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Venue management titan ASM Global names Chief Sustainability Officer

Lindsay Arell supported the sustainability certification of several ASM Venues through her consultancy Honeycomb Strategies.
Melodie Michel
Venue management titan ASM Global names Chief Sustainability Officer
Denver's Colorado Convention Centre is one of ASM Global's green-certified venue (photo by beautifulcataya on Flickr)

Venue manager and live event producer ASM Global has appointed Lindsay Arell as its Chief Sustainability Officer in a bid to accelerate the sustainable transformation of its 400 venues.

ASM Global’s portfolio includes nearly 20 stadiums in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia, as well as arenas, convention centres, theatres and recreational centres, where the company hosts more than 20,000 live events for over 164 million guests annually.

Arell, a sustainability consultant for the live event industry, helped create the firm’s corporate sustainability platform, ASM Global Acts, through her company Honeycomb Strategies, founded in 2009. As such, she supported the ISO 20121 sustainable event management certification of several of ASM’s venues – currently, about 40 of them have obtained a green seal of approval.

She also founded the Sustainable Sports Index, an initiative that gathers self-reported survey data to analyse the environmental and social practices of sports venues, with the goal of creating a benchmark for the industry.

“I’m thrilled at the chance to spearhead ASM’s sustainability initiatives working alongside our teams and communities across our over 400 global venues. By providing our venue teams with the necessary knowledge and resources, we can accelerate the progress of our program significantly,” said the new CSO about her appointment.

ASM Global sustainability goals

ASM Global announced a raft of sustainability goals in 2023, including the elimination of single-use plastics across its venue portfolio by 2025. Last week, the company signed a partnership with reuse platform r.World to deploy reusable service ware across its North American portfolio.

Among other environmental goals, the company is aiming to reduce energy and water consumption by 25% by 2030, switch to 20% renewable energy sources by 2025 and cut GHG emissions by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. It plans to achieve ‘carbon neutrality’ (offsetting remaining emissions through carbon credits) by 2050.

ASM Global is also introducing more plant-based menu options, reducing food waste and engaging with suppliers on sustainability.

Sustainability in the events sector

Sustainable initiatives are growing in the events sector. According to the 2023 Sustainable Sports Index Benchmark, 56% of sports venues now have a dedicated sustainability role on staff, compared to 24% in 2022. Almost two-thirds (64%) are also seeing financial benefits in implementing sustainability practices, with sponsorship revenue having increased because of these programmes.

However, the industry lags behind others in terms of transparency and target setting: only 8% of venues publish a sustainability report and just 7% have a climate adaptation plan, despite their vulnerability to extreme weather events.