Being aware of the importance of sustainability in the meeting industry, Conventa aimed to reduce its environmental impact, while leaving a positive and lasting legacy to the local community. Following the principles of sustainable event management, Conventa has implemented important measures to reduce its negative impact. This does not yet make Conventa a green event. This year, Conventa has taken small steps towards becoming greener. The next editions of the trade show have to make a giant leap for Conventa to grow into a fully sustainable event.

Among those small green steps we would like to highlight the wooden crates, equipping exhibitors’ stands. Exhibition stands at Conventa trade show are made of wooden crates from naturally dried domestic pine. Wood, the natural wealth of Slovenia, is an environmentally friendly material that can be reused and recycled without detriment to the environment. These wooden crates are indeed being reused at Conventa. They were first made for the Slovenian Incoming Workshop in June 2010.

They were made from a total of 27 m3 of wood which entails a reduction of 54 tonnes in CO2 emissions. Each cubic meter of wood products namely reduces CO2 emissions by two tonnes while in use. Exhibition stands at Conventa thus follow the 3R’s policy of reduce, reuse and recycle. Another step to draw attention to is the 100 % Taste Slovenia luncheon. An important part of Slovenia’s sustainable commitments is the preservation of local traditions and culinary specialties. 100 % Taste Slovenia luncheon aims to showcase culinary arts based on ingredients of Slovenian origin. Locally grown and produced food creates less food miles and hence has a smaller environmental impact. It furthermore promotes Slovenian products, Slovenian taste and tradition and thus contributes to preserving cultural, ethnographic and culinary heritage and stimulating local economy.

Increasingly, the Slovenian meeting and incentive providers focus on implementation of environmentally friendly business practices. In line, most Conventa promotional materials are produced from environment friendly materials and their decomposition will only minimally burden the environment. For instance, Conventa publications are printed on Xerox recycled paper, using environmentally friendly multifunctional printer Xerox ColorQube with solid ink colours SolidInk. Conventa publications thus reduce the adverse effects of waste on the environment by 90 %, while cutting down on costs by 62 %. Furthermore, Conventa green badges comply with the FSC mark requirements. This guarantees a manufacturing process in which the entire cycle from cutting down trees up to and including the end product has been strictly monitored. Furthermore, Conventa welcome gifts were produced locally, using sustainable material, and with the purpose of being a useful souvenir of Slovenia and the trade show. Being aware many guests do not take their gifts back home, we will collect all those remaining gifts and donate them to kindergarten Mladi rod Ljubljana.

These examples present just part of the puzzle of greening Conventa 2011. Another piece of the puzzle is Conventa Eco Day.
“Conventa eco day represents one of the steps towards fulfilling our vision on socially responsible meetings industry, which protects the environment, cares for the wellbeing of society and stimulates balanced economic development,” told Miha Kovačič, organizer of Conventa trade show. Sustainable meeting industry is becoming a more and more commonly discussed topic of debate, which is mostly reflected by sustainable practices in the meetings industry. The aim of Conventa Eco Day is to expose the importance of sustainable development in the meetings industry, to motivate meeting suppliers to introduce sustainable measures, and present some green measures carried out within the framework of Conventa.
During the Eco Day a student and green workshop are to take place – former aimed at students interested in the meetings industry, latter at all the participants of Conventa. The participants of the trade show are furthermore invited to a culinary experience called “100 % Taste Slovenia”, which presents Slovenian culinary traditions made from ingredients of Slovenian origin. Locally grown and produced food creates less food miles and hence has a smaller environmental impact. “100 % Taste Slovenia” further promotes Slovenian products, Slovenian tastes and tradition, which contribute to preserving cultural, ethnographic and culinary heritage.

A novelty of this year’s Conventa is the Eco Village, which features suppliers of eco-friendly products and services aimed at the meetings industry. The Eco Village thus presents actual sustainable solutions with the help of which meeting professionals can create added value of their products.
“Sustainable management of meetings turned out to be a huge opportunity in gaining a leading position, decreasing costs and creating unique sales opportunities," claims Fiona Pelham, leader of the team developing international standard ISO 20121, the International Standard for Sustainable Events Management. With Conventa Eco Day we aim to introduce sustainable event management to the meetings industry public in Slovenia and broader region of Southeast Europe.