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Greening your meeting with professional help

It all takes a first step: for PCOs as well as for organizers

For PCO Mondial it started in 2008 with an in-house initiative to make office life more eco-friendly: At the Mondial HQ in Vienna, recycling containers were set up and rules for greener climate control and use of office supplies were established.  Four years later, Mondial was among the first Professional Congress Organizers (PCOs) in the country to obtain the Austrian Eco Label for Green Meetings and Events. Another four years later, Mondial organises and certifies green travel, corporate events, conferences and even company outings.
Entrusting a certified PCO with the organisation of a Green Meeting has many advantages. Most clients are CEOs, senior physicians or scientists who have a lot on their plates but still want to deliver high-quality events. Working with a PCO allows them to focus on what they’re good at – creating a meaningful and stimulating event programme for their guests – while leaving the day to day operations to an experienced partner. The result is an enhanced event experience for everyone.
Mondial Team© Mondial GmbH & Co. KG 

From Pioneer feeling to new Green Standard

“In our day and age, corporate social responsibility is no longer a nice gimmick but a standard business practice that no organization can afford to ignore,” says Barbara Skrott, Director of National Projects and Green Meetings Representative at Mondial Congress & Events. Extending this way of thinking to events is the logical next step and an eco-certified events agency will already have the experience as well as the mindset needed to navigate the logistic, bureaucratic and diplomatic hurdles on the way to creating a more environmentally conscious event.
“Part of our job is to convince organisers that greening their meeting will not necessarily make it more complicated or expensive,” Barbara addresses some of her clients’ biggest worries. In fact, the opposite is often true. Paper name badges are cheaper than plastic ones, roll-in buffets are more economical than individually wrapped lunch boxes and using public transport saves money on limousine transfers. Communicating the event’s purpose to partners and attendees is a major task from the get-go. This is why Green Meetings seem to lend themselves to positive PR almost naturally. Once a meeting has been certified with the Austrian Eco Label, this will act as a seal of quality the organizer can showcase as part of their CSR strategy.
The Annual Congress of the Austrian Trauma Society, which attracts more than 500 participants to Salzburg each year, is the next event to be certified. In September 2016, the Annual Meeting of the Austrian Society of Internal Medicine went completely paperless under Mondial’s supervision, even though it was not officially certified as a Green Meeting. “Sometimes a meeting cannot be certified due to geographic or other constraints, but we operate on an ‘as green as possible’ policy and will always try to organize an event that goes easy on natural resources,” Barbara explains her way of working.
The Mondial Travel Group has a long tradition: What started out as a family-run two-person travel agency 50 years ago in a former bird shop near Vienna has long since sprouted four business branches. The events division’s long history of good financial standing and links with other, more traditional sectors of tourism, is exactly one of the things that make it so successful. Some clients have been working with Mondial for more than 30 years and Mondial has strong professional ties with virtually all major suppliers in Austria. “You cannot organize a Green Meeting without the support of venues, caterers, or even printing shops,” Barbara reflects. “The decision to go green has to be a mutual one and our good standing in the events sector allows us to make use of the best each region has to offer.”

  Mondial Barbara Skrott© Mondial GmbH & Co. KG 

Watering the seeds of sustainability:  Barbara Skrott, Green Meetings Representative at Mondial Congress & Events 

 

For more about successful Green Meetings in Austria visit: Sustaineurope