The Events Industry Council (EIC) launched its industry-leading digital Centre for Sustainable Events at IMEX America 2019, which was held September 10-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The EIC board established the centre to provide resources designed to increase the adoption of sustainable practices across the industry and to support a stronger alignment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“The events industry’s economic, environmental and social impact puts it on par with that of major nations,” said Amy Calvert, CEO, EIC. “This creates both the opportunity and the responsibility to take coordinated actions to magnify our influence.”
“The centre will provide the sustainability education our industry needs for us to make a collective impact on the climate crisis as well as champion social and economic community needs.” ~ Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, EIC board chair
Resources available through the digital centre will include online reference materials, on-demand education via EIC’s new learning management system, monthly webinars and access to education from EIC’s 33 member organizations.
The centre’s presenting sponsor is MGM Resorts International, and its founding sponsor is IMEX Group.
Yalmaz Siddiqui, vice-president, Corporate Sustainability, MGM Resorts International, explained that as a company that hosts many meetings and conventions, MGM knows how important it is to provide sustainable options to its customers. “We are finding more and more meeting planners are interested in collaborating to help protect the planet and improve society,” he said. “EIC’s new centre will help drive further adoption of these practices.”
Affirming the importance of sustainable practices to their business, Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said, “Sustainability has long been one of our core company values, with initiatives spearheaded throughout both of our shows as well as within our own teams. We recognize the responsibility we all have—both professionally and personally—to bring about a number of positive changes in the world. This begins with education and with collaboration—and we’re delighted to be working with EIC on the launch of this invaluable new resource.”
EIC Sustainable Event Standards
A central initiative of the new centre is the release of the EIC Sustainable Event Standards, formerly the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards.
The new guidelines maintain the same level of rigour while improving their ease of use and adoptability. In addition to environmental criteria, greater emphasis has been placed on regional relevance, social justice, accessibility, and diversity and inclusion. As part of EIC’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking, training will be a requirement to achieve one of four certification levels.
The standards are being released in a one-year provisional status to allow for additional input from early adopters. More than 100 of the industry’s leading practitioners, including representation from 15 countries, contributed to the development of the new standards.
“The centre will provide the sustainability education our industry needs for us to make a collective impact on the climate crisis as well as champion social and economic community needs,” said Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, EIC’s board chair. “It will coordinate global, industry-wide collaboration with intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry associations and sustainability thought leaders to accelerate sustainable practices, increase resiliency and support innovation in our industry.”
The Centre will continue to deliver EIC’s existing sustainability programs including the Sustainable event Professional Certificate, Principles for Sustainable Events and Annual State of Sustainability survey.