Going for green

Jeju’s sustainable efforts are helping to strengthen its business events industry.

The Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) takes sustainability and green efforts very seriously.

Aside from promoting sustainable business events and organising related forums, the CVB continues to encourage event organisers and tourism suppliers to take a more responsible approach.

Hwansang Forest Gotjawal Park

Its chairman, Kim Ae-sook, shared: “We have been branding Jeju as a safe and sustainable business events destination.

“The island has world-class conference facilities for business events, and is the only place in the world certified in three UNESCO’s Natural Science Sector lists – as a Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage and Global Geopark.”

Many meeting facilities and unique venues in Jeju are already eco-friendly.

For example, the state-of-the-art International Convention Center (ICC) Jeju has installed multiple 751kw solar power generation facilities – the largest in scale on the island. The panels produce approximately 790,590kwh of electricity per year, saving approximately 100 million won (US$71,054) in electricity bills annually.

Meanwhile, Hwansang Forest Gotjawal Park, a natural primeval forest popular for teambuilding events, offers various educational programmes which include protecting the forest for future generations, and supporting local farmers who use only locally-grown ingredients for all F&B sold in the park.

As a result of its green efforts, Jeju CVB has obtained the ISO 20121 (Event Sustainability Management System) international certification, while five other organisations, including ICC Jeju, are seeking to obtain this certification.

Kim said: “We are also encouraging our MICE Alliance members to obtain ISO 20121 certification, as this will provide guidance and best practices to event organisers.”

As part of its responsible meeting efforts, in July 2021, Jeju CVB organised a Green MICE Forum to raise awareness on sustainability issues, such as minimising waste during events and using fairtrade products. The CVB also launched a guide for hosting green business events, and provided organisers with useful information on how to create a sustainable event in Jeju.

This year in August, Jeju CVB organised an ESG Management Forum to help strengthen local stakeholders’ understanding of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), and provided a platform for further discussions related to ESG management.

While sustainability management has risen in importance across the global business events industry, the downside to hosting a green event is that it may cost more, and involve more thought and planning, reflected Kim.

To help organisers create a memorable and responsible event, Kim shared that the CVB provides all the necessary “guidance and support”.

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