Sydney’s All-Embracing Path to a Sustainable Future

19th June 2023

Sydney, the dynamic capital of New South Wales, is not shy in adopting change to create growth and foster sustainability. New infrastructure and economic clusters are being developed throughout the region under the umbrella of Sydney’s future-focused approach for an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable world. With the support of the government's 2040 strategy, organizations such as Business Events Sydney (BESydney) are aligning their efforts to position the city as a leading destination for business events.

Words Vicky Koffa

Government Strategy & Alignment with Business Events Sydney

Sydney’s commitment to sustainable development is evident through its implementation of the Six Cities strategy, which focuses on specific industry sectors within the Greater Sydney region. Fully funded by the New South Wales Government, the project aims at creating strong hubs in fields like technology, life sciences, space and aerospace, food and agriculture and renewable energy. 

The idea is to leverage Sydney’s strengths and create thriving business ecosystems which will elevate the region’s economy, profile, create new jobs and generate talent and innovation. It is part of the New South Wales government’s 2040 Economic Blueprint, which is designed to help chart a course for a more resilient state economy.

A chat during Imex in Frankfurt with CEO of BESydney Lyn Lewis-Smith revealed that “this is our guiding strategy when attracting business events to the city. The more events that we can bring in those sectors for those precincts brings us subject matter experts to discuss and debate what we’re doing, but also learn from what’s being done around the world. That means informing our way forward to industry growth and policy development and solving some of the big problems that we have, and global communities have.”

Tech Central and Westmead: Driving Technology, Medical Advancements and Innovation

Sydney’s six city strategy forms the blueprint for sustainable growth, with each city focusing on specific industries and sectors. For instance, Tech Central, dedicated to technological innovation and advanced manufacturing, positions Sydney as a global hub for cutting-edge technologies. Already, internationally recognised universities, research institutions and one of Australia’s premium research hospitals are located here, giving foundation to Sydney’s innovative heart and one of Australia’s most expansive multidisciplinary research ecosystems.

Similarly, Westmead’s focus on health and life sciences attracts medical conferences and drives advancements in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. With world-class medical facilities and research institutions, Westmead attracts medical conferences and symposiums, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among industry experts. These events serve as catalysts for innovation, enabling Sydney to enhance its reputation as a center of excellence in medical research and practice.

“We’re hosting this year, the World Conference of Family Doctors; Obstetrics, Gynecology and Dental World Conferences are also in the pipeline. These events have been carefully targeted to match our development goals and cultivate new knowledge and ideas,” says Lewis-Smith.

New Airport: Catalyzing Growth and Connectivity

The new Western Sydney International Airport is being developed adjacent to Bradfield, a significant infrastructure development, is due for completion in 2026. It will enhance the city’s connectivity and open doors to economic growth. Set to be a major international gateway, the airport will expand transportation options and facilitate the influx of business events and tourism to Western Sydney. The airport’s presence will create opportunities for conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions, positioning Western Sydney as an emerging business events destination. This development will not only drive economic activity, but also promote regional development and job creation.

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney. ©Dianne Engesser/Narrative Post

Giving Back and Offsetting

The strategic selection of business events is also based on sustainability principles. Sydney’s commitment to sustainability is built upon three pillars: economic, environmental, and social. To give back to the community, selective conferences and events support local initiatives, such as mentoring programs for aspiring entrepreneurs or partnerships with First Nations communities. 

“We have a diversified approach based on the verticals and we’re very specific about the events that we go for. The Dental conference, for example, fulfils a responsibility we have towards the developing countries of the Pacific nations. Having those delegations come into Australia and have access to the knowledge and what’s going on in the dental area means that we’re sort of giving back to our neighbors. Same with Family Doctors. Eating disorders have increased among girls during COVID, so we thought that was a good match to bring in to inform and be informed about global actions and challenges,” explains Lewis-Smith.

These actions foster inclusivity, diversity, and social equity. Additionally, Sydney embraces environmental stewardship by implementing sustainable practices, including waste reduction, energy efficiency, and carbon offsetting. By partnering with local organizations, Sydney ensures that business events have a positive impact on the environment and contribute to a sustainable future. BESydney’s  founding role in Sydney’s Sustainable Destination PartnershipNet Zero Carbon Events pledge, membership in the Climate Active Network, and voluntary actions to reduce emissions to net zero have helped Sydney to consistently rank within the top 30 of the GDS-Index

Sydney’s transformation towards a sustainable future is bolstered by its strategic focus on business events. Through alignment with the government’s 2040 strategy and sustainable actions, BESydney leverages its strengths to foster economic growth and innovation, paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.

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