The European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, awarded “Erronka Garbia” certification as an environmentally sustainable event
- The conference will apply “Erronka Garbia” certification methodology to minimise the environmental impact of the event.
- Stand-out measures to be applied include the promotion of sustainable means of mobility, the use of recycled and recyclable materials in the exhibition area and reduced use of paper.
- The conference is organised by ICLEI – Network of Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Government, the Bizkaia Provincial Council and the Bilbao City Council, with the involvement of Udalsarea 21 – Basque Network of Municipalities for Sustainability.
The 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns has been certified as an environmentally sustainable event thanks to the application of the principles of the “Erronka Garbia” methodology included under certification awarded by the Basque Government Office of the Environment. The objective of the conference organisers is to minimise the environmental impact of the conference itself.
Application of the “Erronka Garbia” methodology throughout the conference will impact positively on issues such as mobility, energy consumption, green purchasing, waste management and the use of water and infrastructures. The deployment of these initiatives is also aligned to the contents of the Sustainable Events Guide published by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with ICLEI.
Stand-out measures to be applied include:
- The selection of efficient, LEED-certified venues (in this case, the Euskalduna Conference Centre) which facilitate sustainable mobility, promote the use of digital signage, are equipped with an appropriate waste management system and use renewable energy.
- The use of local raw and seasonal materials and produce for catering. Only tap (not bottled) water will be served.
- The use of sustainable means of transport provided by trams and sponsor-led initiatives, such as the Irizar i2e bus and the fleet of electric vehicles laid on by Iberdrola for conference attendees.
- The use of recycled and recyclable material in exhibition furniture and stands.
- Documents printed on 100% recycled paper and the use of organic cotton in conference kit products. Sustainably-produced cups will be handed out for drinking water.
- Monitoring and awareness-raising. Conference service staff will promote sustainable habits, correct waste management practices and the use of sustainable means of transport amongst conference attendees.
These processes will be assessed and audited throughout the conference and a final assessment of them will be made once the event has finished.
The Basque Country, European capital of sustainability
The use of “Erronka Garbia” certification criteria is a further step forward in the commitment to make the Basque Country the European capital of local sustainability. During the three core days of the conference (27 to 29 April), around 700 people from all around Europe will discuss and share their knowledge on different initiatives for the promotion of urban sustainability, thereby making the Basque Country the focus of international attention.
In this sense, the conference organisers are already working on the content of the Basque Declaration, the focal point of the first day of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns. All cities and towns committed to local sustainability will be free to sign this declaration, which will update the commitments included in the Aalborg Charter in force for over 20 years.