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AIME 2008 sets a new benchmark as a climate neutral event

AIME 2008, 16th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo, will set a new benchmark for exhibitions in Australia, following the announcement yesterday (30 November 2007) that it will be a Climate Neutral event. Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) announced the initiative at EIBTM, The Global Meetings and Incentives Exhibition in Barcelona.

AIME Climate Neutral is a joint initiative of Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), RTE and Climate Friendly, an Australian organisation committed to providing real climate change solutions. The initiative is supported by the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC), the venue for AIME.

“Based on information and data provided by RTE, MCVB and MECC on AIME 2007, Climate Friendly has assessed and calculated the carbon footprint of the event. To neutralise these emissions, Climate Friendly has provided AIME with 100% accredited GreenPower energy from a wind farm in South Australia and neutralised remaining emissions by purchasing carbon credits from a Kyoto compliant wind farm in China,” said AIME Event Director, Rosemarie Sama.

AIME 2008 will have emissions neutralised from the events electricity use, paper consumption, meals, hosted buyer flights and accommodation, all coach transportation and staff travel. This includes the build up, two days of the exhibition, break down, and the official functions such as the AIME Welcome Reception at Central Pier Docklands, the MCVB hosted buyer breakfast at Park Hyatt Melbourne and the MECC hosted buyer lunch the day prior to AIME.

“We are also encouraging all exhibitors and visitors to neutralise their travel emissions, whether by aircraft or motor vehicle by purchasing carbon credits using the Climate Friendly┢ calculator on the AIME website,” Ms Sama said.

“Companies and individuals who offset their carbon emissions will be recognised on the AIME website for their contribution to AIME’s Climate Neutral status,” she said.

Sandra Chipchase, Chief Executive Officer, MCVB, said that the Bureau was leading and supporting green initiatives in the business events industry in Australia having recently completed an audit of Melbourne’s green credentials and urged the industry to support this AIME initiative.

“As the owners of AIME, we are encouraging the meetings and incentive industries to support a range of changes that will help AIME to minimize any negative impact on the environment,” Ms Chipchase said.

“We would like to extend warm congratulations to AIME for its initiative and leadership. This is the first time that an event of this magnitude has become Climate Neutral┢ and we think it is a fantastic way to address climate change,” said Joel Fleming, CEO, Climate Friendly.

Other AIME Climate Neutral initiatives include:

  • Including environmental issues as part of the Business Events Forum and Case Studies
  • Introducing two Master Classes on green events
  • With the assistance of the MECC, which already has a number of recycling initiatives in place, providing bins for the sorting of waste into paper/cardboard, glass and plastic within AIME.
  • Recycling of all name badges and lanyards
  • Using recyclable visitor bags
  • Introducing a paperless Media Office
  • Using recycled paper and reducing the documentation that is taken to AIME
  • Providing hosted buyers and media with USBs / memory sticks for downloading of information from exhibitors
  • Encouraging exhibitors to bring less material to AIME, then remove or recycle anything remaining after the event
  • Introducing a Carbon Offset Scheme for those travelling by plane or car to AIME
  • Introducing an Environmental Stand Award and Environment Suppliers Award
  • Providing maps of the public transport available to the venue on the AIME website
  • Designing signage that is reusable
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.