In 2012 hosted the first ever sustainable European Union Presidency and achieved the first ISO-20121 certification in the meetings sector. The sustainable actions of the 'Danish Sustainable Events Initiative' lead to a €40mio saving compared to previous Presidencies and now the legacy and learnings are not only shared in a new report entitled ‘Driving Change Through Collaboration’, but have also been awarded the GMIC/IMEX Green Meetings Award 2013.
Nicknamed the ‘Tap Water Presidency’ by the press, due to a determined focus on environmental and cost saving actions, the Danish government implemented an ISO compliant sustainability management system for the 100 meetings which hosted 15,000 participants in Copenhagen and the city of Horsens - and it is those efforts that were acknowledged yesterday at the annual IMEX Gala Dinner in Frankfurt.
Andreas Clausen Boor, Head of Logistics at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says:
- When we started the planning process in the midst of the financial crisis we had a clear vision to arrange the first ever sustainable, yet cost efficient, EU presidency. The entire team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with our partners at the Danish Sustainable Events Initiative embraced this sustainable approach, and put in an enormous effort to create one of the best and most innovative presidencies ever.
Without doubt, winning the GMIC/IMEX Green Meetings Award is recognition of all the hard work that was put into organising one of the best, most sustainable and cost effective presidencies. But above up, it leaves a strong legacy of our vision of making the Danish sustainable approach a model for future presidencies. The Danish experience highlights the relation between sustainability, delegate experience and costs: it is smarter and cheaper to be visionary and arrange a sustainable conference than to follow the conventional path.
Markus Diefenbach, International Marketing Manager - Business Tourism, VisitDenmark, says:
- The meetings industry is keen to get more practical examples of how to create better events through sustainability. With the COP15 and now the EU Presidency we have two award-winning examples coming out of Denmark showing how to do this whilst simultaneously sending a message to the industry that 'going green' can actually be a huge innovation-driver and cost-saver.
Project Consultant, Guy Bigwood of MCI Sustainability Services, wraps up:
- Once again the Danes have demonstrated that you have to "lead" to show an example of the change that you want to see in the world. They were instrumental in forming the Danish Sustainable Events Initiative and demonstrated that by collaborating as a team and sharing a compelling vision – large and small events can be organised in a sustainable way that improves results and lowers cost! It is an honour for MCI to have been the consultant and a proud member of the team.
The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VisitDenmark, SAS – Scandinavian Airlines, HORESTA (The Danish Hotel & Restaurant Association), VisitAarhus, VisitAalborg CVB, Inspiring Denmark, State of Green, City of Copenhagen, Bella Center Copenhagen, Wonderful Copenhagen CVB and MCI.
Download the DSEI report 'Driving Change Through Collaboration'
Markus Diefenbach, International Marketing Manager, Business Tourism - VisitDenmark, +49 (0)40-320 21 143, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The IMEX award programme recognises individuals and companies who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the meetings and incentive travel industry. They are presented annually at the IMEX Gala Dinner in Frankfurt alongside prestigious industry awards given by MPI (Meeting Professionals International), JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) and Site.
- The IMEX Green Award programme, jointly run with GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council), supports IMEX's environmental initiatives with four awards specifically developed to reward and promote environmental awareness and corporate social responsibility.
- The Green Meetings Award was launched jointly by IMEX, the International Hotels Environment Initiative, and the Oceans Blue Foundation at IMEX 2003. The award is now partnered by GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council).
- The GMIC/IMEX Green Meetings Award recognises environmental awareness amongst meeting organisers, highlighting the opportunities that now exist to stage business tourism events in 'green-minded' venues, whilst also planning an agenda in which sustainability issues have been taken fully into account. There are two award categories, Large Meeting Award and Small to Medium Meeting Award (previously Gold and Silver).
- Denmark's COP15 Logistics and CSMP Team working within The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also collected the coveted IMEX Green Meetings Gold Award in 2010.