We don’t need “An Inconvenient Truth”, a documentary released in 2006 about former US vice-president Al Gore’s campaign on global warming, to know that our earth is in danger. Unless we’ve been living in a cocoon, we would have noticed extreme weathers starting to affect our earth in more ways than before. Winters are dragging into spring and summer, according to our European counterparts, while countries with tropical climates are seeing elongated hot days followed by erratic periods of torrential rain.
The debate regarding the negative effects of human activities on Mother Earth is still on, but professionals in the business events industry have started to sit up and take this seriously.
The reality is that our activities give out billion tonnes of carbon emissions each year, and as of 2012, have reached a record high of 35.6 billion tonnes from over 9 billion metric tonnes in 2009.
The figures are alarming, and thus have seen various companies across different sectors work to reduce their carbon footprint. The business events industry, in particular, has started looking at ways to cut down on waste, with one of the first steps taken by the UK Waste & Resources Action Programme to publish a roadmap to zero waste by year 2020. This programme was reflected in the British Standard BS8901 developed for the London 2012 Olympic Games, which became international standard ISO 20121 (Event Sustainability Management System) last April. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau was next in line to launch the standard, becoming the second in the world after the UK to implement it in the MICE industry.
But while this is setting things in motion, it’s undeniable that saving the environment requires a joint effort between industry partners, venues and suppliers, as well as individuals to make a difference. In this edition, we identify how the future generation in MICE, the Gen Ys, may be the key to facilitating the industry’s move towards zero waste (Page 12-13), and how some companies have decided to play a more active role in giving back to the environment through carbon offsetting programmes (Page 31-33).
micenet ASIA has recently launched an iPad app in a similar move to gain more exposure in an environmentally-conscious way. The iPad edition, which is free for download from the Apple apps store, offers more interactivity to readers in Asia and around the world in a paperless format.
Please enjoy this edition of micenet ASIA, and continue to share with us your concerns on sustainability and how event organisers can do more to relieve the burden on Mother Earth.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
• Andrew Chan, ACI HR Solutions • Damion Breust, Barclays • Daniel Chua, AONIA • Danielle Puceta, American Express Business Travel • David Lim, Everest Motivation • Maureen O’Crowley, Seoul Tourism Organization • Nino Grüttke, Messe Berlin • Rosalind Ng, SACEOS • Selina Grocott, Pacific World