IMEX America Expands Sustainability Initiatives for 2015

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Sustainable Meetings

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Attendees at this year’s IMEX America—taking place in Las Vegas from October 13 to 15—can expect a greener event thanks to several new sustainability initiatives focusing on waste-reduction and education.

A new charity recycling initiative, membership in the Green Team and attending relevant education sessions will help attendees to reduce waste and increase their awareness of corporate social responsibility.

This follows the results of the MeetGreen Sustainability Report for IMEX America 2014 which showed a 31 percent reduction on total waste from the previous year. The use of locally sourced foods increased by over 150 percent and food waste decreased by 56 percent.

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“IMEX America is committed to encouraging the meetings and incentive travel industry to address sustainability issues and to tackle these issues in a proactive, practical way,» Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said in a statement. «The intention is to raise the green bar across the board and strengthen our sustainability efforts.”

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Among the sustainable initiatives attendees can discover are:

  • The Inspiration Hub – home to all the show floor education, the Inspiration Hub features a number of sessions exploring various aspects of sustainability. These include Guiding you to (and through) greener events by Aaron Elliott and Nancy Zavada, President and Founder of Meet Green. Current CSR trends and their impact on the events industry will be explored by Lizzy Paulson, Events Director at Time Warner Cable, in Planning for a revolution: the rise of people, planet and profit. Are you losing out by ignoring CSR?
  • The Shade Tree – IMEX is supporting a new initiative at The Shade Tree, a shelter for homeless and abused women and children. IMEX sustainability consultants, MeetGreen, have designed a complete recycling program, Evergreen Shade Tree, which will establish processes and signage, educate residents and provide recycling bins. Attendees are also invited to The Shade Tree to visit the Healing Garden, created by the IMEX Challenge team in 2014. After the visit the group can join Song Division who will be working with the children at the shelter to write and produce a song.
  • Green Team – all buyers and exhibitors are invited to become a part of the team. Green Team members are asked to complete tasks that reduce waste and increase awareness of corporate social responsibility. Members of the IMEX America Green Team receive a green ribbon to wear proudly during the show.
  • Badge Back – at the end of the show, buyers and exhibitors can place their badge in one of two boxes. Each box represents a local charity – The Shade Tree and Opportunity Village, Nevada’s largest not-for-profit organization providing vocational training, employment and arts-based programs for citizens with intellectual disabilities. For every badge recycled, donations will be made.
  • Clean the World – at the booth, attendees can build hygiene kits from recycled toiletries gathered from participating hotels. The kits will then be donated to The Shade Tree shelter.

Source: International Meetings Review

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