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July 9, 2008

GCB holds climate-neutral meeting

With sustainability viewed as a key issue for the German Convention Bureau (GCB) in its long-term commitment to safeguarding Germany’s natural resources and habitats, the organisation staged a climate-neutral general meeting for its members at m:con Congress Center Rosengarten in Mannheim in June.

All greenhouse gas emissions generated by travel to and from the destination, catering, overnight stays and local energy consumption of the 120 attendees from all over Germany were completely offset.

In co-operation with First Climate (Germany), the GCB calculated the amount of generated emissions. Additional investments in power generation project in southern Brazil compensated for greenhouse emissions worth a total of 16 tons of carbon equivalents. An official certificate qualifying the offsetting can be downloaded at www.gcb.de/pdf/Certificate.pdf.

"As the umbrella organisation of the German meetings and conventions industry, the GCB believes it should be a role model in the field of sustainability and should set an example through its commitment,” said the GCB's managing director Lutz P Vogt. “Germany is considered the top event destination in Europe, and number two worldwide behind the USA. In 2007, the number of events saw a 6% rise to 2.8 million. This clearly shows the great potential for active environmental protection in the meetings and events sector. If we all make a small step, we can achieve great progress together."

The prime goal of the Brazilian project is to contribute to meeting rising demand for energy caused by the economic boom in Brazil, and to improve the energy supply in remote regions. Simultaneously, it boosts local and regional economic development. In the course of constructing the project facilities, more than 100 jobs were created for each hydroelectric power plant – a total of 300 so far. In addition, social programmes were initiated enabling the local population to participate in the proceeds from the sale of allowances. Environmental education activities are another part of these programmes, involving more than 600 children from neighbouring schools.

Further details of the project be downloaded at www.gcb.de/pdf/Project%20Description.pdf

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