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Austrian eco-label “Green Meetings & Green Events” and "Green Location"

A successful event stays in the mind. It leaves behind a trace in participants’ memories, but also an ecological footprint.

A successful event stays in the mind. It leaves behind a trace in participants’ memories, but also an ecological footprint. As one of the most renowned congress centres, Kongresskultur Bregenz is making considerable effort to ensure its events conclude with a favourable ecological balance. It has won some high-profile awards: for instance the Ministry of Life acknowledged the Bregenz centre’s commitment by bestowing the Austrian environmental label “Green Meetings”.


A green network

Customers, partners and suppliers are actively involved in the process. Organizers are encouraged and supported in planning events and congresses in a way that preserves resources and is largely CO2-free. Kongresskultur Bregenz is leading by example. What has been completely self-evident at Bregenz Festival performances for some years already will soon be the case at all events hosted there: arrival and departure by public transport are included in the ticket price. The menu of Bregenz Festival House restaurant offers above all organically grown and fair trade produce – where possible from the region. In this way, good food contributes to climate protection and regional value creation: a fine example that demonstrates that ecology and economy no longer have to be irreconcilable opposites.
 
The renovation of Kongresskultur Bregenz some years ago brought about many improvements to the building itself. Whether it was the cooling system, the water heating or the lighting – the architects and planners endowed the centre with state-of-the-art technology as well as green credentials.


“Green Meetings” – new ecological standard

5.5 kg of waste paper, 3.5 kg of residual waste and 151 l of water consumed: this is the daily environmental impact of a single congress guest. This is substantially higher than the amount of waste produced per inhabitant in Austria on average. The figures come from the Austrian Convention Bureau, the umbrella organization of the Austrian congress industry. If we use them to calculate the environmental impact of a three-day congress with 1,000 participants, the result is 17.5 t of waste paper and 10.5 t of residual waste generated and 453,000 l of water consumed.
For this reason, the Ministry of Life has created the Austrian environmental label “Green Meetings” – a quality label that publicly recognizes an event organizer’s environmentally conscious management and social action. A meeting must meet certain standards in the following areas:
•    transit to the event by a means not harmful to the environment
•    on-site mobility and CO2 reduction
•    environmentally friendly accommodation
•    requirements pertaining to the venue, catering, and stand construction
•    environmentally friendly procurement
•    material and waste management
•    social aspects
•    communication
•    additional special measures are appreciated, for example serving exclusively organic produce or special offers for people with disabilities. The organizer must demonstrate its environmental competence in how it runs its own business.
 
Kongresskultur now acts as a certifying body and can therefore officially attest that event organizers meet “Green Meeting & Green Events” standards.
 
The Austrian environmental label for “Green Meetings & Green Events” was initiated by the environment ministry together with the congress industry and the association for consumer information.
 
Full information on the Austrian environmental label “Green Meetings & Green Events” can be found here.

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