SITE continues to initiate discussions and explore how to be more sustainable at its own events, as a leading MICE industry association. Our community members and the supplier partners we work with often help us lead the way with our efforts.
Here are some of the community-driven 2024 SITE Global Conference sustainability initiatives we’re excited to share.
Honest tracking and reporting of Global Conference’s environmental impact
SITE is working with our Global Conference host hotel, the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, to estimate the overall environmental impact of our event.
Hilton’s LightStay platform takes general consumption data from the Conrad and combines it with the expected numbers of members and friends who will be onsite with us in Istanbul and details about the overall event design to estimate the carbon energy, water, and waste that will be produced from Global Conference.
Hilton has generously agreed to offset calculated emissions associated with Global conference on SITE’s behalf by procuring carbon offset credits from the South Pole Group.
Other host hotel bona fides
Hilton itself is also committed as a global brand to better addressing the environmental and social impacts of their hotels.
The Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus specifically uses technology in their kitchens to help chefs gain better visibility into food waste and reduce it accordingly. Chef teams also support local food producers through the hotel’s 50-mile menu initiative, where products are sourced within 50 miles of the property. They also source free-range chicken and MSC-certified fish.
Operations across the hotel have reduced and/or entirely removed plastics and replaced them instead with glass products or other alternatives. Rooms also feature bulk or larger-size in-room toiletries, to further reduce waste.
The hotel also gives back to their local community, making it a priority to hire local hospitality talent and to support donation and volunteer efforts in Istanbul.
Certified offsite venues
The location of this year’s Leadership Dinner and SITE Crystal Awards have both earned sustainable tourism verification and certification credentials recommended by Türkiye’s Tourism Promotion and Development Agency.
This certification is issued by Control Union Certifications B.V. and is accredited by ASI (learn more at www.asi-assurance.org).
Making smart planning choices
To take further advantage of the structural supports our supplier partners offer, SITE’s Head of Events and planning partners have ensured menus throughout Global Conference feature only local, sustainable cuisine. This includes vegetarian lunches and minimal buffet service (to cut down on food waste).
Thanks to SITE’s 2024 global sustainability sponsor, IHG Hotels & Resorts, we will also have access to water stations onsite at the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus throughout the program — keeping you hydrated without piling up the plastic!
Connect with SITE’s Sustainability Community
SITE launched its first association-wide community in 2023 with a group of members who are passionate about sustainability. You can find more about the Community in general here but for those attending Global Conference, you’ll also have a chance to connect with this group in-person.
SITE’s Sustainability Community will be in the conference’s community meet-up room throughout the morning of Wednesday, February 28 (following the opening general session).
The Sustainability Community will have some pre-planned programming and announcements in the room, but are also there to serve as a general go-to resource to discover new learnings and other opportunities related to sustainable incentive travel.
Explore the sustainability education track
There’s an entire track dedicated to sustainability at this year’s Global Conference (in addition to another track concerned with diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging — areas that work hand-in-hand with environmental sustainability efforts).
Speakers featured as part of this year’s sustainability track have a decidedly futuristic outlook. These industry experts and leaders will discuss what’s on the horizon, as we all continue navigating our own personal and professional sustainability journeys.
Check with a conference staff member onsite if you would like help identifying which sessions are part of this track.
More information about SITE Global Conference 2024, including a full agenda, locations for offsite activities, and more can be found on the conference website.
It’s also not too late to register, if you’re interested in joining us onsite from February 26-29