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EIBTM: Sustainability in action

Sustainability is set to be a main theme at this year’s EIBTM with a number of new initiatives joining the event’s already significant commitment, highlighted by its BS8901 British Standard for Sustainable Event Management accreditation.

New to this year’s event is a dedicated ‘Green Room’ – a seminar area focussing exclusively on sustainability and CSR. The ten ‘bite-sized’ sessions will take place on Wednesday 1st December, providing a whole day of topics dedicated to global trends in sustainability and best practice.

The workshops, seminars and debates will tackle some of the key sustainable issues and hot topics, including: “Implementing Sustainable Events that Transform a Destination”, “Branding and Communicating your Sustainability Initiatives”, and “How to Implement Sustainability at Events”. The Green Room sessions are being held in conjunction with Positive Impact, and the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC).

Also being introduced this year are the EIBTM Stand Awards, which include a category for the best example of sustainability on an exhibitor stand. The winner of this category will demonstrate a real commitment to sustainability through their presentation of a product or service at EIBTM, and through their engagement with EIBTM’s Sustainability Policy.

Focused on cleaning the air, fighting climate change, deforestation and pollution, the World Clean Air Forest Initiative (WCAFI) will be planting at least 500 trees in the name of EIBTM. Visitors to the WCAFI stand (P165) will be able to arrange for a tree to be planted in the developing country of their choice, including Malawi, India, Burundi, Cameroon, Haiti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

There will also be a Sustainable Events Corner at the event, based within a stand made 100% from recycled cardboard. The team on the stand (H150) will demonstrate the EIBTM’s sustainable actions over the past year, and what is due to be implemented next. There is also a chance to meet experts from The Green Meetings Industry Council and the event’s sustainability consultant, Organise This.

Launched last year, EIBTM is again encouraging exhibitors to take a sustainable approach to CSR through ‘20 Sustainable Actions’. These are actions that exhibitors can implement in their own journey to become more sustainable. Any exhibitor that undertakes five or more of the actions will be recognised on site with a special certificate acknowledging their efforts. Go to www.eibtm.com/sustainability for the 20 Sustainable Actions check list.

Last year the exhibitors who participated in the scheme included Visit Denmark, Hilton Hotel – Prague, Ireland Tourism, Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Visit Sweden, Sol Melia, NH Hotels, Ovation Global, Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau, Nicholas Publishing International, Barcelona International Convention Centre and The Rezidor Hotel Group. Last year’s ‘Sustainability Blackboard’ will also return, providing visitors the opportunity to suggest their sustainable initiatives.

Commenting on the initiatives, Exhibition Director Graeme Barnett said: “We, together with the Fira Gran Via, are committed to encourage all our stakeholders to embrace sustainable practices and actions. Together we have made major strides in using recyclable materials, waste management and energy efficiency; actions have included a significant cut back in printed material, increasing web based communications and the use of recycled bags and paper, as well as encouraging more people to use the local Barcelona train network rather than shuttle buses.”

“Look out for our very own EIBTM ‘Green Team’ who will be on hand for exhibitors at the end of show to help and advise on reducing waste as they make their way home from a successful EIBTM.”

EIBTM’s Official Charity Partner this year is Barcelona based Federació Catalana del Voluntariat Social (Catalan Federation of Social Volunteering), who work with 278 social organisations, covering issues of poverty, health and Human Rights. Donations received at EIBTM 2010 will go to the Federation and to be distributed amongst its reciprocal organisations.

 

For further information on EIBTM’s sustainable initiatives, how to register and full details of the education programme visit www.eibtm.com.