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Integrating Social Responsibility for Successful Sustainable Events
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Beyond Green Meetings: Integrating Social Responsibility for Successful Sustainable Events

GMIC Sustainability in Action Series


November 10, 2011



How do you measure the social and environmental impact of your event experience? Is it possible to create an action plan that is aligned with your organizational values but also leads to lasting benefits for the local community? What resources and examples are available for event organizers to replicate success, event after event? These questions are often on the minds of planners today who seek to use internationally recognized sustainable event standards and guidelines but don’t know where to start.

In this webinar, GMIC presents case study insights from Jelena Milovic, congress, exhibition & CSR manager of International AIDS Society (IAS). In 2009, IAS held its scientific congress in South Africa drawing over 6,000 delegates. By following international sustainability guidelines, the event team was able to build strong legacy connections with the local community, reduce their environmental impact of the congress and provide cost savings benefits for the association. Jelena will share her team’s strategy, the stakeholder engagement process, and how IAS determined its goals for creating a sustainable event action plan. This special presentation will be moderated by Michael Luehrs, MCI Sweden, Group sustainability manager and will includes examples and interviews with Ana Inacioand Colin Morgan from SGS, auditors of ISO 20121 (Ana is conducting the ISO 20121 audit of the 2012 Olympics). Ana and Colin will provide special guidance on social responsibilities examples from ISO 20121, and answer any questions on best practice tips for event organizers and suppliers.

Learning Areas: (Strategic Meeting Management, Social Responsibility in Events, Sustainable Event Standards, Stakeholder Engagement)

Learning Objectives: Participants of this webinar will be able to:

  • Relate the challenges and rewards of integrating social responsibility to a specific international event case example
  • Evaluate the process of setting goals and objectives of social responsibility for an event as defined in ISO20121
  • Identify at least three areas that sustainable event planning can result in costs savings for an organization
  • Determine the principles of sustainable event management that impact your stakeholder engagement plan

GMIC Guest Presenters: Jelena Milovic and Ana Inacio

Jelena Milovic
International AIDS Society Congress & Exhibition Manager

Jelena has worked in events management for over six years and launched the IAS Corporate Social Responsibility programme in 2008. While managing logistical projects for the International AIDS Conference (attracting over 25’000 participants), the world’s premier gatherings on HIV and AIDS, and the IAS Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention Conference (attracting over 6’000 participants), Jelena was struck by the amount of waste that conferences of this scale can generate and the potential impact they could have on the local environment, not only ecologically but also socially and economically.

In response to this, Jelena launched a CSR initiative within the IAS and put together a working group representing all departments in the organization. The collective efforts of the working group and their creativity in rethinking their processes meant that the CSR initiative grew stronger with each conference. In May 2011, Jelena picked up the coveted IMEX Green Meetings ‘Gold’ Awardat the annual IMEX Gala Dinner which recognized the CSR programme of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010). AIDS 2010 was rated highest on all set evaluation criteria, which included minimizing environmental impact; economic indicators; commitment to change; commitment to community; commitment to conservation; pre-event and post event.


Ana Inacio




System & Services Certification Sustainability Consultant

Ana is a Sustainability consultant, auditor and tutor with a record of more than 12 years working in management systems in a diverse range of industries and organisations. The education in environmental engineering, health & safety and statistical analysis for the improvement of processes (6 sigma), and the experience in working in ONG and business development constitute the pillars for understanding the wide sustainability agenda and the opportunities to build a sustainable economy. Some of the current projects with BS 8901 / ISO 20121 include the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Danish Presidency of the European Union.