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A sustainable industry ? Environmental issues take centre stage at EIBTM

Travel News Asia 23 April 2003

A joint initiative has been announced between EIBTM - the annual global exhibition for the incentive, business travel and meetings industry - and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Important environmental issues relating to the meetings industry will be discussed at the first ever EIBTM environmental debate, to be held midday on Thursday 22 May 2003 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland, during the EIBTM exhibition.

Issues covered will include sustainability and environmental awareness, cleaner and safer practices, efficient use of natural resources, adequate management of chemicals, environmental costs and reducing pollution.

The debate will be chaired by Ian Dockrill, formerly Executive Vice President of Professional Development & Global Services for Meetings Professional International (MPI) and now Director of Global Industry Relations and Strategic Development for Reed Travel Exhibitions meetings and incentive events worldwide.

High profile panellists include Peter Haigh, International Sales and Marketing Director UK, Accor; Paul Clements-Hunt, co-ordinator of United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP) Financial Initiatives, and Antti Vihinen, Board Member of Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC).

Commenting on the introduction of a major environment debate at EIBTM, Debbie Jackson, Group Exhibition Director said: Reed Travel Exhibitions has an enviable reputation within the worldwide travel and meetings and incentive sector in raising the profile of, and highlighting environmental issues. This is well illustrated by the impact of Environmental Awareness  Day at World Travel Market, which has been running for the past eight years.

This debate gives an opportunity for an open, lively and challenging discussion to take place with input from those who have embraced the need for a sustainable industry, and for those who may have yet to recognise the full impact environmental issues have on their business.

The debate is just part of EIBTMs commitment to developing a sustainable industry. We are delighted to announce that, in liaison with the United Nations Environment Programme, we are joining forces to bring together key stakeholders to form a worldwide initiative. This aims to be a  catalyst for individual companies efforts and actions to integrate sustainable development in their business practices.

UNEP already work with twenty two industry sectors to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment. Their reputation and expertise throughout the world will prove invaluable in helping the meetings and incentive industry to develop consistent, worldwide recognition for their sustainable business practices backed by everything UNEP stands for.

EIBTM will be held 20 22 May 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland, organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE).

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