What's your favourite shade of green?

We highlight several exhibition and convention centres in Southeast Asia that are driving sustainable goals.

Southeast Asia's MICE centres get on board the sustainability agenda.
Southeast Asia's MICE centres get on board the sustainability agenda. Photo Credit: gettyimages/MURAT GOCMEN

From organiser to venue to the supply chain, corporate planners are sharpening their choices regarding sustainable events, and it goes beyond just going green. Within the MICE industry, associations and other players are already taking the lead to drive the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in their respective destinations.

We highlight several exhibition and convention venues that are championing sustainable goals in Southeast Asia.

Earlier this year, World Trade Center Metro Manila won the MICE Venue Award at the 2022 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Standards Awards held in Cambodia. The awards recognised efforts in sustainable tourism services with the aim to promote ASEAN as a “Quality Single Destination”.

The centre has invested in technology upgrades to automate LED lights and motion sensors; introduce photocatalyst devices in air handling units; and install energy recovery ventilators to improve air-supply quality in its exhibition halls and function rooms. On the back-end, the centre also maintains noise pollution control and adheres to proper waste management, including the use of an accredited treatment, storage and disposal facility for toxic and chemical waste substances.

This year also saw a centre achieve the highest rating for the Events Industry Council’s Sustainable Event Standards for Venues Platinum certification. Marina Bay Sands’s notable achievement makes it the highest-rated venue outside of the US. The centre has made extensive investments in recycling, waste management and energy conservation.

In Malaysia, SPICE Penang made the headlines as the world’s first hybrid solar-powered convention centre. Besides energy conservation, eco-friendly technology, and its green rooftop recreational park, it also meets socially inclusive requirements with its special-needs children’s playground. Additionally, it is silver-certified by the Green Building Index. Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) too focuses on aspects of sustainability such as waste management, energy management and community care. It recently installed a zero-energy rain water harvesting system, with 80 percent less cost.

2022 saw KLCC entering an industry-first public-private-sector collaboration with Urbanice Malaysia to develop sustainable business events guidelines for designing low-waste events. “Our partnership with Urbanice will also help us improve on our tracking and measurements to ensure accuracy in reporting. This in turn will allow us to provide a comprehensive post-event sustainability report to clients and organisers for future improvements,” says Alan Pryor, General Manager of KLCC.

A new entrant to the market in Thailand is the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok, scheduled to open in September this year. It will be the first LEED silver-certified convention centre in Thailand fitted with systems and technologies to minimise impact on the environment, from energy, water, waste to air quality. The 78,500 sqm of event space makes it the largest MICE facility in central Bangkok that comes with its own destination shopping mall.

Another venue, the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) does its part by partnering with SCG Packaging Public Company Limited late last year to maximise the usage of environmentally friendly products and waste materials from events at BITEC. Both centres are aligned with Thailand’s focus on promoting the Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model in tourism, the MICE industry’s Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is promoting best practices in organising carbon-neutral exhibitions.

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