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October 4, 2010

Austrian meetings and events showcase awarded new green rating on opening day

Access 2010, the showcase event for the Austrian meetings and events industry, opened this morning at the Hofburg in Vienna. In its seventh year, the show is playing host to around 2,000 delegates from 15 countries with over 210 exhibitors. The event also offers a wide range of seminars under the Access Academy banner, with this year seeing a key focus on green meetings and sustainability.


Access has showed its commitment to the green agenda by becoming the first major trade fair in the country to receive the new Austrian Environmental Label for Green Meetings from the Ministry of Environment. The certificate is awarded on a points system, with a possible 100 green points available; Access scored an impressive 51, but the organisers said there was room for improvement and aimed to raise this for next year’s event.


Access 2010: Vienna#sHofburg hosts this yxear,s Austrian industry showcase


“We are delighted that Access has partnered with us to help create our new green guidelines,” said Andreas Tschulik of the Ministry of Environment. “This show will demonstrate what is possible, and how organisers can use the guidelines to create successful green meetings, and it is our first step on the road to changing the behaviour patterns within the meetings and events industry.”


Tschulik added that with each congress delegate producing an average of 3.5kg of waste, this was an essential part of reducing the burden on resources and the waste created by the conventions industry and a crucial way to save energy.


While there were questions over why Austria had not joined with the group working towards ISO 20121, which is the international version of British Standard 8901 for sustainable meetings, Tschulik said that they were working on the ISO level and trying to integrate it into their own standards to make sure the two were as compatible as possible.


Christian Mutschlechner, director of the Vienna Convention Bureau and vice president of the Austrian Convention Bureau (ACB), added: “We have been working hard to create a new green approach in our industry and to firmly enshrine the area of greening in our sector. We must encourage all suppliers to work with organisers in a way that is inline with the new guidelines. In the future all suppliers will only be able to work with the ACB if they adhere to our green guidelines. Yes there will be added costs to start with but as demand increases for these services so the cost will come down.”


Mutschlechner added that Access had ensured that all its suppliers – from the caters to the stand builders – were up to the green standard, and that it encouraged organisers to think outside the box to achieve their green ratings. He also, said that he expected the industry to make serious headway in the greening over the next 12 months.


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