Sustainable certification programme Green Tourism has launched its Green Meetings Standard, with the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) in Scotland becoming the first venue to gain the accreditation.
Edinburgh-based Green Tourism said the initiative was introduced to highlight meetings and event venues with high environmental and sustainability standards and practices in place.
Hotels, conference centres, and other venues for meetings and events can apply for the accreditation to measure performance against three pillars of caring for people, places, and the planet.
The standard is overseen by independent assessors that examine criteria aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Goals, ranging from energy, water, and waste through to catering, procurement, and travel, as well as awareness, communication, and community involvement.
Green Tourism said the standard has been designed in response to requests from the industry to help venues prove they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously, particularly in the run-up to the United Nations’ COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November.
Andrea Nicholas, chief executive of Green Tourism, said: “Our new Green Meetings standard gives meetings and event venues the tools they need for sustainable growth as they recover from the pandemic.
“This new brand is built on the back of our 25 years of experience, and incorporates examples of best practice from businesses throughout the world.”
Aaron McKeen, sustainability champion at the EICC, said: “Caring for the environment and our people is one of our core values at the conference centre.
“Event organisers are asking more and more questions about the environmental credentials of our facilities and our services and so it’s essential that we can demonstrate that we take sustainability very seriously, and support them in their ambitions to host more sustainable meetings.
“Holding the Green Tourism Gold Award has always been a source of pride for the EICC and by becoming the first venue in the UK to meet the Green Meetings standard is testament to our commitments in this area.”
Rory Archibald, head of associations and sectors at VisitScotland Business Events, added: “Hosting conferences, meetings, and other business events is an essential part of Scotland’s economy and drive for positive social transformation, and so the introduction of the Green Meetings standard will be a great boost to the business event industry.”
The Green Meetings brand is officially launched 7 June at an online event chaired by Andrea Nicholas, chief executive of Green Tourism, and with speakers including: Scott Maclean, managing director of Green Tourism; Aaron McKeen, sustainability champion at the EICC; Rory Archibald, head of associations, sectors and marketing at VisitScotland Business Events; and Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at the Glasgow Convention Bureau.