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Zero-Waste Event Example & New Certification

By M+E Staff

Two sustainability happenings caught my attention recently, so I’ll provide a quick recap. SCS Global Services (SCS) has launched Zero Waste for Events certification, and IMEX America has released its 2021 Sustainable Event Report that recaps measures taken and sustainability successes at the biggest trade show in the United States for the global incentive travel, meetings, and events industry.

Zero Waste Events Certification

California-based SCS Global Services, a third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development company, has introducted Zero Waste Events Certification, the newest of its Zero Waste Standards.

The certification recognizes garbage diverted from landfills at individual events. Certification provides third-party assurance that waste elements are diverted by using any of the following methods: reuse, reclamation, recycling, composting, sale/donation, and waste-to-energy. Under Zero Waste for Events, events demonstrating at least 75% waste diversion can be recognized through certification, while events achieving 99% waste diversion can make a certified Zero Waste Event claim. Also, events achieving below 99% will have their exact diversion stated on the certificate.  

“Consistent with our Zero Waste Standard for facilities and projects, the goal here is to enable organizations to showcase their commitments and successes in diverting wastes generated at conferences, concerts, fairs, and festivals,” says Inna Kitaychik, Operations Manager for the SCS Zero Waste Program

In addition to recognizing efforts to divert waste generated at an event, the standard encourages increased visibility of the downstream flow of waste leaving the event. By identifying where the material flows, event managers can potentially claim higher diversion rates.

IMEX America 2021 Sustainable Event Report

To catch a glimpse of how a large event very intentionally approaches sustainability, take a look at the IMEX America 2021 Sustainable Event Report. Held every fall in Las Vegas, Nevada, IMEX American brings suppliers and buyers from every sector of the meetings industry together to do business, learn, network, and take part in various activities such as a IMEXrun, a 5K run through Las Vegas. 

In the report, learn about how IMEX America 2021 achieved a zero-waste event with a 95% landfill diversion rate (62% recycling, 23% compost, 10% donations) for activities at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which is the level required to be MeetGreen verified. Other sustainability highlights included sustainable food and carbon emissions menu coding, 150,992 kWH powered by renewable solar energy generated by MGM Resorts, 143kg of event food recovered and donated, and 10,155kg of event furniture and materials contributed to Las Vegas community outlets. In addition, 600 hygiene kits and 105 children’s books were donated, and 1,000 trees planted. 

To see IMEX America’s sustainability efforts in action, attend this year from Oct. 9–13, with the trade show happening Oct. 11–13. Also check out IMEX’s tips regarding how to exhibit sustainably