“Our role is to lead the way in sustainability practices and put them at the core of everything we do,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.
“Toitū event certification now gives us the platform to work towards continual reduction of carbon emissions for MEETINGS and future improvements year-on-year.
“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.”
Collaborating with Toitū, BEIA developed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan for MEETINGS 2023, which was held in Wellington in June. It included offsetting all hosted buyers and event staff air travel using Air New Zealand’s FlyNeutral programme, reducing food and beverage waste, encouraging walking to venue and 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 emission,” he said.
“Toitū ensures environmental claims are made with assurance and integrity and distinguishes MEETINGS as an exemplar of sustainability.”