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Generation Greta

CVBs and congress centers are increasingly enforcing sustainability policies: with their own platforms, Green Score Cards or their own sustainability expos. This is something not only appreciated by Millennials, but by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) or the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) as well.

ustainability is consistently gaining in significance – both on the planner as well as provider side, and that didn't all start with the Fridays-for-Future campaign, either", said Luisa Mentz, project manager with the Convention Office of Visit Berlin. And she ought to know, as it's her job to focus on sustainable events. For this purpose, Visit Berlin set up a dedicated platform: Sustainable Meetings Berlin. This tool pools sustainable arrangements available at Berlin hotels, venues and service-providers and also lists tips for event organizers who want to increase their event's climate neutrality and environmental ratings. The dedicated toolbox is accessible at the online platform. Mentz has registered rising demand for sustainable alternatives to diverse event elements. "Of course, it all depends on the type of event, but there is a distinct trend to more sustainability." Visit Berlin is a proactive advocate for sustainable events: "For those customers not actively inquiring about this option, we consider it part of our entrepreneurial responsibility to make them aware of sustainable suppliers and providers, to show them that there are sustainable alternatives," said Mentz.

"The initiative is backed by a dedicated partner network in Berlin. The contents have been developed by this industry and for this industry", said Iris Lanz, Director Conventions at Visit Berlin. The partners' arrangements are assessed by way of specified criteria and then displayed at the 'Meeting Guide Berlin'.


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Jetzt gibt‘s was auf die Ohren. Im Podcast von Zeus Eventtech sprechen Christian Funk (tw tagungswirtschaft), und Luisa Mentz (Visit Berlin) über Nachhaltigkeit in der Eventbranche. Luisa Mentz erklärt dabei den Stellenwert von Nachhaltigkeit bei Veranstaltungen und wie man überhaupt misst, ob ein Event nachhaltig ist.
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Demonstration for better climate protection: Fridays for Future in Potsdam.

The Marinaforum as first sustainable event center in Regensburg demonstrates impressively what congress centers can do in the field of sustainability. The property was essential for Regensburg Tourismus (RTG) winning the MICE destination award ADAC-Tourismus-Sonderpreis Bayern für Nachhaltigkeit 2019. The award was given in recognition of the holistic event-management concept of the Marinaforum, which the ADAC rated as being exemplary. The congress center is situated in a heritage building, where it in addition to low-emission supply, barrier-free access and sustainably furnished rooms features energy monitoring and independent catering services with regional and sustainable products.

"We are, of course, aware that there are numerous sustainable event centers. But our focus was on giving our customers in Regensburg the opportunity to actually measure the sustainable effects of their events under consideration of the entire supply chain," said RTG's sustainability officer Daniela Wiese. Two factors are essential for this strategy: first of all, there's an RTG partner questionnaire for service providers in the event sector with equivalent consideration of economic, ecological and social elements. The results of the survey provide important input for the Green Score Card, the second important component of the concept. This is an autonomous assessment and measurement tool with 13 action fields including mobility, location, communication, accommodation, catering and technology, which in total encompass more than 200 sustainable activities.

Those centers applying to stage the ceremony for presenting the German Environmental Award must of course also adhere to sustainability principles: in addition to meeting fundamental technical and facility requirements applicants must also orient their business activities along the event industry's 'fairpflichtet' sustainability code. In 2019, the German Environmental Award will be presented in Mannheim at the Congress Center Rosengarten operated by m:con – Mannheim Congress. Next to heat recovery systems and installation of energy-saving movement-sensitive lighting, the Rosengarten provides its guests with the opportunity to use green electricity, bio-catering or mobile congress guides and to measure and compensate for an event's carbon footprint.
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This infographics of Sustainable Meetings Berlin shows "11 tips for sustainable event planning".

In 2020, the award will be presented at the Hannover Congress Centrum (HCC), where sustainability since 2007 has been a strategic objective in context with future viability and competitiveness. Remarkable success has been achieved, which is demonstrated by the following operating numbers: efficiency improvement in the domain of facility management system, ventilation and cooling systems und illumination has led to reduction of electrical power from 4,405,124 kWh in 2000 to 2,536,374 kWh in 2017. Renovation of the domestic-water system has reduced water consumption from 18,184 m3 in 2004 to 10,195 m3 in 2017. Implementation of a waste-removal concept cuts HCC expenses by approximately €40,000 per year, and the emission of CO2 was reduced from almost 4,000 tons in 2000 to only 454 tons in 2017. In recognition thereof, the HCC again in 2018 achieved Green Globe Certification. The congress center fulfilled 99% of all sustainability criteria.

In Austria, an analysis done for the meeting industry already in 2010 shows that the average congress visitor in three days produces approximately 3.5 kilograms of residual waste, 5.5 kgs of waste paper and 204 kgs of CO2. A guideline on 'Green Meetings und Events' was then prepared in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of the Environment. Anybody seeking to hold a green meeting in Austria will have to comply with an extensive criteria catalogue. This includes options for environmentally compatible traveling and accommodation, energy-efficient event venues, and social aspects. Congress Messe Innsbruck (CMI) is one of the sponsors of the Austrian environment seal for Green Meetings, but their commitment and involvement goes further: in 2018, they launched the sustainability event 'Öko Fair'. Most recently in June of this year, more than 4,000 visitors informed themselves about ecologically-sustainable products and services for a climate-compatible lifestyle. In addition, the Tiroler Klimaforum was staged in context with this fair.

The study 'The Future of Sustainable Events' conducted for Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) demonstrates that sustainability is increasingly important for staging events. "In 2020, sustainability of the meeting industry, in fact the entire travel industry, will be in the focus of considerations by businesses and event planners," said Derek Sharp, Managing Director CWT Meetings & Events. "This attitude will be augmented by the next generation of travelers – the millennials." Sharp added that this group would certainly continue to meet at popular destinations, but this target group – keeping 'Fridays for Future' in mind - would very simply prefer sustainable arrangements. Sustainable Meetings Berlin got the message.