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German Convention Bureau Receives EMAS Certification

The GCB German Convention Bureau has received European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certification. The scheme has been developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations within the EU and the European Economic Area to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.

The GCB German Convention Bureau received the certification after passing challenging tests, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and the continuous improvement on its environmental performance.

"The GCB has engaged in improving sustainability for many years and being awarded EMAS certification is another milestone. For the GCB, sustainability is an opportunity for the entire industry, especially for making Germany a sustainable meetings and conventions destination,” said Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB.

Most demanding environmental certification process worldwide

To achieve certification, organisations must create, among other things, an environmental statement that records the dates and details of all environmentally relevant activities covering energy consumption, emissions and waste, as well as the indirect environmental aspects, for example in procurement and event management.

After an initial comprehensive inventory, the environmental assessment is subsequently performed as a recurring audit within the framework of the EMAS process and is judged by independent, nationally accredited environmental auditors.

"Compared to the widespread environmental management standard ISO 14001, the requirements are fully covered by EMAS. EMAS is characterised by a higher level of legal security, consistent environmental performance, high transparency and active employee participation," said Dr. Stefan Müssig, CEO of Würzburg Environmental and Quality Management Consulting, who oversaw the EMAS certification of the GCB.

Christine Koch, Sustainability Officer of GCB, said: "An important area for participation in EMAS is the involvement of all employees in an organisation thereby ensuring environmental management is achieved at all levels of activity.”

In Germany around 1,250 companies from various industries participate in the EMAS from manufacturing companies through to trade and services of all kinds including public administration.

GCB provides impetus for sustainability at conferences and congresses

In the German meeting industry, the GCB promotes sustainable event management. Education seminars on sustainability in the meeting industry are ongoing and in 2012 and 2013 the GCB received funding from the German Federal Environmental Foundation and will continue the seminars from 2014.

In addition, the GCB is organising the greenmeetings and events conference, taking place on 9 and 10 February 2015 in Kap Europa in Frankfurt. This is organised jointly with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) every two years. Since 2011 the two organisations have initiated a sustainability code for the event industry and now supports more than 400 companies.