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Sustainable Events Certification Redesigned as Online Program

The Events Industry Council’s course covers a wide range of environmental and social-impact topics, and brings planners far along in earning their Certified Meetings Professional designation as well.

In early June, the Events Industry Council announced the launch of an online version of its Sustainable Event Professional Certificate program. Developed by a group of business-event industry leaders from around the world with expertise in resource conservation, materials management and recycling, emissions reduction, social impact, and community service, the program offers 16 course modules at a cost of $495. That fee includes a digital workbook with links to dozens of resources planners can use in their work, plus a digital badge that planners can display in their email and social-media accounts.  

The SEPC program was initially launched in 2018 as an in-person course and is still available in that format, but now participants can choose to take some of their course modules online as well. Upon completion of the 16 modules, participants receive 12 continuing education credits that can be applied to their Certified Meeting Professional application or recertification. “The CMP program has sustainability content, but the SEPC program goes into far greater depth on those topics,” said Mariela McIlwraith, vice president of sustainability and industry advancement for EIC, during a June 3 press conference for the launch.

In fact, the program’s scope is far-reaching regarding the issues it connects to creating sustainable events. For instance, the course offers modules on human trafficking; social impact; community service; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Speaking about one of those issues, EIC CEO Amy Calvert noted that “equity and the environment are married” because of the potential impact, positive and negative, that events can have on disadvantaged communities in meeting destinations.

Yalmaz Siddiqui, vice president of corporate sustainability for MGM Resorts International, added that “interest did not wane during the pandemic” for event-sustainability education. “Actually, interest has gone up in the financial industry and in other sectors. There is a push to fulfill corporate goals in these areas.”

More details about the SEPC program can be found at  

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