In a highly competitive global market where clients are increasingly attuned to sustainable development and environmental issues, the most forward-thinking destinations are exploring options to maximize the ecological and social positive impacts of the meeting and events industry.
Montréal is North America’s most popular destination for international association meetings — and with that popularity comes certain implications. To address the environmental, social, and economic implications, Montréal has once again been certified by the Events Industry Council (EIC) Sustainable Event Standards. The certification confirms the city's position as a sustainable tourism destination.
What is the EIC certification?
The EIC Sustainable Event Standards are a collection of eight specific standards that assess events and industry suppliers on a wide range of sustainability criteria in support of environmental and social responsibility. The standards were written through a global collaborative process with participation from subject matter experts in all sectors. They provide a strong focus on guidance and metrics so that event professionals, at all stages of their sustainability journey, will have the support needed to implement and measure sustainable practices. To date, more than 300 professionals have participated in the review of the standards.
What exactly is Tourisme Montréal doing to become more sustainable?
To obtain this certification, Tourisme Montréal’s sustainable development actions were carefully studied within nine categories comprising a total of 66 criteria. Here are just a few of our actions:
- Implement a multi-year Sustainable Destination Policy aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Introduce a calculator of the carbon footprint of visitor stays — one of the first destination in the world to do this! — as a first step to make visitors aware of adopting more responsible practices when travelling.
- Assess the social impact of business events strategies. (Example: a pilot project underway with AIDS 2022 conference, which will set a base for future studies and legacy program of events.)
- Train employees and members of Tourisme Montréal on Sustainable tourism.
- Implement a responsible purchasing policy to prioritize the purchase of local products. Around 95% of the gifts offered within tradeshows are locally made.
- Offset carbon for all employee business trips.
- Publish information to educate visitors and encourage them to adopt more responsible practices, for example the publication of this article: Plan an eco-friendly stay in Montreal.
This certification, in addition to first place in the North American ranking of the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS) and the Mercure Prize for Sustainable Destination Policy, the most prestigious business competition of its kind in Québec, are undeniable pledges of Tourisme Montréal's commitment to more responsible, regenerative, and sustainable tourism. To find out even more about our objectives in terms of sustainable tourism, you can consult the Sustainable Destination Policy available on our website.
Read this next: Hosting sustainable events in Montréal: An introduction