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.
- To us, winning the GMIC/IMEX Green Meetings Award is the highest recognition of sustainability achievement in the meetings industry and it underlines Copenhagen's reputation as the 'Capital of Sustainable Meetings'. The DSEI has proven the power of collaboration and how sustainable thinking catalyses innovation. We hope this will inspire other meeting organisers to improve their sustainability initiatives too.
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.