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April 16, 2008

MPI events aims to set benchmark for sustainability

The European Meetings & Events Conference taking place at at ExCeL London from 18-20 April 2008 will be the first MPI event, and possibly the in the first UK to try to achieve the BS 8901 Sustainable Event Standard with certification from an independent third party since the standard was launched last year.

MPI’s intention is to manage its annual European conference in order to minimise negative social, environmental and economic impacts while meeting the event objectives and maintaining a high-quality experience for all delegates.

MPI will provide strategic leadership and vision to ensure the objectives for sustainability are given significant weight:
– To raise awareness and provide education on sustainability within the UK meetings and events industry.
– To create a benchmark for the sustainable development of The European Meetings and Events Conference
– To achieve BS 8901 Sustainable Event Standard

To meet these targets, MPI will implement the BS8901 sustainable event management system, and since November 2007 has been providing pre-event education for suppliers, sponsors, stakeholders and delegates to attend.

MPI and the host committee is working with all venues that will be used during the event to identify waste streams and put a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ strategy in place. This includes: sourcing local food and measuring food miles, composting waste food using an onsite wormery at ExCeL and recycling plastics, paper and cardboard.

A community project, sponsored by event management company Organise This, has been incorporated into the programme to ensure the event leaves a legacy within the local community. The project will involve up to 30 delegates visiting a local farm park and undertaking basic decoration work. Sessions on sustainability have also been incorporated into the education programme and delegates have the opportunity to volunteer to be part of a sustainability team onsite during the event and learn first hand.

An onsite sustainability team made up of volunteers will monitor, measure and educate delegates on the logistics required for implementing sustainability. MPI is taking an open and honest approach to sharing the learning with the aim of increasing the level of sustainability within the event industry.

The MPI Foundation Europe, which invests in high-impact programmes to support education, business development opportunities and defined career pathways for meeting professionals, has chosen to support the sustainable initiatives at The European Meetings and Events Conference. Katie Callahan-Giobbi, executive vice president MPI Foundation, commented: “The MPI Foundation Europe is proud to support this key initiative. This is an issue that matters to our community and is in-line with our vision of a sustainable meetings and events industry. We are pleased to support the realisation of this vision by ensuring that sustainability is given significant weight at The European Meetings and Events Conference and providing the community with education and inspiration on eco-friendly processes and procedures.”

In partnership with the MPI Foundation Europe, the Rezidor Hotel Group is supporting this initiative at The European Meetings and Events Conference. It is very much aligned with Rezidor’s Responsible Business (RB) programme. The hotel group has had a comprehensive and pro-active RB programme in place since 2001 across all their brands and in all regions where it runs hotels. It was also the first international hotel group to offer members of its loyalty programme the opportunity to redeem points to offset the carbon dioxide emissions associated with their trip to one of the hotels, or in favour of charity, in this case the World Childhood Foundation.

"Taking responsibility for the environment and local community has been an integral part of the way we do business formany years", said senior. vice president for Rezidor Oliver Jacquin. "We are very pleased to be part of this sustainability project with MPI.

Demonstrating its commitment to corporate social responsibility, MPI has recently become a signatory of the UN Global Compact, as well as leading the way in the green meetings initiative with actions implemented during the World Education Congress 2007 in Montreal which complimented by further activities in Houston during the Professional Education Conference North America 2008, and at The European Meetings and Events Conference 2008.

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