The Events Industry Council (EIC) along with global industry partners launched the EIC Centre for Sustainable Events. This virtual space will offer resources and knowledge for those in the meetings and events industry looking to implement or increase sustainable practices.

It also provides resources for planners to connect with others that are already doing so.

A goal of the initiative is to also help drive awareness for industry leaders to support a growing number of sustainability concerns including environmental issues, accessibility, diversity and social justice, as well as demonstrate a stronger alignment by the events industry to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The EIC Centre for Sustainable Events was announced at IMEX America 2019 with a panel of the industry partners who have helped create this new initiative. The panel included:

The center represents an expansion of EIC’s existing sustainability initiative and the relaunch of the EIC Sustainable Event Standards (formerly known as the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards).

“The events industry’s economic, environmental and social impact puts it on par with that of major nations,” Calvert said. “This creates both the opportunity and the responsibility to take coordinated actions to magnify our influence.”

Save the Environment, Save the World

MGM Resorts International’s involvement in the creation of the center doesn’t come as a surprise as the company has developed its own approach to sustainability and sustainable offerings in convention centers and hotel properties, such as introducing sustainable event ideas to planners and offering food donations as a default option for events.

“We want to help simplify sustainability and help clients along their journey toward more sustainable events” Siddiqui said. “Ultimately, we want to help more clients adopt more practices that advance more aspects of sustainability.”

Siddiqui hopes that engaging with the center and sharing some of MGM Resorts' insights will make sustainability a top-of-mind strategy for even more planners in the future.

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At the press conference, Bauer shared that IMEX Group’s own success with sustainability comes as a result of 16 years of learning and growing.

“With IMEX America, our goal is to offer a best in class event while incorporating eco-conscious efforts, from reducing the use of plastics to reducing the carbon footprint, as well as providing sustainability education” Bauer said. “This year at IMEX America we have 93% waste diversion.

“We had 100% at IMEX Frankfurt 2019, so there’s still room for growth!” she added.

Listen Now: Sustainability Questions and Considerations for Convention Centers

The panel of industry experts and partners agreed that a goal of this new initiative is for the industry to act in collaboration, not competition.

“Sustainability in the meetings and events industry is the only way to ensure the industry will survive,” said Naranjo.

See all of Meetings Today’s coverage of IMEX America 2019.