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Greenbuild Blog

Profile: Dan Wu Discusses His Sustainability Plan for London Pride

By Dan Wu, Sustainability Manager at Informa

June 23, 2023

Profile: Dan Wu, Sustainability Manager, Informa Connect

Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Informa

I came from a commercial background and I had been developing brands with a core sustainability focus in the past years. During this journey, I found myself extremely passionate about sustainability and decided to move further in that direction. I am now the sustainability manager at Informa Connect, responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring an aligned yet tailored sustainability strategy for Connect as well as delivering Informa's ambitious Faster Forward programme.

What did you experience at Pride in London that led you to get involved with their sustainability program?

Last year, I joined Informa at Pride in London for the first time. I had an amazing time celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and I wondered if the event’s sustainability strategy could be further strengthened to increase its positive impact on the environment, the community, and the society.

Most importantly, as an influential brand, Pride in London had an important opportunity to embed sustainability in its future development plans, to inspire sustainable development through its operations, content, knowledge, supply chain and community engagement.

I reached out to the management team after the event and offered to volunteer in leading the development, communication and delivery of a sustainability strategic plan.

How did you use your tools/experience as a sustainability professional to impact this event?

Informa launched the Event Sustainability Pledge at COP26 for the global event industry. I feel extremely lucky that we are leading the way in understanding sustainability, and using all the right tools to develop, communicate and deliver sustainability strategic plan for world-leading events.

For Pride in London, drawing on this experience, I organized several workshops with the event team, working with them to answer the following fundamental questions:

  • What does sustainability mean to Pride in London?
  • What are the key pillars of the sustainability strategic plan?
  • What impacts do we want to make?

The challenge was then to communicate and deliver our plan to our community as clearly and transparently as possible.

Based on the strategic plan, I developed a page on the website to communicate the key messages to the community. I also set up a series of meetings to align our commitments with our suppliers, sponsors and other key stakeholders.

I also drafted onsite communication plans to use the event to promote our sustainability messages.

What are some easy ways that future parades and events can decrease their carbon and/or waste footprint?

Data is critical. To plan a sustainability journey for the next 2-3 years, we have to reach out to our suppliers to gather historical data of attendees, waste, food management, energy sources and DEI engagement to set up measurable matrix for each pillar of the sustainability strategy.

Communication and engagement are challenging. For example, I have plans to communicate our decarbonization targets to all sponsors and participants after this year’s event. I will have to engage them as much as possible by offering them practical tools to support us reaching our goal, e.g. encourage public transportation for attendees, EVs for parade floats, minimize giveaways or similar merchandising items from sponsors, use reusable material and renewable energy to build and power our stages, and food stalls. Furthermore, we need to use the brand influence of Pride in London to support less represented groups within the LGBTQIA+ community.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved with, or even initiate, a sustainability plan at a similar event within their community?

To take the first step is always the hardest, even for volunteering. It can take some time to find and secure the right role.

It can also be challenging to start a discussion about sustainability. Luckily, we have all the tools we need at Informa. We have a comprehensive toolkit on Portal to help any events start their sustainability journey, from how to use purpose to inspire sustainable development, how to engage key stakeholders, how to understand and reduce our carbon footprints, and how to develop commercial sustainability opportunities to drive revenue growth, strategic partnerships, industry leadership and reputational advantage.

And you can always reach out to me.

About Dan Wu

Dan has 15 years’ experience in the event commercial development field and has been focused on launching new products globally for RX (Reed Exhibitions) and Tarsus. In his recent years with Informa, Dan worked closely with event teams and other key stakeholders to make commercial and non-commercial opportunities an integral part of the brands’ sustainability development, not only to reduce our carbon footprints but also to increase positive impact to communities we serve. 

Outside work, Dan enjoys boxing, piano, cinema and architecture.