Events Industry Council showcases importance of its global role in tackling climate change

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Representatives from the EIC, IACC, MGM Resorts International and the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition participated in a session held during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25.

The 2-13 December global forum was organised under the Presidency of the Government of Chile with logistical support from the Government of Spain. The 12 December session, Bringing People Together for Climate: The Role of the Events Industry took place in the Action Hub, a dynamic events-space used by non-party stakeholders to stage live and digital events giving a voice to concrete climate action.

Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council noted: “The Events Industry Council is honoured to have been invited to participate in COP25. Through our Centre for Sustainable Events and strengthened by the reach of our global membership, partners and stakeholders, we are equipping event professionals to deliver more effective and sustainable events. We have launched new provisional event standards that support this goal.”

The presentation, available on livestream, focused on the role of events in bringing people together to act on climate, as well as practical and meaningful ways to actively address climate impacts.

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The panel included Mark Cooper, 2020 chair-elect of the EIC Board of Directors and CEO of IACC, Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, EIC’s director of industry advancement, Marta Muñoz from the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition, and Yalmaz Siddiqui, vice president, corporate sustainability for MGM Resorts International.

McIlwraith opened with an overview noting recent findings from EIC’s Economic Significance Study, which identified business events as a trillion-dollar industry, whose organisers plan meetings and events for more than 1.5 billion participants.

Siddiqui then illustrated how major venues in Las Vegas have overhauled food management practices to minimise waste and support food donations. The efficacy of innovations in event sustainability by small to mid-size venues was brought to the forefront during Cooper’s presentation. To close the session, Muñoz presented how sustainable practices were integrated into the design of COP25.

“MGM Resorts is honoured to have participated in the UN Climate Change conference with the Events Industry Council,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui. “Live events are critical to driving innovation and collaboration for positive change. By implementing programmes to manage environmental impacts, through food waste reduction, for example, event planners can directly support the fight against climate change.” 

Mark Cooper added: “The power of events is a proven practice for addressing global issues and will be essential for finding solutions to the climate crisis. The Events Industry Council is laser-focused on supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through education and standards that ensure meetings and events achieve strategic outcomes and are delivered responsibly.”