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February 3, 2017

Hawaii Convention Center Helps IUCN World Conservation Congress Achieve Sustainability Certification

hawaii convention center
Photo by dkclack/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) has announced that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2016 World Conservation Congress received the distinguished ISO 20121 certification for sustainability, as this prestigious event was hosted in the United States for the first time at the Hawaii meeting facility.

ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help organizations in the events industry improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services. ISO 20121 is based on the earlier British Standard called ‘BS 8901 Specification for a Sustainability Management System for Events’ which was first developed in 2007.

More than 8,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Hawaii, September 1-10, 2016, for the global conference. The HCC team researched the procedures and secured the appropriate materials for use by IUCN delegates at the Congress, as well as researched local farmers who grow foods in compliance with IUCN’s guidelines that could be served during the events.

Among the local food providers HCC was able to collaborate with during IUCN were J. Ludovico Farms for free range chickens, Ho Farms for tomatoes, long beans and butternut squash, Aloun Farms for peppers, melons, and onions, Tropic Fish sourced from the Honolulu Fish Auction, Paniolo Beef, Pono Pork and Armstrong Produce for a variety of other locally grown ingredients.

In addition to the food and beverage requirements of IUCN, there were other operational requirements HCC needed to deliver on which are highlighted as follows:

  • HCC successfully partnered in a pilot program for composting for IUCN requiring the center to properly divert its waste back into the Earth and to animal feed.
  • All food and beverage disposable service ware were compostable.
  • Only glass bottles and aluminum cans were sold at concessions.
  • Vending machines selling plastic bottles and snacks with waste packaging were not available.
  • To reduce waste and encourage re-use containers, HCC installed new bottle filler dispensers at the water fountains. Five units were available on the lobby and meeting room levels.
  • For IUCN’s opening reception, the water used in containers to hold down the chef's tents were recycled for irrigation and cleaning.
  • Volunteer monitors were staged at many locations to educate guests on composting and recycling in Hawaii.
  • All materials available to Congress attendees were composted or recycled. Existing trash/recycle receptacles were re-labeled accordingly and designed for IUCN.
  • All materials used for the unique cardboard exhibits were recycled or repurposed.

Visit www.iso20121.org

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