Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is the inaugural winner of the Innovation in Sustainability Award, a new industry honour launched this year by the Events Industry Council (EIC) in partnership with IMEX.
The award recognizes event professionals who are driving sustainability forward through innovation, collaboration and idea sharing. The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group received the award for its Blu Planet water conservation project.
“The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), now the Events Industry Council’s Sustainability Committee, has had a long tradition of celebrating sustainability in our industry through the IMEX-GMIC awards. We are excited to continue this tradition with IMEX,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, president and CEO, EIC.
“Collaboration is fundamental to innovation in any field as it is only through working as a team that we can identify sustainability challenges and gain fresh and innovative insight into how these challenges can be addressed. In support of this, the award has been re-imagined to celebrate and encourage innovation and collaboration,” said Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, director, Sustainability Committee, EIC. “The award takes a holistic approach to sustainability, factoring in social, environmental and economic impacts, as well as evaluating the event or project’s legacy and contribution to industry education.”
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group demonstrated both collaboration and innovation, taking a multi-faceted approach to address water conservation and sanitation issues. The project-lead organization has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2009 and was the first hotel brand to sign the UN CEO Water Mandate. The initiatives to recognize include:
- A redesigned breakfast menu that reduces water use and carbon emissions by 20 percent
- A donation program linked to guest towel reuse that has provided clean drinking water for life for 6,900 children
- A soap recycling program that has diverted 1.7 tons of soap from landfill to where it is needed, by creating fresh bars for distribution in local communities with limited access to hygiene and sanitation
- Water conservation initiatives that have reduced their consumption by 30 percent since 2007, and in the spirit of continuous improvement, they are working towards a further 10 percent reduction by 2020