Cristian D'Affuso: a professional commitment to the sustainability of events

Cristian D’Affuso is a recent master’s graduate in Enviroment Economics at the University of Turin and is part of the Research Team coordinated by prof. Riccardo Beltramo. Cristian has carried out a research thesis on the sustainable management of events.


Cristian, how did you come to think about sustainability in events and make it the subject for your master’s degree thesis?

I spent most of my life collaborating with event organizations. I grew up as a promoter for some big music events here in Turin and this has increased my interest in this very articulate world full of inside.

After gaining extensive knowledge about sustainability (economically and environmentally) during the studies; at the time when I had to find a topic for the thesis I specifically wanted to “close the circle” and give a research on sustainability in what is a field dear to me. After deepening the subject through the study and analysis of UNI ISO 20121, I proposed the thesis to Prof. Beltramo and after his positive opinion we proceeded together to find a case study to be analyzed.


Before the theoretical framework and then you have tried yourself in a case study. What event did your choice fall on?

My case study was the Genoa International Boat Show, which took place for the 57th time last September (2017). After having presented them with a project based on my research for the thesis, I was welcomed and supported by all the staff during all the phases of the event. My role within the company was to analyze every single indicator of sustainability of the event management system and to understand how sustainable this could be in its organization without a real certification.  Finally I drafted a real sustainability policy of the event to be distributed to all the participants.


What does it mean to analyze sustainability in events? 

All events have a real management system, indeed a “cycle” that is repeated every time you want to organize that again.Analyzing the sustainability of an event therefore means understanding how sustainable this is in all its phases and for all areas of sustainability; social, economic and environmental.

The scope of environmental sustainability is the broadest to be analyzed and certainly the most delicate. Analyzing the impacts of an event means evaluating how positive or negative this is for the location that hosts it and for the people living nearby.

How will your experience in the BWC Torino merge?

In addition to analyzing the economic impact of the event on the city and the location, the team led by the same prof. Beltramo will try to quantitatively analyze the environmental impact that the event has on the surrounding area. The analysis will be carried out through the study and observation of some key points such as the energy supply of the operators involved or the recovery of information regarding the mobility connected to the event. The purpose is to understand how an event like this, although indicatively low impact, may instead have some anomalies in its management and how these can be deleted. Particular attention will be given to the analysis of the quantity of waste produced by the event by type. All thanks to the support of Scatol8 which will provide us with the tools to quantitatively measure the weight of waste produced by the participants in the event.

We are sure that we will not receive nasty surprises. Have a good fun!