Green becomes the new gold

Despite the various challenges, Marina Bay Sands manages to successfully pull off their largest environmentally-friendly event for Schneider Electric

Event brief
With sustainability at the core of its business, Schneider Electric commissioned Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore to whip up an “Earth-friendly” Schneider Electric Global Innovation Summit last September.

This was the event’s first time in Singapore, after having visited countries like France, Mexico and India as part of Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit World Tour.

The event welcomed more than 3,200 leading entrepreneurs, executives and industry leaders.

Challenges
Not only was MBS tasked with giving Schneider Electric’s delegates a memorable impression of Singapore, the venue had to carefully weigh its options for sustainability.

“The Schneider Electric Innovation Summit Singapore was the largest green event that MBS has ever hosted. We had to execute many ‘firsts’ for this event, including putting together the most sustainable menu we’ve ever done,” shared Roger Simons, associate director of sustainability, MBS.

He continued: “It was both challenging and exciting working with our chefs to conceptualise new dishes using ingredients that were locally-sourced, certified organic, sustainable, or responsibly produced. It required us to balance sustainability and creativity to elevate the delegate experience.”

Moreover, Schneider Electric had also requested that the event be completely free of single-use materials, such as plastic or paper cutlery and stationery. This posed a considerable challenge to the MBS team given the scale of the event, explained Simons.

Solution
Going beyond its usual Harvest Menu for green meetings, MBS engaged in a six-month long collaborative process with Schneider Electric to conceptualise a fully sustainable menu featuring ingredients that were organic, Fair Trade- or Rainforest Alliance-Certified, responsibly produced or locally-sourced.

Highlights included Rainforest Alliance-Certified coffee; sustainable rice certified by The Sustainable Rice Platform convened by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute; responsibly sourced seafood ingredients; as well as organic products such as meat, wine, butter, eggs and vegetables.

More than 10,400 Earth-friendly meals were served over the two-day event, which included an Innovation Summit Dinner for 1,000 delegates on the first day.

To meet Schneider Electric’s request to eliminate single-use materials, MBS put in place initiatives such as the recycling of lanyards and omitting disposable items across the event floor.

The team went one step further by facilitating the donation of Schneider Electric’s leftover event furniture to the Association for Persons with Special Needs. A total of 320 furniture items such as shelves, sofas and tables were donated, and used to furnish the association’s new Centre for Adults.

Key takeaways
The willingness to go the extra mile for shared goals – sustainability and corporate responsibility – was the key for this successful collaboration between MBS and Schneider Electric, shared Simons.

“It was great working with a client that was fully supportive of the sustainable measures we proposed, and also eager to take their commitment to another level (while) challenging each other to push the green envelope,” he explained.

The event now serves as a benchmark for MBS’ commitment to sustainability.

Simons added: “The success we saw from our work with Schneider Electric also paved the way for future green events, as it allowed us to witness MBS’ capabilities in raising the bar for sustainable meetings.”

Event: Schneider Electric Global Innovation Summit
Organiser: Schneider Electric
Venue: Marina Bay Sands
Date: September 20-21, 2018
Number of participants: More than 3,200

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