SPIEF Director on Forum’s Compliance with ‘Green’ Standards
16–18 January, St. Petersburg hosts the Eurasian Event Forum EFEA 2019. Alexey Valkov, Director of the Roscongress Foundation’s St. Petersburg Economic Forum took part in the session ‘Compliance With ‘Green’ Standards as a Competitive Advantage for a Tourist Destination’ dedicated to the issues of environmental efficiency of congress and exhibition events and implementing ‘green’ standards in the venues.
In his presentation, Alexey Valkov spoke about practices that SPIEF and other Roscongress events follow to comply with ‘green’ standards. Those include waste sorting and recycling, reduction of hard-copy paperwork, and use of recyclables to make souvenirs and handouts. For the duration of the events, Roscongress, in collaboration with administrations of the cities, draws up logistic routes with a reasonable load on the transport networks and on the environment of the venues. Active information sharing and involvement of participants improves implementation of practices: e.g., more that 3.5 tonnes of cardboard and almost a tonne of polyethylene were sent to recycling facilities from the SPIEF 2018 venue.
“Negotiations and lucrative deals are not the only reason for participants to attend the Forum. It’s essential what impression they get from the city, the venue, and the standard of services, from business services to the hotel and transport. The SPIEF venue was in compliance with ‘green’ standards even at the design stage, which makes it much easier to host environment-friendly events. This level of preparations gives the participants this impression of high-quality and convenient service,” said Alexey Valkov.
In 2018, St. Petersburg became the first Russian city to join the GDS-Index. It is a global expert community of representatives of congress and exhibition services that implement projects on improving social and environmental responsibility and efficiency of venues and suppliers of international events. The Index addresses the environmental efficiency of the city based on quality parameters of air, renewable energy sources, public transport efficiency, and waste disposal facilities.