A strong showcase of environmentally friendly products at the tradeshow for the business events industry next month is further evidence of the rapid ‘greening’ of the industry. Leading the charge is the event itself, AIME 2008, held in Melbourne on 19 – 20 February, which has announced it will be Australia’s first Climate Neutral(tm) exhibition.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, an exhibitor and the event’s venue, will showcase its new Melbourne Convention Centre, which is the first convention centre in the world to have achieved a ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmental rating.
Some of the environmental features include a black water recycling plant, solar panels, energy saving controls on lighting, and having smart air conditioning.
Another leading international venue to feature at AIME, the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, also has an extensive environmental program.
When it opens in 2009, the centre will feature a 2.4 hectare living roof – housing 400,000 indigenous plants – seawater heating and cooling, on-site water treatment, and a fish habitat built into the facility.
One of the many exhibitors from Asia, the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, has become the first hotel in Hong Kong to install a new hybrid fuel system for hot water and steam throughout the hotel.
An early pioneer of green management practices in the hospitality industry, it was the first Hong Kong hotel to achieve ISO 14001 for environmental protection and awarded the gold award for ‘Green Innovative Practice Award for Energy Savings’ at the Hong Kong Eco-Business Awards.
Emirates is revealing its US$100 million investment to build a luxury, conservation-based resort in Australia’s Blue Mountains – its first hospitality development outside Dubai. Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa will use the same philosophy as Emirates’ acclaimed conservation-based Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai, and plans to be Australia’s most environmentally sympathetic development.
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts will feature information on its new environmentally aware hotel brand. Andaz London features toilets using 80% less water, a computer controlled boiler reducing 25% fuel use, intelligent lighting systems, eco printers and it has a fair trade purchasing policy.
EcoPoint Resorts, which already operates two resorts in Australian national parks, will reveal details of the opening of a new property. EcoPoint Wollemi Reach Resort will be located in New South Wales on the Colo River. Like its other properties, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water and energy consumption are just some of the initiatives it undertakes.
Also featuring at AIME, the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa has been awarded one of three prestigious sustainability awards at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, recognising its efforts in reducing the hotel’s water, waste and energy consumption, as well as its involvement in staff and community education programs on sustainability.
From New Zealand, in the region of North Canterbury, an entire wine-growing area, the Waipara region, is detailing its plans to go green. It’s using bio-controls and other environmentally-friendly practices to reduce reliance on herbicides and pesticides.
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism has become the first regional tourism organisation in New Zealand to earn CarboNZero certification, which recognises organisations which are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and neutralising their remaining unavoidable emissions.
Meanwhile, Canterbury’s Hassle-free Tours is the first tourism operator to make a complete switch to the locally made bio-diesel to run its seven vehicles, which is made from recycling cooking oil from restaurants and hotels.
AIME will feature two Master Classes on green events, one of which will be chaired by Sandra Chipchase, CEO of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau.
AIME Event Director, Rosemarie Sama says it’s pleasing to see the industry is taking steps towards a sustainable future.
“It’s crucial, and obligatory, we continue along this road to ensure a long and healthy future for the industry.”
AIME 2008, 16th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo, will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on 19 & 20 February.