Delegates make Glasgow greener as sustainability conference boosts city’s economy by nearly £1m

Glasgow’s economy has received a near £1m boost from hosting the 27th International Input-Output Association Conference (IIOA).

Drawing to a close at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre today (Friday, July 5th), the week-long meeting – which is taking place in the UK for the first time – has attracted a record number of delegates from nearly 50 countries.

The IIOA conference is focused on the advancement of knowledge in the field of data compilation and economic statistics and its use across a wide variety of sectors. A key theme of this year’s meeting is sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of conferences on their host destination.

Glasgow has aspirations to become one of Europe’s most sustainable business tourism cities and is currently the only UK city to be included in the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Glasgow is ranked 7th of 35 leading international conference destinations alongside the likes of Houston, Sydney, Kyoto, Barcelona, Geneva, Helsinki, Stockholm and Frankfurt.

Conferences can be a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions through things like delegate travel, meals and paper use, and the IIOA is developing and implementing strategies that compensate for some of the ecological footprint caused by our international meetings.

This is our first ever UK conference and we were delighted to come to Glasgow, which has established a strong reputation for its commitment to sustainability and promoting responsible business tourism. We asked delegates if they would like to make a small voluntary donation to support the work of local environmental charities and I’m delighted that we were able to split £1,000 between Energy Action Scotland and the Woodland Trust in Scotland.
Conference chair and vice president of The International Input-Output Association, Sanjiv Mahajan
Our sustainability team has worked hard to identify ways that we can support clients like the IIOA to minimise the environmental impact of their meetings. Even simple gestures like encouraging delegates to bring their own water bottles to fill up for free; smart menu choices which include more vegetarian or vegan options; or making the most of our city-centre location and connectivity with public transport, can make a difference. We’re committed to doing our bit to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and to prove that people really can make Glasgow greener, even if they’re only in the city for a few days.
Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde

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