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Marina Bay Sands pushes the green envelope with ITB Asia 2014

Marina Bay Sands exterior

Integrated resort to provide resources for a carbon neutral meeting, a first for the travel trade show

Marina Bay Sands is gearing up to support Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia 2014, stage the tradeshow’s first-ever carbon neutral event in its seven-year history. The travel trade show will take place at Sands Expo and Convention Centre this week, the first of a three-year run in Marina Bay Sands.

The integrated resort’s team of sustainability experts will guide ITB Asia 2014 (29-31 October) to reduce its carbon footprint by five per cent from 399 tonnes in 2012. This is done through a range of measures such as choosing food items sourced regionally for the Harvest Menu, utilising newly activated in-room motion sensors to ensure maximum lighting efficiency in the meeting rooms and setting a room temperature of 24 degrees.

The total carbon footprint produced during the three-day event will also be offset entirely. The carbon credits will in turn be invested in two regional climate change mitigation projects, Sungai Kerling Hydropower in Malaysia and Wayang Windu Geothermal in Indonesia through the integrated resort’s partner Carbon Story.

Set to be the greenest trade show in the region, ITB Asia 2014 will also see other firsts. All unused booth giveaways and stationery such as note pads and pens will be collected from the exhibitors at the end of the show by Marina Bay Sands. These will be donated to the integrated resort’s charity partner Food from the Heart. Leftover brochures at the booths will also be collected and recycled. The nature of such a donation and recycling drive is a first for ITB Asia, as well as Marina Bay Sands, an ISO 20121 certified venue host.

The green statistics will go towards the preparation of the Sands ECO 360o Event Impact Statement. This statement will consolidate the sustainable event metrics, such as energy and water consumption, recycling rate, carbon emissions and highlights of the sustainable initiatives. Going a step further, Marina Bay Sands will also incorporate accommodation data of ITB-hosted delegates – such as energy and water consumption in the hotel rooms – to provide the organiser with a more in-depth overview of the total carbon footprint of the event.

“As a leader in Asia’s green meeting space, Marina Bay Sands will guide and support Messe Berlin at every step of its green journey. ITB Asia is an important platform to communicate and generate greater awareness about sustainability to key decision makers in the travel industry. Through our leadership efforts, we hope to further the conversations on sustainability and spur more companies and individuals to go green wherever possible,” said Mr Benny Zin, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands.

“Leveraging on our position as the premier trade show for the Asian Travel Market, it makes perfect sense to build on our reputation and lead the industry towards creating responsible tourism products and services. ITB Asia and all that it entails can have a tremendous impact on the environment. With a little mindfulness, we can all take measures to reduce the show’s ecological footprint and I urge all exhibitors to join us and roll on the green revolution,’ said Mr Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.

Opened in April 2010, Marina Bay Sands has won international recognition for its sustainability initiatives under the Sands ECO 360o global programme. Sands Expo is the first MICE facility in South East Asia to obtain the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification in February 2014 and the first MICE facility in Singapore to adopt the Singapore Tourism Board’s sustainability guidelines for the MICE industry in 2013. In May 2014, Marina Bay Sands was accorded the EarthCheck Silver Certification for its stewardship in sustainability.

ITB Asia represents the full spectrum of tourism at all levels including the hospitality sector, tour operators or travel agencies, National Tourism Organisations, Convention and Visitors Bureaus, travel technology firms, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and corporate travel representatives. Each October, the trade show attracts over 8,000 participants, representing more than 90 countries, allowing delegates to ‘meet the world in three days’.

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