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Germany shares sustainability commitments on Earth Day

The Germany Convention Bureau‘s (GCB) sustainability seminar program landed the UNESCO award for “Project of the UN Decade.”  For Earth Day, GCB also shared updates on the sustainability codex and green certifications.

Project of the Decade

Over the past two years, GCB has hosted sustainability seminars in Germany to educate and certify more than 300 event planners to become green meeting experts. As a result, GCB won the “Project of the UN Decade” from the German arm of the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which recognized GCB in the category of Education for Sustainable Development.

“The GCB team works in many ways to establish the subject of sustainability in the German events sector, and we’re very pleased about this award. Feedback from participants has also encouraged us to continue to provide further training. Our ultimate goal is to certify more than 500 planners, and we are well on our way,” said Matthias Schultze, managing director, GCB.

Requirements for the UNESCO award include that the project must provide knowledge and expertise from the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. The project also must clearly indicate innovation and far-reaching impact.

“The GCB’s seminars for sustainability advisors demonstrate in an impressive way what future-oriented education could look like,” said Professor Gerhard de Haan, chairman, National Committee and jury member, UN Decade award.

Sustainability Codex

The industry-specific sustainability codex for the German-speaking event sector has also gathered a great deal of steam in the two years since its introduction. Today, more than 65 venues, 22 hotels and hotel groups, 36 suppliers and four associations support the codex, which is based on the UN Global Compact, designed to make globalization more socially and ecologically sustainable. Supporting member organizations agree to adhere to 10 guiding corporate responsibility principles, ranging from strategic action and resource utilization to human rights, transparency and more. Ultimately the sustainability codex will position the meetings industry competitively on a global scale.

Green Certifications

Germany’s serious commitment to the environment can also be seen in sustainable tourism. For example, 71 organizations have been certified with the Green Globe standard, including Leipzig Messe, Intercontinental Berlin and darmstadtium convention center. Reviewed on an annual basis, all Green Globe members are both measured on 40 criteria that have been accepted globally as the definition of sustainable travel and tourism and undergo a rigorous, independent on-site audit.

A full list of German organizations that have undergone Green Globe certification can be found on the Green Globe website at http://greenglobe.travel/category/germany/.

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