Green: The Colour of Future Meetings

Green: The Colour of Future Meetings

On Wednesday, 24th May, the 6th International Educational Seminar of Prague Convention Bureau focused on “green” meetings took place at the Prague Congress Centre. Participants were introduced to presentations of case studies of the green cities, and also of the new trends in reconstruction works or in creating plans of new buildings. As a part of the Prague Convention Center’s technical facility reconstruction project introduction, the attendees could also see the newly built technical background of the building.

At the beginning of the seminar, Roger Simons, Asia-Pacific Regional Sustainability Director at MCI and Immediate Past President of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) introduced the best practices of venues and past events, perspectives of sustainability in the brand marketing and also the new initiative - Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS Index) – the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide.

Katarina Thorstenson, Sustainability Strategist at Göteborg & Co, the DMO of Gothenburg, followed with a case study of sustainable development in the second largest city of Sweden – Gothenburg. She reminded the audience that Gothenburg had been a city with a high level of pollution. That was one of the reasons why to start thinking about the future development of the city in another way. Currently, Gothenburg is perceived as one of the cities with the largest net of the green hotels worldwide, where 86% hotel rooms own a sustainability certificate.

Daniela Schöb, Quality and Sustainability Manager at the DMO Zürich Tourism, then introduced “Smart Zürich” concept launched in 2015. Zürich Tourism e.g. organizes guided tours for immigrants to get them acquainted with the the culture of the city, language and places that can be visited free of charge and to incorporate them gradually into the society.

After a short break, Sanjiv Suri, President and CEO of Prague gastronomic company Zátiší Group contemplated on trends, that will change our lives in the future. He mentioned self-driven cars, sources of almost free of charge energy and artificial intelligence, and how these inventions will affect employment and job positions. Ivo Slavotínek, CEO of ENESA (member of ČEZ ESCO) and president of Association of Energy Suppliers in the Czech Republic (APES), then introduced so-called EPC projects (Energy Performance Contracting) on the example of Prague Congress Center. After the seminar, participants had a chance to see the systems installed in the congress center itself.

Gilles Oulevey, Director of Sales & Marketing at Mosaic House, the first hotel in the Czech Republic and the second in the world to have a grey water system with heat recuperation, closed the block of the presentations with an introduction of the technologies currently used by the hotel. He also mentioned the scale of savings that have been achieved since 2010 when they launched the system. The amount of water saved so far would be enough to cover the consumption of 8 people for 17 years, and the energy could be used by 32 flats throughout the year.

At the end of the seminar, the participants were given the opportunity to ask the speakers about the details of individual presentations in the panel discussion. Many thanks to the all speakers for their inspirational presentations and all participants for their interest in sustainable projects! We would like to also thank Zátiší Catering Group for the refreshments and lunch they provided, and to the Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre for providing the accommodation for the event speakers. The seminar was held at the premises of the Prague Congress Centre.

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