More than 200 key leaders, ministers, opinion shapers, experts, NGO’s and young leaders gathered in Copenhagen on 7-8 October 2015 for the second Danish Maritime Forum (DMF), organized by Danish Maritime Days. Representing all parts of the global maritime value chain, these leaders worked to identify vital challenges and opportunities in the industry, to unleash the potential of the global maritime industry to increase long term economic development and human wellbeing.
A central ambition of the event was to discuss how sustainable growth within the maritime industry can be an economically viable response to environmental degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss and threats to human health. Keeping with this, the DMF committed to increasing the positive environmental, social and economic impacts of the event with the support from MCI Sustainability Services.
Following the ISO20121 Event Sustainability Standard, planning teams strategized clear objectives and actions to increase the sustainability performance of the DMF 2015. Implemented tactics in the areas of sustainable food and beverage offer, responsible supply chain engagement, greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and waste reduction resulted in €26,000 of tracked savings.
There was a conservative approach to spending, which drove the policy of eliminating non-essential merchandising, saving approximately €19,000. An ethical menu was produced for no additional cost by sourcing locally (90% within 300km radius), connecting with caterers driven by sustainable practices (100% Fairtrade and 35% certified organic) and offering vegetarian options (50% of menus served). Further, the encouragement of taxi pooling, shared shuttle buses and offering the rental of bikes and electric cars ensured that the event produced a low total of 425 metric tons of CO2 (comparable to the total annual carbon emissions of 59 Danes). Lastly, waste management was addressed by operating with a zero waste-to-landfill goal. The DMF 2015 successfully realized a 100% diversion rate, where almost all materials were reused or recycled, and less than 1kg of waste was sent for incineration.
The MeetGreen® calculator was used to evaluate the overall sustainability performance of the DMF 2015 event management processes. This audit system evaluates over 150 best practices in sustainable event management such as Destination, Venue, Accommodation, Transportation, Food and Beverage, Exhibition Production and Communications. The DMF 2015 earned an overall meeting score of 72% (100% being the optimal performance, and +50% being our initial target). This achievement marks a significant improvement from the DMF 2014 score of 51%.
Echoing the words of Michael Søsted, Head of the DMD Secretariat, “Sustainability is good for business. It’s helping us to improve our environment, social responsibility and economic impacts. Contributing to sustainable developments makes sense”.
Guy Bigwood, MCI Group Sustainability Director and lead consultant of the project commented, “The DMF event team has created a strong partnership with key suppliers and the Copenhagen Convention Bureau. Through collaboration this strong team has made exceptional progress, and will continue to innovate to use sustainability to improve the delegate experience, the quality of the event and its impacts.”