The world is a lot greener, thanks to Seoul.
STORY BY SANDRA HERNANDEZ
While Seoul has always been recognised as an ideal place for hosting conventions – from the time one steps into the award-winning Incheon International Airport (fourth largest in the world) up to the point where one attends a meeting or conference in Seoul’s top ranked convention center, Coex, the megacity commendably walks the talk when it comes to green practices.
Seoul’s advocacy and commitment to preserve its environment is ideal, admirable and contagious because it’s observed almost everywhere. It has responded to the climate crises by nationwide awareness, increase in public investments in renewable energy projects, making public transport environmentally friendly and perpetuating clean technologies.
Ahead of many of its Asian counterparts, Seoul is graced by the Han River flowing through the city center and the majestic Mt Namsan that overlooks the city. It has an abundant natural environment preserved though progressive city policies and green practices.
Noteworthy eco projects
The government is increasing the number of city parks to make the entire city even more environmentally friendly and there are some noteworthy eco projects to seriously consider when planning a MICE event in Seoul:
Hangang River Renaissance
Restoration of the Hangang River’s natural landscape has begun to make it a cultural heritage site. Bridges are being renovated to reach over the river that offers a romantic night view. Completion is expected in 2014 and the modern art and cultural complex Hangang River Art Island is an exciting venue to look forward to.
A grand urban development project will transform Mt Namsan into an impressive cultural venue. Fun and exciting cultural events and educational programs will be introduced to the existing promenade and cultural heritage site.
The stream has been restored after four decades of being covered by concrete to construct an elevated highway. Restored as a natural asset, Cheonggye Plaza plays host to exciting outdoor performances and events throughout the year.
Green is a way of life
Even moving around Seoul is dominated by admirable green practices. South Korea’s public transportation runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) which gives Seoul high quality air that is the envy of many cities. Electronic card payments in public transport, banks and other services have been adopted so the usage of cheques is almost a thing of the past. When it comes to disposal of garbage, segregation is done for paper, plastic and food waste.
Some of the most popular hotels in Seoul have initiated green practices, too. In the guest rooms of JW Marriott Seoul, sustainability and linen reuse cards have been implemented, stating the hotel’s practice to refresh bed linens every third day though the hotel would be happy to change them as often as guests wish. While it is JW’s practice to change towels daily, the hotel supports guests’ desire to reduce water, energy and use of cleaning products should towels be reused. The presence of terry reuse cards in the bathroom’s towel bars has reduced the number of towels for laundry per day by 25 per cent, equivalent to 400 sheets of towel.
Novotel Ambassador Gangnam hosted a conference this year where the usual notepads were foregone. Instead, the hotel proposed to the client that an iPad be provided to each of the 150 attendees and the hotel helped source out the rental of these iPads for the client.
Both JW Marriott Seoul and Novotel Ambassador Gangnam have installed
LED lighting system in their function rooms as much as possible, saving energy in the process.