The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has announced the results of a new research project, “Sustainable Meeting and Event Practices: The State of the Industry.” Study findings were presented at IMEX America, which took place at Sands Expo in Las Vegas from October 18 - 20. The study was co-sponsored by Las Vegas Sands, along with the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau.
The research, originally commissioned by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), now a part of the CIC, and conducted by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, reveals that meeting professionals prefer that their suppliers include sustainable practices at the RFP stage without having to ask about them. Additionally, planners don’t want to pay for sustainable practices, but expect their suppliers to absorb the costs because, ultimately, most of the actions will save the supplier money. “This suggests that both sides of the discussion can work on quantifying and communicating the financial as well as the non-financial benefits of sustainable practices to the company, the environment, and to society,” said Roger Simons, CMP, Chair, GMIC Leadership Committee.
The wide-ranging study surveyed global end-user meeting professionals, third-party meeting professionals, and suppliers. More than 150 responses were received, with participation from five continents. The study found that suppliers engage in more sustainable practices than their customers. Planners listed the top 11 most requested sustainable practices as sorting recyclables; donating leftover food to charitable organizations; diverting food waste from waste stream; linen and towel reuse programs; using water glasses and filling stations (in lieu of bottled water); offering vegetarian menus; offering allergy-friendly menus; sourcing local food; using event apps (to reduce paper usage); requesting energy-efficient lighting; and planning give-back programs for the local community.
All types of survey respondents expressed confusion around the multiple standards and certifications that are prevalent in the sustainable events industry. They also voiced a desire for common, simplified metrics to measure sustainable practices.
LVS helped to make this study possible by contributing a grant for the cost of the study, as well as engaging clients from our various properties to participate in the study. Additionally, Jenny Yu-Mattson, Executive Director of Sustainability for LVS was part of the working group providing feedback on the methodology and questionnaires for the study.
For additional information about this study, please visit the GMIC website at: http://www.gmicglobal.org