Lindsay Arell
Principal | Honeycomb Strategies

Lindsay Arell predicts that sustainability will become only more important as the effects of climate change continue to impact daily life and Gen Z makes change a priority.

“As sustainability becomes more of a priority for many organizations, there is increased confusion on how to get started and the assumption that sustainability must cost a lot of money,” Arell said. “While there are initiatives and projects that may be costly, when we work with clients our first step is to identify what they are already doing successfully, while identifying cost-effective opportunities across a timeline allowing for expenses to be planned and parsed out.”

Over the past year, Honeycomb Strategies partnered with ASM Global to develop ambitious sustainability goals for the portfolio under their ASM Global ACTS program. Aligned under the pillars of Protect the Environment, Invest in People and Strengthen Our Communities, these goals are both qualitative and quantitative and hold the organization accountable toward making progress and change in the venues they operate, according to Arell.

“Our current effort is to get all 350-plus venues onto the database to baseline their impacts in numerous key areas,” Arell said. “Once this baseline is established, we will be able to see where we are making progress and where we are having challenges, allowing us to move effectively towards our goals.”

Trends capturing her attention include incorporating sustainability operations into the early project design phase and reusables versus single use service ware.

“We’ve already come a long way from the days of solely using single use plastics with the introduction of recyclable and compostable alternatives,” she said. “Now companies like r.Cup are emerging and leading the shift to reusable products for venues and events in cities globally.”

As the business grows, so does the impact on communities, she says.

“Our business is all about sustainability. Historically, it has focused on environmental impacts but increasingly the social component is included in the conversation,” Arell explained. “This has allowed us to take a holistic view of sustainability: people, planet and profitability.” — Wendy Pearl

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