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Kleinwalsertal Bergbach (c) Oliver Farys

Green Meetings in Vorarlberg

An insight into the certification of the Kleinwalsertaler Dialoge

When it comes to their personal lives, an increasing number of people are making conscious decisions when it comes to sustainability: as conference guests, however, they can rarely influence how natural or local resources are considered or manged. Now there is help at hand, organisers of congresses, conferences and seminars are increasingly turning their attention to climate protection, regional corporate responsibility and environmental impact of their events.

By creating and promoting Green Meetings and Green Events, Austrian is pioneering in conference and congress sustainability. The low impact and high efficiency infrastructure which exists in all fields pertaining to supplies and waste disposal, a well-developed public transport network and an excellent source of regional and organic foodstuffs are important components for the appropriate implementation of a Green Meeting.

Convention Partner Vorarlberg advises event organisers in the criteria of the certification for the ecolabel, and supports them through to the actual award of certification. In addition to the must-have criteria, the extensive catalogue of criteria contains points which can be freely selected to enhance the certification.

In 2016, the Kleinwalsertaler Dialoge event was awarded the ecolabel for Green Meetings for the second time, providing an insight into complying with several criteria:

Environmentally friendly arrival by public transport
All participants are informed about the options of taking public transport to the events. Cooperation with the Regionalverkehr GmbH guarantees the free use of all RVA services from Oberstdorf as far as Kleinwalsertal as well as the services in the valley itself. Reference is also made to car-sharing as an alternative way of getting about.

Reusable = environmental protection
Only reusable crockery was used at the event. Drinks were poured into glasses from large, reusable bottles. Reusable tablecloths and decorations were provided. No single-portion packs of milk and sugar were used.

Regional products
The catering was prepared by the team headed by star chef Martin Jäger from the Alpenhof Jäger. The establishment is a partner of the “Genuss-Region” cooperation and owner of the AMA-Gastro certification. Regionality was paramount in the selection of foods. For instance, all the game and beef were sourced from the Kleinwalsertal, chamois sausage came from Beck’s butchers in Riezlern, and bread came from Scherrer’s bakery in Hirschegg.

Digital information
Participants were offered the easy option of registering online on the website. All information pertaining to the event (agenda, details about the speakers, how to get there, etc.) were available on the website, doing away with the need for a print-out. The conference documentation was also made available as a pdf shortly before the event.

Environmentally friendly publications
Publications which weren’t replaced in digital form were produced on 100% recycled paper.

Corinna Schweizer

The conditions for an authentic Green Meeting in Vorarlberg are ideal! Many providers live the values of sustainability and regionality, providing a good basis for the certification.

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