Yokohama pushes the green envelope for MICE events

Yokohama has successfully hosted the first conference under the Yokohama Blue Carbon Offset System

Yokohama is eyeing more sustainability-focused business events following the successful hosting of its first international conference under the new Yokohama Blue Carbon Offset System, as well as the stepping up of green efforts by the global business events industry.

The 2nd ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter Summit, which was held in Pacifico Yokohama North, opted to use the programme developed by Yokohama as part of its green efforts, according to a recent press release by the Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau (YCVB).

Yokohama (pictured) has successfully hosted the first conference under the Yokohama Blue Carbon Offset System

The total distance travelled by the 294 attendees and the resultant carbon emissions generated was calculated and combined with the total energy used to power the venue during the event to create an offset value.

Drawing on part of the participants’ registration fee, the offset money was used for programmes focusing on supporting marine life in the area that absorbs carbon dioxide.

“Since Yokohama was developed as a port, we wanted to implement a global warming countermeasure to take advantage of the city’s connection with the sea,” shared Yuki Murai, manager of project promotion division at Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama.

“By operating this system, we aim to raise awareness of blue carbon and have various environmental and economic impacts.”

YCVB’s business events team representative Asami Aoki told TTGmice that they have seen a rise in interest in a range of green issues among business events organisers. These include the recycling, food waste policy, sustainable credentials and carbon footprint offset capabilities of venues and facilities in the Japanese port city.

Business events providers have been responding to green demands, too.

Pacifico Yokohama’s efforts include reducing its water use to 35 per cent by utilising rainwater collected on exhibition hall roofs to cool generators and flush toilets at the conference centre. The facility, one of the largest in the world at 26,752m2, also boasts a 93 per cent recycling rate.

Elsewhere in the city, the InterContinental Yokohama Grand has been awarded an Ethical and Sustainable score of 8.6 out of 10 for its implementation of additional green measures.

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