The show, which took place in June at Wellington’s new convention centre Tākina, has received Toitū net carbonzero certification.
Toitū Envirocare is a science-based organisation owned by the New Zealand government, which has been providing sustainability services for over two decades and completed over 4,500 certifications for more than 800 businesses.
“Our role is to lead the way in sustainability practices and put them at the core of everything we do,” said BEIA’s chief executive Lisa Hopkins of MEETINGS carbon zero certification and the association’s position as a role model for the business events industry.
“Toitū event certification now gives us the platform to work towards continual reduction of carbon emissions for MEETINGS and future improvements year-on-year,” she said.
With Toitū, BEIA developed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan for MEETINGS, which relied reasonably heavily on offsetting travel and freight, but also included reduction of printed materials replaced by increased use of digital assets, encouraging attendees to bring their own reusable bags and water bottles, reducing food and beverage waste, encouraging walking to Takina and replacing hosted buyer gifts with donations to local charities Kaibosh Food Rescue, Gillies McIndoe Research, and Wellington Zoo.
BEIA offset the air travel of hosted buyers and event staff through Air New Zealand’s FlyNeutral programme and actively encouraged exhibitors and day buyers to offset their travel and freight emissions.
Amongst initiatives undertaken by exhibitors were the creation of generic signage that can be reused and the use of sustainable packaging.
Hopkins said everyone who participated in the event was part of its sustainability success story.
“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,” she said.
The next iteration of MEETINGS will be held in Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island in June 2024.