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Industry Leaders Take First Steps Toward Sustainable Events Standards

Event industry leaders draft sustainable events guiding principles at inaugural Sustainable Events Standards Industry Forum.

The Events Industry Council on May 14 in Frankfurt spearheaded a forum designed to explore the potential for developing criteria and standards for a unified approach to global sustainable events practices. Eighteen representatives hailing from eight countries held “extensive discussion and debate” as they worked toward drafting four proposed principles they believe should guide any sustainable events standards:

• Event organizers and suppliers share responsibility for implementing and communicating sustainable practices.

• Key environmental practices must be standard.

• Primary social considerations are critical.

• Sustainable events support thriving economic practices.

“Knowing the level of knowledge and expertise we had in the room, we were optimistic about finding ways to work together,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO, Events Industry Council. “The enthusiasm and commitment of the group exceeded our expectations, building a solid foundation to serve as a launching point to generate a broader industry conversation and engage a larger group of participants moving forward.” The proposed principles will be further developed before they become part of any wider sustainable event standard efforts.

Among the organizations represented at the meeting were the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat; the Global Sustainable Tourism Council; the EIC Sustainability Committee; UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry; the Global Destination Sustainability Index; and the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism.

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