• June 20, 2023

Better Business Series: Idéa Nordic on taking sustainability to the next level

Better Business Series: Idéa Nordic on taking sustainability to the next level

Better Business Series: Idéa Nordic on taking sustainability to the next level 1019 683 micebook.

As part of our Better Business series to share sustainability stories in the events industry, we catch up with Pedro Montoya Navarro, head of international MICE at Copenhagen-based DMC and event agency Idéa Nordic, on gaining Green Tourism Organization certification and putting people and planet above profit…

Being based in Copenhagen where sustainability is second nature, Idéa Nordic has long put sustainability at the heart of the business. But it has significantly upped the ante over the past year in the lead up to receiving its Green Tourism Organization certification.

“Sustainability is one of our company’s values and is at the core of everything we do. It’s something that we have all been doing for many years in our homes and the workplace,” says Montoya Navarro.

As a member of Meetingplace, which is closely interlinked to Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau, Idéa Nordic was given the opportunity to gain sustainable certification through the Green Tourism Organization and jumped at the chance. “The Convention Bureau facilitated it, and helped to fund it to begin with, to help local agency partners to become more sustainable. There were already certifications for hotels and restaurants, but this is something new that has been tailor-made specifically for event agencies.”

The certification is based on an assessment based on 140 different criteria, including requirements for the managerial prioritisation of environmental considerations, sustainable procurement and the organisation’s internal consumption of electricity, water and heat, as well as focusing on how the agency also makes an effort to boost sustainability towards customers.

“We appointed two people within the agency to become our ‘Green Police’ and they are dedicated to keeping everyone on track and ensuring we meet our sustainability goals. While we had many internal changes to make, such as reducing our energy and water consumption, and looking at how we recycle, some of the biggest changes we made have been externally in the way we respond to client briefs.

“We did include sustainable options before, but it was in a softer way. Now it is more prominent, and we are doing it on a deeper level with wider knowledge. When clients receive a proposal from us, we always put the more sustainable options up front, and by doing this we can hopefully inspire our clients to make sustainable choices in their programmes.”

The certification is not just a one-off, it’s an annual certification, with new goals set each year. For example, goals the agency is currently working towards include at ensuring at least 60% of its suppliers have environmental policies in place, and 90% of any printed material for events are printed with eco materials. “Every year you need to go further and it’s going to get harder. But we are up for the challenge because we believe that we can make a change not just for us internally, but for our clients, and the wider events industry.”

Montoya Navarro says that diversity and inclusion is also important to the agency, and it is now asking suppliers and partners to share their values and DE&I practices as well as their environmental sustainability initiatives. The also agency works with and supports local organisations wherever possible. “For example, Copenhagen Pride is taking place here in August and the whole team are going as volunteers. We also work with a cancer association and try to have a positive social impact wherever we can by involving local organisations in our events.”

The GTO certification is already opening doors for Idéa Nordic, which was chosen as the local DMC partner to deliver the program for The Green Mile due to its practical sustainability practices in our events and programs and certification. The Green Mile brought 100+ event buyers and suppliers from German speaking markets to Copenhagen in May 2023 to share practical experience from local Danish suppliers for running more sustainable events and incentive programs. Idéa Nordic partnered with the Copenhagen Convention Bureau to deliver the four-day program.

“We are not doing this just to win business, we are doing it because it is the right thing to do. Of course, if that helps us to get some new business in the books, that’s a bonus, but that’s not the reason we are doing it. We even say no to some clients because they do not share the same values as us, though luckily, we have not had to do that often.

“Its about being true to what you say and what you stand for. I think that is how we can all drive change, through educating each other, and being educated by those companies who have better practices than us. I believe that’s how we move forward into a better world.”

Idéa Nordic, which is represented by Destinations Unlimited in the UK market, will be sharing its sustainable event solutions and ideas at The Meetings Show next week on Stand B40

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