gcbA long-standing employee of the GCB, Christine has been actively involved with its sustainability initiatives for many years, including the seminar programme for sustainability advisors offered by the GCB in partnership with the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). As well as proposing that these seminars be established, Christine also developed the content.

She helped develop and implement the Sustainability Code for the meetings sector across German-speaking countries, worked on the GCB’s Green Globe certification and ensured that Germany’s stand at IMEX 2013 was operated sustainably. In her new role, effective from 1st July, Christine’s primary responsibility will be to strengthen further the marketing organisation’s commitment to all aspects of sustainability - economic, ecological and social.

Christine-KochChristine Koch has worked for the GCB since May 2000 on database marketing, gaining a wealth of knowledge on sustainability issues during that time and rising to the position of Sustainability Manager.

The recent study “Meeting & Event Barometer” 2013 highlighted the importance of sustainability in the meetings sector, with almost half of all meeting and event organisers saying that they prefer providers with certified sustainability-management systems.

German providers are ahead of the game with sustainability-management systems already in place in nearly 40 per cent of event venues in Germany. Almost a third (27 per cent) of organisers also felt that German providers’ commitment to sustainability has a positive impact on the quality of events.

With these figures in mind, the GCB is pushing ahead with its pioneering work in the field of sustainability. As well as driving a wide range of initiatives within the German meeting and events sector, the industry’s marketing organisation is also examining its own internal processes: from the use of intelligent, sustainable travel solutions, to separating waste and the procurement of stationery.

Thanks to these initiatives, the GCB as an organisation has been Green Globe certified since 2012. Similarly, the GCB’s stand at IMEX 2013, which took place recently, was highly praised for its sustainable design and operation, and was awarded the “Green Exhibitor Award 2013” by IMEX and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC).

The establishment of the “fairpflichtet” Sustainability Code for the meetings industry in 2012 is one example of the GCB’s numerous activities for the sustainability agenda. The code has already won support from more than 345 businesses, while sustainability advisors from across the meetings industry have received training through seminars arranged by the GCB, in partnership with the DBU.

The biennial “green meetings and events” conference, organised jointly by the GCB and the EVVC - European Association of Event Centres - since 2011, has also become an important catalyst for change in the sector. The next greenmeetings and events conference will be held from 9th - 10th February 2015 in the new Kap Europa congress centre at the Messe Frankfurt.