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Green principles in the business: a rule or a compromise?

23 January 2014

Discussing the prospects for the development of the meeting industry in Russia versus the foreign experience aroused a keen interest among the participants of Europe+Asia Event Forum. For example, experts in business development, hospitality and incentive tourism from Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria were actively involved in the discussion on 'Green events: a social responsibility of businesses, or an effective marketing ploy?', and shared their views on the importance of implementing green technologies in delivering any business event with their Russian colleagues.
Jan Peter Bergkvist, Senior Advisor for sustainable business at SleepWell AB, member of the Board at Green Meetings Industry Council spoke about the experience of Sweden in the field of study and domestic implementation of international standards and certification in making events. According to him, for Western Europe and North America following the green principles has long been the rule, and is in the practice of any business unit, as well as in the mentality of every citizen. 'Social responsibility of business for the European entrepreneur, whether an event organiser or participant, is a key principle of business vision. In the USA, this approach has been practiced for about 7-9 years, and a little less in Europe. Provided the annual environmental degradation of 10% to 20% in different categories, we are obliged to abide by the principles of responsibility to each other for of our own safety. And we do abide by them,' the Swedish expert said.
Magdalina Atanassova, European Coordinator at Sustainable Event Alliance agreed completely. 'Environmental certification of the events should not be just a fashionable trend or advertising trick. It is the main criterion of strength and stability of the industry in general and image of each event separately,' Mrs. Atanassova said during a live broadcast from Bulgaria.
Ksenia Muratova, Front Office Manager and Sustainable Business Coordinator at Park Inn Nevsky spoke of the Russian experience in implementing green technologies in the meeting industry. According to her, a way of doing business similar to the European practice cannot be found easily in Russia so far. In Russia, green principles are applied today in the hotel business most visibly, while the meeting industry is not involved in this process fully. In this regard, Ksenia Muratova expressed her hope that in the coming years, the industry will fully switch to the green rails and Russia will be able to fully compete with it neighbours in Europe.
Green events in Austria were introduced to the audience by CMP Project Manager Marina Knittel.