The 2009 IMEX exhibition, showcasing incentive travel, meetings, and event suppliers from around the globe, wrapped up at the end of May in Frankfurt, Germany. Green meeting issues were front and center at the show, especially in its environmental awards program, which has become the most prestigious in the industry.
The IMEX Green Awards, given in partnership with the Green Meeting Industry Council, recognize outstanding achievement for, Green Suppliers, and Green Exhibitors.
The Gold Award in the Green Meetings category went to the U.S. Green Building Council for its 2008 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held in Boston. Judges said the conference stood out for its success motivating suppliers to support green initiatives and for its understanding of how to track and measure environmental targets. USGBC is the first North American group to have its entire meeting certified through BS 8901 (a British sustainable-event certification).
The 2008 Oracle OpenWorld Conference, a San Francisco citywide that attracted 40,000 attendees, earned the Green Meetings Silver Award, with standout energy- and paper-saving efforts. (See our interview, page 9.)
Two Australian convention centers took home the Green Supplier Awards. Gold went to the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Silver to the Adelaide Convention Centre. Melbourne's center stood out for its use of energy-saving technologies, including a solar hot-water system and a lighting system with built-in motion detection.
Estoril Congress Center, located a short drive from Lisbon, Portugal, was honored with the Green Exhibitor Award, given to an organization exhibiting at IMEX. The center was acknowledged for a new booth design and for purchasing carbon offsets for its freight and corporate travel, among other things.
In her book, Green Your Work: Boost Your Bottom Line While Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, Kim Carlson aims to take the task of making your business more sustainable from daunting to doable. The book is divided into three sections. Part one, “Why Should I Care?”, explores why green businesses are becoming essential; part two, “How Do I Care?”, walks readers through the goals of greening; and part three, “How Do I Get Them to Care?”, discusses how to create a culture of sustainability internally and throughout the supply chain. The book provides compelling statistics for going green, as well as various resources to help readers get started minimizing their company's carbon footprint.