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March 3, 2009

MPI maintains CSR commitment through challenging times

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is leading by example in its drive to promote sustainable practices in the global meeting and event industry. 

MPI European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) in Turin, is being certified for BS 8901, the British Standard for Sustainable Event Management.

The on-site certifier for BS 8901 recommended the event for both Phase 1 (planning) and Phase 2 (implementation) certification for the event.

Last year’s EMEC at ExCeL London was the first ever event to gain the independent certification.

The BS8901 standard sets a generic framework that manages the implementation of sustainability for events, venues or suppliers. It creates a way of working that considers economic, environmental and social impacts.

Commenting on the initiative Bruce MacMillan, MPI president and chief executive, said: “MPI has been at the forefront of sustainable initiatives through not only BS 8901, but continuing membership education and community projects throughout Europe.

“At this year’s EMEC we highlighted this commitment through seven specific corporate social responsibility (CSR) sessions – giving our members a real insight and understanding into how CSR can help develop their businesses.” 

This year’s event focused on seven of the eight areas of environmentally sustainable meetings practices as defined by the Convention Industry Council – destination, meeting venue, accommodation, food and beverage, transportation, communications and on site operations. The eighth area relates to exhibitions, which is not relevant to MPI’s EMEC.

Some notable sustainable initiatives at the event included:
•    The Lingotto Centre, home to the three-day EMEC, supplied recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass.
•    The supplying of local and regional food from the Piedmont region of Italy.
•    A one Stop and Start ‘green bus’ running each day, which has an automatic engine that cuts out whenever it stops, so reducing sound pollution and fuel consumption by 8%
•    Utilisation of SpotMe (sponsored by The Rezidor Hotel Group), allowing a paperless event through on-site content being delivered direct onto the device
•    A community ‘Arsenal of Peace’ project, where local volunteers and attendees at the MPI event can help millions of people in need worldwide with food, drink, clothes, books and health products

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