Marina Bay Sands supported Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organizer of ITB Asia 2014, which staged the tradeshow’s first-ever carbon neutral event in its seven-year history. The travel tradeshow took place Oct. 29-31 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the first of a three-year run in Marina Bay Sands.
“As a leader in Asia’s green meeting space, Marina Bay Sands will guide and support Messe Berlin at every step of its green journey. ITB Asia is an important platform to communicate and generate greater awareness about sustainability to key decision makers in the travel industry,” said Benny Zin, chief operating officer and vice president of conventions & exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands. “Through our leadership efforts, we hope to further the conversations on sustainability and spur more companies and individuals to go green wherever possible.”
The integrated resort’s team of sustainability experts guided ITB Asia 2014 to reduce its carbon footprint by 5 percent from 399 tons in 2012. This is done through a range of measures such as choosing food items sourced regionally for the Harvest Menu, utilizing newly activated in-room motion sensors to ensure maximum lighting efficiency in the meeting rooms and setting a room temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
Carbon credits were invested in two regional climate change mitigation projects, Sungai Kerling Hydropower in Malaysia and Wayang Windu Geothermal in Indonesia, through the integrated resort’s partner Carbon Story.
ITB Asia represents the full spectrum of tourism at all levels including the hospitality sector, tour operators or travel agencies, attracting over 8,000 participants and representing more than 90 countries.
“Leveraging on our position as the premier tradeshow for the Asian Travel Market, it makes perfect sense to build on our reputation and lead the industry towards creating responsible tourism products and services. ITB Asia and all that it entails can have a tremendous impact on the environment. With a little mindfulness, we can all take measures to reduce the show’s ecological footprint and I urge all exhibitors to join us and roll on the green revolution,’ said Nino Gruettke, executive director, ITB Asia.
Set to be the greenest tradeshow in the region, ITB Asia 2014 will also saw other firsts. All unused booth giveaways and stationery such as note pads and pens were collected from the exhibitors at the end of the show by Marina Bay Sands. These will be donated to the integrated resort’s charity partner Food from the Heart. Leftover brochures at the booths were also collected and recycled. The nature of such a donation and recycling drive is a first for ITB Asia, as well as Marina Bay Sands, an ISO 20121 certified venue host.
The green statistics went towards the preparation of the Sands ECO 360o Event Impact Statement. This statement will consolidate the sustainable event metrics, such as energy and water consumption, recycling rate, carbon emissions and highlights of the sustainable initiatives. Going a step further, Marina Bay Sands also incorporated accommodation data of ITB-hosted delegates – such as energy and water consumption in the hotel rooms – to provide the organizer with a more in-depth overview of the total carbon footprint of the event.
Opened in April 2010, Marina Bay Sands has won international recognition for its sustainability initiatives under the Sands ECO 360o global program. Sands Expo is the first MICE facility in South East Asia to obtain the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification in February 2014 and the first MICE facility in Singapore to adopt the Singapore Tourism Board’s sustainability guidelines for the MICE industry in 2013. In May 2014, Marina Bay Sands was accorded the EarthCheck Silver Certification for its stewardship in sustainability.