Austria: Commitment to sustainability

Responsible interaction with the natural environment is as important for the events industry as for other spheres of life. In Innsbruck, trade fairs and conventions can be certified as “Green Meetings”.

Each exhibitor or attendee needs to make a contribution to a green, ecologically friendly event. (Photo: CMI)
Each exhibitor or attendee needs to make a contribution to a green, ecologically friendly event. (Photo: CMI)

Instead of causing mountains of rubbish and traffic jams, green meetings make a difference by using resources sustainably. They also stand out for increased energy efficiency, avoidance of waste and environmentally friendly travel for guests to and from the event. Regional added value and social responsibility are further key aspects of this concept. CIMI in the heart of Tyrol sets an example on a daily basis. “With our three venues, we are certified as a 'Green Location' for our sustainable and energy-conscious use of resources,” says Christian Mayerhofer. “We were the first company in Austria to gain this certification,” says the Managing Director of Congress Messe Innsbruck (CMI). “As a leading operator among Tyrol’s event venues, we feel a strong commitment to protecting the environment.”

More and more customers want to have their events certified as green meetings,” says Anastasia Fend. (Photo: Blickfang)
More and more customers want to have their events certified as green meetings,” says Anastasia Fend. (Photo: Blickfang)

Customers can have their events certified as “Green Meetings” by Congress Messe Innsbruck. This is the Austrian eco-label, which is internationally recognised and signals that a host is committed to sustainability. The focus is on preserving nature - but without neglecting the well-being of attendees. This CMI offering is becoming increasingly popular: “More and more customers want to be part of it and have their events certified as green meetings,” says Anastasia Fend. “The time required for certification depends on the size and nature of the event,” explains the Green Meetings Officer of Congress Messe Innsbruck. “It takes around five to eight hours.” For trade shows, it will normally take longer because every exhibitor has to be included in the certification process.

In general, each exhibitor or attendee needs to do their bit. “Reducing wastes is important, for example by doing without giveaways or plastic bottles,” points out Anastasia Fend. Likewise, exhibits, booth materials, or name tags should be reusable. Electronic devices with the energy-saving “Energy Star” label also make sense. Regional products play a key role in catering, which minimises long journeys. Two Congress Messe Innsbruck caterers in three hold the Austrian ecolabel.

“With our three locations, we are certified as a ‘Green Location’ for the sustainable and energy-conscious use of resources,” says Christian Mayerhofer. (Photo: CMI)
“With our three locations, we are certified as a ‘Green Location’ for the sustainable and energy-conscious use of resources,” says Christian Mayerhofer. (Photo: CMI)

Organisers can currently have an event certified as a “Green Meeting” for free. However, fees may have to be charged for this “in-house service” in future. “In view of growing demand, this means a higher personnel input for us,” argues Anastasia Fend. This spring, Congress Messe Innsbruck is taking the next step and will additionally seek international certification according to the “Green Globe” standard. To be successful, it will need to meet more than 300 criteria and show an improvement every year. This is like a long-distance run and success can by no means be taken for granted. “It also requires employees who are committed to sustainability,” emphasises CMI’s CEO Christian Mayerhofer (www.cmi.at).

Author: Peter Borstel

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2022

 
 

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