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September 8, 2014

German Convention Bureau Receives EMAS Certification




Good news for eco-conscious event planners: The German Convention Bureau has received European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certification. The scheme has been developed by the European Commission for companies and other organizations within the EU and the European Economic Area to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.

"The GCB has engaged in improving sustainability for many years and being awarded EMAS certification is another milestone. For the GCB, sustainability is an opportunity for the entire industry, especially for making Germany a sustainable meetings and conventions destination,”  Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, said in a statement.

Certification

To achieve certification, organizations must create, (among other things), an environmental statement that records the dates and details of all environmentally relevant activities covering energy consumption, emissions and waste, as well as the indirect environmental aspects--for example, in procurement and event management.

After an initial comprehensive inventory, the environmental assessment is subsequently performed as a recurring audit within the framework of the EMAS process and is judged by independent, nationally accredited environmental auditors.

"Compared to the widespread environmental management standard ISO 14001, the requirements are fully covered by EMAS. EMAS is characterized by a higher level of legal security, consistent environmental performance, high transparency and active employee participation," Dr. Stefan Müssig, CEO of Würzburg Environmental and Quality Management Consulting, who oversaw the EMAS certification of the GCB, noted in the same statement.

Christine Koch, Sustainability Officer of GCB, said: "An important area for participation in EMAS is the involvement of all employees in an organization, thereby ensuring environmental management is achieved at all levels of activity.”

In Germany, around 1,250 companies from various industries participate in the EMAS, from manufacturing companies through to trade and services of all kinds including public administration.

GCB Promotes Sustainability

In the German meeting industry, the GCB promotes sustainable event management. Education seminars on sustainability in the meeting industry are ongoing, and in 2012 and 2013, the GCB received funding from the German Federal Environmental Foundation and will continue the seminars from 2014.

In addition, the GCB is organizing the green meetings and events conference, taking place on  February 2015 in Kap Europa in Frankfurt. This is organized jointly with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) every two years. Since 2011, the two organizations have initiated a sustainability code for the event industry and now supports more than 400 companies.


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