PARIS – UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced the winners of its annual Sustainable Development Award. This year’s competition theme was “Best actions to engage participants around sustainability” and the jury selected two winners: the American Chemical Society (ACS) for its National Meetings & Expositions, and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) for MEET TAIWAN’s “Green MICE Project”.
UFI’s objective when setting this year’s theme was to recognise initiatives that spread knowledge, enhance attendee experience, and educate and inspire participants on sustainability, both at and beyond the event.
The American Chemical Society organised two events in 2015 that attracted nearly 27,000 professionals. In addition to their “Greener Meetings Program”, which focuses on three key initiatives (calculating and offsetting their carbon footprint, increasing attendee engagement, and collaborating with event partners to improve performance), ACS developed five specific solutions to engage participants around sustainability. These are: the use of social media, tree planting offsets, mobile applications, the Greener Meetings Pledge, and Sci-Mix events.
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council has been developing its Green MICE project of MEET TAIWAN to inspire every segment of the Taiwan MICE value chain. Their project involves three steps: build awareness on the importance of green and sustainable principles, inspire the stakeholders to take real action for sustainability, and encourage the industry to meet global standards. Each of these steps is proving to be very successful.
Dianne Young, President of the UFI Sustainable Development Award jury and CEO of the Exhibition Place (Toronto, Canada), said: “Both entries deserve to win given the scope of their actions and the scale of their results. The jury would also like to recognise quality of the entries of the three other finalists: Informa (UK) for the variety of actions conducted at the Greenbuild show, RAI Amsterdam for their “Heart-warming Amsterdam” catering concept and UBM EMEA for their Sustainable Stand Awards and Charity Partnerships initiatives.”
Vanessa L. Johnson-Evans, Assistant Director, ACS Meetings & Expositions (USA), added: “The American Chemical Society is incredibly honoured to be the co-winner of the 2016 UFI Sustainable Development Award. Prioritising sustainability at our national meetings has been such an immersive journey for us. We have been able to learn from collaborating with all types of vendors and venues in the best cities around the US and most importantly, our attendees. We continue to embrace that spirit of learning about best practices when it comes to event sustainability. We know our journey is not yet over and look forward to improving our efforts year after year. We believe our efforts will play a part in catalysing the meetings and events industry towards a more sustainable world.”
Walter Yeh, Executive Vice President of TAITRA said: “It is a great honour to receive the 2016 UFI Sustainable Development Award. Since 2013, TAITRA has been implementing the Green MICE project of MEET TAIWAN under the sponsorship of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. We aim at inspiring Taiwan MICE to foster sustainability at every link of the value chain. To inspire stakeholders to take action has never been easy, but we have seen change through constant communication and education. With this recognition, we look forward to make a positive impact in the global MICE industry. MEET TAIWAN will continue to promote sustainability and the sharing of our experiences with all MICE partners.”