Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) announced the launch of the ‘Eco-Event Award’ in conjunction with the release of ‘Envisioning a Sustainable Future for Events’, the first edition of a new publication series from QGBC.

The award programme aims to build a culture of sustainability and raise the sustainability standards within Qatar’s burgeoning events industry.

The Eco-Event Award is designed to reward industry best sustainability practices. It aligns with QGBC’s commitment for the establishment of a sustainable, healthy and resilient communities through the creation of a low-carbon culture. Event planners aspiring for an award will also find plenty of advice on building a more sustainable industry culture in QGBC’s new publication series – Envisioning a Sustainable Future for Events.

The launch of the Eco-Event Award programme was announced during a virtual event hosted by QGBC. The event gave an overview of the new publication and discussed the award’s application and accreditation mechanics, as well as the social, environmental, and economic benefits of promoting low-carbon events for Qatar as a whole.

The virtual event where QGBC's Eco Event Certification was launched

Qatar’s events industry has been growing steadily over the years, and, while such development is economically favourable, events can leave a considerable carbon footprint, creating compounding damage to the environment and human lives.

According QGBC Director, Engineer Meshal Al Shammari, Qatar has become a MICE destination (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) over the past decade. The country has been hosting a growing number of international and national conferences, exhibitions, festivals, tournaments, and major events.

Coupled with the national vision that embraces sustainability, a framework to guide organisers in staging eco-friendly events became a necessity, given the excessive carbon footprint such events generate. The Eco-Event Award will showcase sustainability in all stages of an event as practical applications of low-carbon practices.

The Eco-Event Award also focuses on educating stakeholders and the community about sustainable best practices to develop a low-carbon culture of event organisation.

QGBC Head of Technical Affairs Hamoda Youssef said they advocate for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly events industry. With an award scheme that has scalable guidance aligned with established international standards, the award will encourage event owners and organisers to deliver environmentally-sustainable events regardless of scale.

We aim to show pathways of how events can be sustainable. Whatever your event, there is always a way to be more sustainable.

The Eco-Event Award has 11 categories and three levels of acknowledgments to establish a wide adoption of low-carbon practices and cultural acceptance of environmentally-friendly events. Each level equates to the owner or organiser’s level of commitment and experience in delivering sustainable events. Qualifying for level one certification is free, while levels two and three require registration fees. Additionally, the award utilises a checklist model, which helps to ensure that the registration process is simple.

As Qatar Sustainability Week 2020 approaches, QGBC is encouraging organisations to participate in the award, particularly those planning to take part in the week-long event.

QGBC Events and Marketing Specialist Shireen Obeidat said that in the last four years, whenever they spoke to partners about organising their events during the week, they always provided information on things they can manage, such as water and energy consumption, and procurement methods, to become more sustainable.

This year, she said that they would like events during the Sustainability Week to comply with the Eco-Events Award specifications and to at least qualify for level one.

To qualify, the nominated event must be managed by an organiser with an appropriate legal status, complying with local, communal, and indigenous rights. The owner or organiser is responsible for implementing the Eco-Event Award criteria and, as such, must have appropriate authority over the event.

Nominations for the Eco-Event Award are now open. Those interested in certifying their event can fill out an application form available to download through this LINK. QGBC is a member of Qatar Foundation.