“ I wonder how international events held abroad pursue sustainability.  “

The engineer who scanned the interview questionnaire opened his mouth. He left his family in the UK to provide technical advice for a large-scale event to be held in Korea. He also had experience working in several international competitions.

I don’t know about that… Working in Korea, I was surprised.
Meetings always start with the budget and end with the budget”

During the international event preparation process that he experienced abroad, he said that he only performed his own design work as an engineer, and most of the necessary expenses were executed according to the design. It was said that there was hardly any reorientation of the design direction to fit the budget.

As an engineer, there is a level of budget required to design a design that considers environmental and social aspects, but it is difficult to realistically include the elements of sustainability management as work is carried out with a limited budget.

Sustainable management starts from the triple bottom line, that is, from the basic point of view that management should take into consideration not only economic feasibility but also environmental and social impacts. Is it realistically possible to minimize the negative impact on the environment and society within an incredibly tight budget? Considering all three in this reality is obviously a double or triple high for those in charge.

“How are you applying sustainability to your work?”
“I buy green products.”

Photo = 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee

This is one of the easiest answers from people in charge of an organization or company. In addition to the green certification system that certifies the eco-friendliness of products, Korea has various certification systems that can guarantee it. It seems quite encouraging that such certification systems in Korea expand their scope beyond the product area to the service area and to guarantee the eco-friendliness of buildings. However, there are still products and services that cannot be covered by the eco-friendly certification system. It is also unfortunate that eco-friendliness does not guarantee the quality of products and services. There are some companies that establish a sustainability management strategy to incorporate sustainability factors not only in the procurement aspect but also in the overall business, but it is limited to some large enterprises.

There are many people in charge who think that purchasing green products, which is a very small portion of the total procurement amount of a company or institution, is a representative activity to pursue sustainability. This is the current state of sustainable management.

My daughter is very proud of me organizing an international event.
In my English neighborhood, I’m a star.
The locals always look forward to the story behind the event.

Can the engineer who responded to the interview be able to return to England and proudly tell her daughter and her neighbors about the international event held in her home country?

There are clearly structural limitations in terms of social and organizational aspects to promoting sustainable management. However, it cannot be denied that sustainability is ensured when people in charge of various fields independently carry out their work in consideration of environmental and social aspects.

In September of this year, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), an agenda for global sustainable development to make a globally good earth, were adopted at the UN General Assembly. A more favorable social atmosphere is being created to promote sustainable management. Although we carefully anticipate that domestic policies will develop in line with the international social atmosphere, it is bitter that sustainability management, which is felt through people, still seems to be staying in the Only One Bottom line of ‘economicality’.