BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins says everyone involved in MEETINGS can be proud of this achievement.
“Our 220 exhibitors, 500 buyers and our venue, Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre, our partners and suppliers, and host city Wellington all played vital roles, not only through their sustainable practices, but also in supporting the local community.”
As the official association for the industry, BEIA is committed to the long-term measurement, management and reduction of greenhouse gases for this flagship event.
“Our role is to lead the way in sustainability practices and put them at the core of everything we do.
“Toitū event certification now gives us the platform to work towards continual reduction of carbon emissions for MEETINGS and future improvements year-on-year,” Hopkins says.
Collaborating with Toitū, BEIA developed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan for MEETINGS 2023 held in Wellington during three days in June. It included offsetting all hosted buyers and event staff air travel using Air New Zealand's FlyNeutral programme, encouraging exhibitors and day buyers to offset travel and freight emissions, encouraging attendees to bring their own reusable bags and water bottles, reduction of printed material and use of digital assets by exhibitors and media partners, reducing food and beverage waste, encouraging walking to venue, replacing Hosted Buyer gifts with donations to local charities - Kaibosh Food Rescue, Gillies McIndoe Research, and Wellington Zoo.
Exhibitors supported the plan by using sustainable packaging, reducing waste from one-time items, creating reusable generic and digital signage options, giving away eco-friendly and biodegradable gifts, and arranging for plants used on stands to be donated or re-planted.
Tobias Tripp, Marketing Communications Manager at Toitū Envirocare says this event certification stands as a mark of responsibility and to be seen taking accountability.
“Through rigorous measurement tools and impartial third-party validation, it allows BEIA not only to understand MEETINGS' environmental impact, but also to take decisive, confident action to mitigate carbon emissions. Toitū ensures environmental claims are made with assurance and integrity, and distinguishes MEETINGS as an exemplar of sustainability,” he says.
The Toitū carbon programme is internationally recognised and certified under the ISO 14064 standard (organisation) and ISO 14067 standard (product) by the JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System for Australia and New Zealand).
Conference organisers can choose to partner with Toitū Envirocare using their event certification programme that allows business events to reduce carbon emissions while demonstrating a commitment to the future.
Hosted buyer applications open in January for the 28th MEETINGS in Rotorua on 19 and 20 June 2024. The MEETINGS 2024 exhibitor prospectus is now available online.