Sustainable Conferences and Events
Conference Tourism is a major business sector; according to the International Congress & Convention Association, it has witnessed a rapid growth during the last decade. Although the conference & events industry is highly contributing to Cyprus economy, at the same time the arrival of hundreds of participants can overwhelm the local infrastructure, creating a significant amount of waste and generating a large amount of greenhouse gases, which leave behind a big carbon footprint.
Stakeholders involved in the sector need to understand the carbon impact of the Conferences & Events industry and undertake the responsibility of keeping the positive impact higher than the negative by educating themselves and by using the right tools to plan and manage their conferences/events in a sustainable way. Adapting sustainability in planning conferences/events will lead to financial advantages, environmental improvements, social benefits, the creation of a positive image for the stakeholders involved and help raise awareness of climate change issues and actions that must be taken to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Although currently there are several sustainability standards and tools available in the market to help measure and track the overall sustainability of an event; standards like ISO 20121, the event management system and certification launched for the 2012 London Olympics, the Convention Industry Council’s APEX/ASTM Green Meeting and Events Standards, Cypriot enterprises in the tourism industry are not utilising them effectively for many reasons; lack of sustainability awareness, insufficient legal framework & policy enforcement, misconceptions about the cost of sustainability adoption and lack of easy “all-in-one” friendly user tools.
The Sustainable Conferences and Events Project
AKTI Project and Research Centre is a partner in the Sustainable Conferences and Events (SCE) project, which aims to substantially contribute towards the achievement of a Sustainable future according to the EUROPE 2020 Strategy through balancing the environmental, social and economic responsibilities of the conferences and events that are organized by Top Kinisis.
AKTI will lead on all the sustainability aspects of the project. Specifically, AKTI will be responsible for:
- – Mapping the event and conference sustainability status in Europe and elsewhere
- – Identifying best practices and determining their key factors for success
- – Mapping the sustainability level of the tourism and conference industry in Cyprus
- – Undertaking a survey to determine the awareness of key stakeholders in the conference and event sector in Cyprus on sustainability issues
- – Developing relevant training material that will be certified by CYCERT
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The project is funded by the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus, under the Restart 2016-2020 Funding Program.