Convention Bureaux, Destination Marketing Organisations, Venues and Agencies from the five Scandinavian member countries of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) signed an Accord to create the world´s first sustainable meetings region.
The Accord, a document outlining 10 specific actions to which all signatories commit, aims to advance sustainable development within the meetings and events industry by showing leadership and business value.
Steen Jakobsen, Convention Director, Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau and board member of ICCA and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) observes “Sustainability, and sustainable development, is a business imperative that we all understand. It’s about good business and creating better communities. We recognize that only through collaboration, including the sharing of best practices and expertise, will we improve performance and effectiveness of our respective organizations for the benefit of our clients. This Accord documents our commitment to develop and deliver the best meeting experience possible.”
The Accord was signed at the annual meeting of the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter in Tampere, Finland.
Erika Eischer, Head of Congress Department, Tampere Hall and Chair of the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter comments: “Our clients are concerned about the ethical, social and environmental performance of their suppliers. We need to make it easier for our clients to organize a sustainable meeting in our destinations. As a first step, convention bureaux, congress centres and other meetings industry professionals from Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Denmark have agreed on a common set of indicators that we can all use to benchmark and transparently communicate our performance and progress. This Accord is the first of its kind and it underscores the business case for sustainable events”.
Project lead, Guy Bigwood of MCI Sustainability Services, comments: “This project is unique in its scale and collaborative nature. For the last two years we have engaged the Scandinavian ICCA members to define a shared vision for the future of meetings and events. Now we have over 60 regional leaders who, with their signature, commit to taking action to measure and compare impacts, share knowledge, create products to help clients and develop socially responsible community action projects. We feel this innovative model of leadership collaboration will result in destinations that are positioned to capture new business from the rapidly expanding sustainable marketplace”.
Over the next 6 months, the Scandinavian ICCA Chapter will expand the number of signatories to the Accord by reaching out to business leaders in communities across the Scandinavian countries. They will encourage others to join their commitment to measure and improve environmental impacts and to further develop the holistic approach to sustainable business for which Scandinavia is recognized.
Eischer reflects: “We recognize our role as leaders and regard the commitment to this Accord as both an opportunity and a responsibility. We look forward to continued strong business returns and the chance to share our approach with others”.