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May 13, 2009

Major European meetings event gains sustainable standard

Reed Travel Exhibitions’ European incentive travel and meetings exhibition EIBTM has shown its commitment to a sustainable event management system by being certified for BS 8901, the British Standard for Sustainable Event Management. 

The 2008 event, which took place in Barcelona last December,  has achieved Phase 1 (planning), Phase 2 (implementation) and Phase 3 (post-event review) certification of the standard.

The BS 8901 standard sets a generic framework that manages the implementation of sustainability for events, venues or suppliers. The framework creates a way of working that considers economic, environmental and social impacts.

Commenting on the certification, Mandy Torrens, EIBTM’s exhibition director, said: “In our drive to promote sustainable practices, we have chosen the BS 8901 route – one that sees us being externally certified rather than taking the self-certified option, as we wish to be totally transparent in our approach and our actions.

“Sustainability now plays an integral part of the EIBTM management and planning process and is not seen simply as an add on.”

EIBTM’s approach to BS8901 has already paid dividends in terms of how 2008 exhibitors have altered or plan to change their attitude to sustainability at exhibitions.

More than 35% of exhibitors at last year’s EIBTM indicated that their behaviour was influenced by pre-show communications, encouraging them to bring less onsite marketing material. 

An impressive 67% said that, as a result, of EIBTM communications, they intend to bring less printed material in 2009, while 46% said they would aim to source more sustainable materials.

“As a major player in the meetings and events industry, we hope that our knowledge and experience in gaining BS 8901 certification can be of benefit to other events and companies that consider applying for certification,” said Torrens.

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