Meetings

Meetings Groups Merge To Further Sustainability In The Events Industry

By / Mar 1, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Working together, the Green Meeting Industry Council and the Convention Industry Council hope they have a greater impact on event sustainability.

Last week the Green Meeting Industry Council announced it is moving in with the Convention Industry Council.

GMIC will become a council of CIC with the aim of advocating for and teaching sustainability best practices in the meetings and events industry. As part of the new partnership, GMIC will operate under the direction of CIC’s board, and, with the added support, have a greater ability to provide information, tools, and resources.

“CIC is looking forward to not only helping GMIC return to its roots as a council leading the conversation on sustainability in the meeting and events industry, but also to support it by expanding its reach through the CIC members and certified meeting professional (CMP) communities to drive the industry towards these practices,” Karen Kotowski, CIC CEO, said in a statement.

Founded in 2003, GMIC’s mission is to transform the global meetings industry through sustainability, while CIC aims to facilitate an exchange of information within the industry. As a result of the merger, GMIC will become the main driver of the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards, which are nine voluntary standards designed to help plan and produce green events.

GMIC and CIC also hope that, by combining forces, they become the preferred resource among the sea of nonprofit and for-profit organizations providing sustainability products and services in the meetings and events industry.

“We envision “GMIC—A Council of CIC,” to be the place for these entities to come together and for GMIC to be the go-to resource for neutral and credible sustainability resources, information, and community for the broader event industry,” GMIC stated in a list of FAQs about the merger on its website. “GMIC would be the source for education and content, a think tank and collaborator on sustainability initiatives within the meetings industry.”

Sustainability is an important issue for convention centers around the globe, according to the “Green Venue Report” released late last year. It found that 70 percent of the 30 surveyed centers have a dedicated sustainability coordinator or manager on staff. Seventy-seven percent of the centers also reported having an employee green team or sustainability committee.

Meanwhile, sustainability seemed to be less of a priority among event organizers—only 27 percent discussed the topic when engaging with convention centers.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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