IMS, we’re passionate about delivering innovative technology solutions that elevate the guest experience, but we’re equally committed to making a positive impact on society and the planet. We believe that it’s our responsibility to operate sustainably and ethically, and we strive to do so in all aspects of our business.
Firstly, this is not a one-day event. We must work on protecting our planet each day of the year. However, we can use this day to remind our team of what we have done and what we aim to do in the weeks, months, and years ahead to help #CoolOurPlanet.
In 2021, IMS became the 13th CoolPartner of Cloudforests, whose mission is to create forests for the planet along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Believing they could attract some of the greatest business people and businesses to support this mission by offering a credible plan around afforestation, conservation, and climate action education. The CoolPartner programme has created a community of businesses whose people come together to take credible action on the climate.
On the eve of International Day of Forests 2023, some of the IMS team made our way to Cloudforests 1 to experience first-hand the work being carried out by the team and community.
Bernard Pender, CEO of Cloudforests, took the time to share the story of Cloud Forests and how this incredible initiative first began, simply for the benefit of our planet. Nothing is for commercial gain!
As we learned more about the Miyawaki forest method, the team found ourselves consumed by the experience. Planting trees, while knowing the positive impact these native trees will have on our environment for the future, was incredible.
The partnership with Cloudforests is incredibly important to the IMS team. It is so much more than offsetting our carbon emissions; for us, it is learning how we can make little changes, that in time will have impactful results on our planet. A community where the common interest is to take credible action for our planet. Cloudforests is so much more than what it says on the tin! This organisation is making changes and working with others, such as the NIHBS Native Irish Honeybee Society to make a difference for our future and our children’s future.
2021 saw the Virtual Events Department (now known as Virtual & Hybrid Events) host 14 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events helping the organisations raise funds to the value of €48,000 and in addition, providing free services and products valued at €35,000, along with reducing the potential carbon emissions for each event due to being held virtually.
In 2022, the Virtual Events team supported our clients in providing our webinar hosting services for free to support the delivery of training and information to educate frontline staff in delivering the much-needed services for international refugees. With the thousands of participants who attended these events, IMS has calculated, the consolidated results for these events are as follows:
Not only were the events more accessible for the participants, but the chosen method of a virtual event also had a more positive impact on the planet than an in-person event.
At the end of the 2021/22 financial year, IMS Virtual Events ran a report to have a better understanding of the impact virtual events have on our planet in comparison to in-person events. The results provide interesting food for thought.
Using the information, we set ourselves the task of sharing these valuable insights with our customers. IMS also provide a carbon footprint report following each event, to provide our clients insight into what their business is doing for the planet.
For Earth Day 2023, members of the IMS team will plant wildflower seeds in their gardens; any seeds left over will be shared with family and friends to do the same, creating an environment where butterflies and bees will thrive, helping fruits, vegetables, and flowers to produce new seeds.
For IMS, it’s not just about what we can do for our planet, it is how we can support our community now and in the future. As technology evolves, IMS will strive to improve how we work and how we can enhance our product and service offerings to not only enhance our customers’ experience, but also the impact we all have on our planet. Our partnerships will continue to grow, and we will continue to learn new ways on how we can offset our carbon footprint and fulfil our mission to become a net zero company.