EIC Launches New Sustainability Initiative

The mission is to increase the adoption of green practices across the meetings industry.

The Events Industry Council today has launched the EIC Centre for Sustainable Events to increase the adoption of sustainable practices across the meetings industry, and to support a stronger alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The EIC is an umbrella organization for the meetings industry, comprised of 33 member organizations such as Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association, representing more than 103,000 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties. 

Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council
Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council

"The events industry's economic, environmental and social impact puts it on par with that of major nations," said Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, at an announcement held during IMEX America, taking place in Las Vegas this week. "This creates both the opportunity and the responsibility to take coordinated actions to magnify our influence." The virtual EIC Centre was created to provide sustainability resources and research specific to the events industry.

The EIC has long had an interest in sustainability, having taken over the Green Meetings Industry Council in February 2016 and being instrumental in the creation of the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards. A central initiative of the new Centre for Sustainable Events is the relaunch of those guidelines as the EIC Sustainable Event Standards, which maintain the same high level for compliance while improving their ease of use and adoptability. In addition to environmental criteria, greater emphasis has been placed on regional relevance, social justice, accessibility, and diversity and inclusion. As part of EIC's commitment to eradicating human trafficking, training in this area will be a requirement to achieve one of the four certification levels. The standards are being released on a one-year provisional basis to encourage input from early adopters. More than 100 of the industry's leading practitioners, including representatives from 15 countries, contributed to the development of the new standards.

"The center will provide the sustainability education our industry needs for us to make a collective impact on the climate crisis as well as champion social and economic community needs," said Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, CEO of the AMC Institute and current chair of the EIC's board of directors. Resources available through the virtual center will include online reference materials, on-demand education via EIC's new learning-management system, monthly webcasts and access to education from EIC's 33 member organizations. Wehmeir added, "The center will coordinate global, industrywide collaboration with intergovernmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations, industry associations and sustainability thought-leaders to accelerate sustainable practices, increase resiliency and support innovation in our industry." 

The new center was launched at IMEX America with support from presenting sponsor MGM Resorts International and founding sponsor IMEX Group. The center also will deliver EIC's existing sustainability programs, including the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate, the Principles for Sustainable Events and th eAnnual State of Sustainability survey.