By Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia , 19 June, 2019

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) launched the next phase of its environmental sustainability initiative at the EEAA 2019 Leaders Forum and Conference, held to coincide with Global Exhibitions Day on 5-6 June in Melbourne.

The Association announced the appointment of Edge Environment to help guide its work in developing a sustainability framework for the business events sector.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio said the appointment of Edge Environment allows the Association to assess the key environmental impacts and identify key points of intervention where change could occur.

“Edge Environment will implement a strategic roadmap spanning the next 12-24 months with the aim of significantly reducing the footprint of our industry. Within this plan, Edge Environment will also highlight best practice guidelines and KPIs.” Ms DiMascio said.

Ms DiMascio said the company was clear in its methodologies and outcomes, providing a scientifically driven and contemporary approach to sustainability.

Edge Environment will conduct its own assessments and consult with stakeholders to identify ‘hotspots’ and to design a roadmap and solutions. They will also implement a strategy to ensure commitment from the industry and EEAA members.

EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis said that Edge Environment will ensure a sector-wide commitment from the industry through implementation of a ‘memorandum of understanding’ which companies will be encouraged to sign.

“By implementing a ‘memorandum of understanding’ we aim to gain commitment from the industry to combat environmental challenges and ensure there is industry-wide agreement and adherence to best practices.” Mr Anemogiannis said.

Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Working Group and Chief Operating Officer at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Leighton Wood said the Edge Environment proposal provided a strong understanding and appreciation for the challenges facing the industry.

“We believe this project is going to take collaboration across the industry – and I commend the Association for its leadership.”

“It is most fitting to announce the next steps in the Association’s work on Global Exhibitions Day – which also coincides with World Environment Day.” Mr Wood said.

The Association has allocated funds to this initiative in the 2019 budget and will also be looking to attract sponsorship from key stakeholders.

Mr Wood provided a report to conference attendees on the work completed to date in creating a roadmap for the industry to follow based on best practice benchmarking. The sustainability roadmap will follow principles that include collaboration, cost awareness and education, clarity and measurement.

Katy Barfield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yume Food delivered a thought-provoking presentation on how she became a ‘Food Waste Warrior’, creating an online surplus food marketplace for businesses in order to combat large scale food waste that plagues the western world. Yume Food products were featured in the event menus.

Tourism Australia announced an extension to their partnership with the EEAA to become a partner for the Champions of Sustainability program for the year ahead. Tourism Australia continues to support a strong and sustainable future for business events.

The EEAA Conference was part of a two-day program of activity aligned to Global Exhibitions Day (#GED19), which included:

  • EEAA 2019 Leaders Forum (5 June)
  • EEAA 2019 Global Exhibitions Day Dinner (5 June)
  • EEAA 2019 Conference (6 June)
  • EEAA 2019 Annual General Meeting (6 June)

The EEAA GED initiatives also included the launch of Phase 2 of its ‘A career for life’ campaign, targeting teachers, career advisors, parents and students and aims to inspire more young people to consider a career in the industry.

The work of the EEAA was recognised on the world stage by Exhibition World Magazine and the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry (UFI) in 2017 and 2018. For two consecutive years, the EEAA was awarded the Industry Impact Award for success in promoting the industry and for our work in engaging the highest levels of Government. The 2019 awards of recognition are yet to be announced.

During the Global Exhibitions Day Dinner, The Hon. Bruce Baird AM was recognised for his visionary work that has placed Australia on the world stage as a leader in delivering world-class events.

“Mr Baird was the first senior Australian political figure to attend IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events and he led the Australian bid to host the Sydney 2000 Olympic games and is a strong and positive advocate for the industry,” said Ms DiMascio.

Source: EEAA