Green Meetings Standard helps businesses meet demand for environmentally friendly venues

Green Tourism have launched Green Meetings Standard, designed in response to requests from the industry to help venues prove they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously, especially in the run-up to the UN’s COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November. 

Andrea Nicholas (Chief Executive, Green Tourism) said: “Our new Green Meetings standard gives meetings and event venues the tools they need for sustainable growth as they recover from the pandemic. 

“This new brand is built on the back of our 25 years of experience, and incorporates examples of best practice from businesses throughout the world.” 

Hotels, conference centres, and other venues for meetings and events can apply for the accreditation to measure their performance against three pillars of caring for people, places, and our planet. 

Independent assessors will examine criteria, which are aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Goals, ranging from energy, water, and waste through to catering, procurement, and travel, as well as awareness, communication, and community involvement. 

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has become the first venue to achieve the Green Meetings seal of approval.  

Aaron McKeen (Sustainability Champion, EICC) said: “Caring for the environment and our people is one of our core values at the conference centre.  

“Event organisers are asking more and more questions about the environmental credentials of our facilities and our services and so it’s essential that we can demonstrate that we take sustainability very seriously, and support them in their ambitions to host more sustainable meetings.  

“Holding the Green Tourism Gold Award has always been a source of pride for the EICC and by becoming the first venue in the UK to meet the Green Meetings standard is testament to our commitments in this area. 

Rory Archibald (Head of Associations & Sectors, VisitScotland Business Events) added 

“Winning and retaining events creates not only a significant contribution to the economy, they attract world leaders to meet face to face where global challenges can be addressed and solutions found. They are an active driver for economic and social transformation in our communities. The Green Meetings Standard allows the industry to take a leading role in tackling climate change that others can look to ensure we are putting people and planet first.”