Lois Berg, Chair of IACC’s Sustainability Committee (Director of Administrative Services at The Johnson Foundation, Inc. – at Wingspread Conference Center), recently reported a dramatic increase in members that signed up to support the rigorous Code of Sustainability while demonstrating their commitment to sustainable practices in nine areas including education and awareness, waste management, recycling, reuse, water conservation, purchasing, energy management, air quality and food and beverage.
According to Berg, 89 members signed up in support of the Code of Sustainability after its introduction in May 2009. Members are required to renew annually and 109 member properties have signed on so far in 2010. When the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) introduced the web page for environmental initiatives in 2009, it received more than 4,400 visitors to the page over the following six months. Year to date (as of May 2010) it has received more than 2,500 visitors, which on an annual basis would equal close to 7,700 visitors at the current pace.
Among new signers to the Code of Sustainability is The Conference Center at NorthPointe in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Stephen J. Ricci, conference services manager at the property said, “Following IACC’s very specific code, we spent the last year building upon our existing commitment to green business practices and found that people were quoting the IACC Code. We signed up in support of the Code of Sustainability and were thrilled to receive Silver Tier status; we hope to go for the gold next year.”
Ricci said the IACC Environmental Initiatives page has served as an “excellent resources for the NorthPointe Green Team.”
Berg notes that the Code was established “to allow member properties to commit to sustain and support IACC’s Environmental Policy, adhere to at least 75 percent of the 55 tenets of the Code, and join other member organizations that have signed the Code in a global, association-wide effort to strive for greater sustainability.”
Berg said a recent survey of the IACC membership provided feedback that allowed IACC to improve the code and streamline and clarify the tenets of The Code.
“We’re thrilled that member feedback has had such an impact on the increased participation of our membership toward environmental stewardship,” Berg said.
IACC monitors and updates the Code of Sustainability periodically in order to ensure that it reflects state-of-the-art best practices. When IACC members sign the Code of Sustainability, they certify that their organization supports IACC’s Environmental Policy and they join with other members in striving for more sustainable, environmentally responsible industry policies and practices.
IACC recognizes three tiers of participation in the Code of Sustainability. Members that achieve 100 percent of the Code qualify for the Platinum Tier; those that achieve 85 percent qualify for the Gold Tier; and those that achieve 75 percent qualify for the Silver Tier.
Members that have committed to the IACC Code of Sustainability are listed on the Environmental Initiatives page along with their tier status.