Last week, IMEX, the incentive and meeting exhibition, drew 3,500 hosted buyers to Frankfurt, Germany. Among the events of the April 22-24 show was the announcement of the Green Meetings Award winners, where North American events took the top two prizes.

The six-day, 10,000-participant World Urban Forum Conference, organized in Vancouver last summer by the Globe Foundation of Canada and hosted by U.N. Habitat and the government of Canada, earned the gold award. Among the Forum’s green initiatives were a green procurement strategy and an effort to make the conference carbon-neutral. The conference was cited for engaging delegates and suppliers in reducing waste and pollution and conserving energy. The environmentally sensitive Vancouver Trade & Convention Center, site of the conference, was noted for its seawater cooling system, recycling program, green cleaning products, and low-flow toilets.

Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, which has properties in U.S. national parks, took the silver award for its work with the 2006 Sierra Business Council Conference, held in Yosemite National Park. The event teams developed a green strategy that included hybrid-powered shuttle transportation; organic, locally grown foods; reuseable water canteens; a system for collecting voluntary donations for carbon-offset credits; and a serious waste reduction and recycling program.

In conjunction with the Green Meetings Industry Council, IMEX also rewards exhibitors for their environmental efforts with an annual Green Exhibitor Award. This year, Visit London, an organization that markets London to leisure and business visitors, took home top honors. Visit London stood out for using 100 percent recyclable materials in its booth and for having an environmental policy that cut down on paper. The organization also found ways to reduce the number of people who traveled to the show and invested in projects specifically designed to offset the effects of the greenhouse gases generated by the personnel and freight travel. Visit London exhibitors handed out bottled water supplied by a company whose profits fund clean-water projects.