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Sustainable Event Standards Industry Forum forges pathway to common principles

May 22, 2018

Several of the event and tourism industry’s leading voices in sustainability came together at the inaugural Sustainable Event Industry Forum to identify the criteria and standards which could be harnessed to advance a more unified approach to global sustainable event practices. Convened and hosted by the Events Industry Council on 14 May, 2018, in Frankfurt, this ground-breaking event was designed as a full-day working session to explore, assess, deliberate, and prioritise the potential of this effort and address possible barriers. Extensive discussion and debate among eighteen representatives of some of the world’s most prominent organisations working towards responsible event and tourism management resulted in drafting a proposed definition and four guiding principles that the participants believe should underpin any sustainable event standards:

  • That sustainability is a shared responsibility between event organisers and suppliers for implementing and communicating sustainable practices;
  • Key environmental practices must be standard;
  • Primary social considerations are critical; and
  • Sustainable events support thriving economic practices

These four principles will undergo further vetting and development before becoming part of a wider industry outreach and collaboration.

“Knowing the level of knowledge and expertise we had in the room, we were optimistic about finding ways to work together. The enthusiasm and commitment of the group exceeded our expectations, building a solid foundation to serve as a launching point to generate a broader industry conversation and engage a larger group of participants moving forward,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO, Events Industry Council.

The Forum included participation from eight different countries. Key contributors included the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, UFI, the Events Industry Council Sustainability Committee, Global Destination Sustainability Index, and the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism.

The event was made possible through the generous support of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the Salt Lake Green Team Committee (Salt Palace Convention Center, Mountain America Exposition Center, Visit Salt Lake, Utah Food Services, and PSAV).


The Events Industry Council’s more than 30 member organisations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry. The Events Industry Council promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) programme and signature programme initiatives. The four signature programmes — Sustainability, Industry Insights, Knowledge, and Leadership — represent the key initiatives, assets, services and products for the Events Industry Council. Our Sustainability Committee produces several resources and how-to guides, hosts monthly webinars on sustainable meeting practices and publishes a monthly sustainability newsletter.  Learn more at