Bei Veranstaltungen kommen viele Menschen zusammen, die automatisch große Mengen an CO2 produzieren. Der EVVC ist sich seiner Verantwortung gegenüber kommenden Generationen bewusst und will einen intensiven Beitrag zur Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) oder Nachhaltigkeit in der Veranstaltungsbranche leisten.
As part of the greenmeetings and events conference in Darmstadt, the Meeting Experts Green Awards were held for the first time to honour the event sector’s dedication to sustainability. The prizes were awarded in five categories by an independent jury.
22.03.2013 Im vergangenen Jahr organisierte das GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. erstmalig eine Seminarreihe zum Thema „Green Meetings“, in deren Rahmen die Teilnehmer zu Nachhaltigkeitsberatern weitergebildet werden. Veranstaltungsplaner aus Unternehmen und Verbänden sowie Mitarbeiter aus Hotels, Kongresszentren und Agenturen aus ganz Deutschland nahmen an den sechs Seminarterminen in Frankfurt, Köln, Hamburg, Berlin, München und Düsseldorf teil.
In the events sector, interest has grown in having a comparable approach and argumentation when it comes to sustainability. The GCB and EVVC's answer is the development of a joint sustainability codex which is based on the results of the "green meetings and events" conference in 2011. As a result of the conference, members of both associations defined and further developed the codex contents in an open and transparent process.
1. Verantwortung bei der Organisation und Durchführung von Veranstaltungen heißt, bereit und fähig zu sein, ANTWORTEN auf Fragen unternehmerischen Handelns zu GEBEN und für die Folgen eigenen Handelns einzustehen. Der Nachhaltigkeitskodex der deutschsprachigen Veranstaltungsbranche ist ein branchenspezifischer
Kodex. Er bietet allen Beteiligten praktische Orientierung, um dieser Verantwortung gerecht zu werden.
The commitment to act sustainably is an affair of heart for the EVVC. With the “EVVC Sustainability Guideline” the association documents its corporate mission statement und its environment-friendly principles.
The next greenmeetings and events conference will be will take place in the darmstadtium in Darmstadt from 26th to 27th February 2013. This was decided by the advisory board during its meeting on 27th September 2011. Initiators and organizers of the conference on the sustainable organization of events are the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC).
Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of GCB, explains: "This year's greenmeetings and events conference has shown: The issue has arrived in the industry. With the 2013 conference we will continue the successful concept and develop the theme of 'Green Meetings' far beyond the environmental aspect. We want to include social issues such as CSR, employee comfort and compliance in the discussion and also strengthen the position of Germany as a conference location".
"The conference venue itself is also intended to give a practical example of sustainable events in Germany. The darmstadtium combines energy-efficient design with an excellent creative architecture and sustainable overall concept. It is the perfect example that 'Green Meetings' can not only be economical but also attractive", says Joachim König, President of the EVVC about the choice of venue.
Opened in 2008, the science and congress centre darmstadtium achieves a nearly complete supply of the building with renewable energies through extensive use of geothermal, biomass and solar energy. In late 2010, the house was awarded with the environmental label "Green Globe". Shareholders of the centre are the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Science city Darmstadt.
During the last greenmeetings and events Conference from 1st to 2nd March 2011 at the Congress Centrum Mainz some 400 participants from all sectors of the event industry discussed the importance of sustainability to their business. Another approximately 200 registered participants took part in the virtual event accompanying the conference, which was conducted by the organizers two weeks later on the Internet.
Am 2. Mai 2012 fiel der Startschuss in Frankfurt: Mit dem ersten von insgesamt 12 Seminaren zum Thema Green Meetings gelang dem German Convention Bureau ein erfolgreicher Auftakt. Das positive Feedback der Teilnehmer bestätigt dies in allen Punkten. Das Interesse an den folgenden Seminaren in Köln und Hamburg unterstreicht den Erfolg.
Yesterday, the organizers of the second greenmeetings and events conference were able to look back on a high level of response at the Rheingoldhalle of the Congress Centrum Mainz: Some 400 participants debated about the importance of sustainability to the German meetings and convention industry during the two days of the event. Using practical examples, it was also demonstrated how events can be more organized in a more ecological manner.
A total of 26 experts from industry, research and politics gave talks on different aspects of sustainable conferencing and thus also highlighted the leadership position in the field of sustainability and renewable energy. The conference was organized by the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. together with the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) and the Congress Centrum Mainz.
Sustainable conferencing may become figurehead
Jürgen Trittin, chairman of the parliamentary group of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen was the patron of the event and a keynote speaker. He highlighted the establishment of the theme of sustainability in the community and stressed: “Sustainable conferencing may become a figurehead”. He also pointed out the importance of conferences and meetings: “Conference calls are not communicative and not productive; they are only suitable for command output. To be able to exchange creatively it is necessary to meet”. The former federal environment minister finds it all the more important that these meetings are organized sustainably.
Certifications with non-uniform standards
“We need to formulate requirements for certification standards”, concluded Dr. Markus Große Ophoff, head of the Centre for Environmental Communication at German Federal Environmental Foundation gGmbH about another topic of the conference. Almost unanimously, the conference participants called for more transparency in the certification for environmental events, so that companies and congress providers can choose which certification is appropriate for their situation. In the future, the Advisory Board of the conference will focus here and work on developing standards to calculate climate balances as well as reliable data for regional events.
Practical examples are in the foreground
“It is important for the success of the conference to have a pragmatic approach. In this way, we must go further and develop practical support for the industry”, concludes Joachim König, president of the EVVC. Sustainability only makes sense if it is economical. This was something of a recurring theme in the discussion. Due to this, the practical relevance was a key point in the workshops and keynote speeches. Topics such as the customer benefits of sustainability, the problems of sustainable product procurement and the importance of authentic communication for business success were treated here.
“The aim of the conference has been reached. Now we have to further develop the topic, beyond the purely ecological aspect”, says Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of GCB.
The high level of response of the meeting has shown: the awareness of the need for green meetings in Germany has arrived in all areas of the meeting and convention industry. Overall, about a third of the participants were providers from the meeting and convention industry: 24 percent of the guests were representatives of convention and event centres, seven per cent came from city marketing and six percent from the hotel industry. Another third of the attendees represented the demand side: 24 percent of attendees came from companies, seven percent from associations and six percent from universities and institutes. Another 13 percent of the participants were representatives of agencies, eleven percent were journalists.
For the future, the organizers want to take the issue of sustainability even further. Social issues such as CSR, employee comfort and compliance will for example be included in the discussion to strengthen the positioning of the conference location Germany. Additionally, the advisory board wants to develop other topics such as reusable packaging and lighting and develop binding recommendations for the industry.
Sustainable organization of the conference from the beginning
Of course, the greenmeetings and events conference itself was organized in line with sustainability standards, as the choice of venue already showed: the Congress Centrum Mainz (CCM) is certified with the Green Globe label and the participating partners in the city, especially the surrounding conference hotels, are already in the certification process. The catering at the CCM was managed by “tegut…bankett”, one of the first event caterers with an organic and natural land certification.