Green Events & Meetings in Upper Austria

With Green Events & Meetings, event organisers make a contribution to climate protection and regions worth living in. However, green events are not rocket science, but simply well-organised and far-sighted events with heart and brain. Ecolabel event experts from all over Upper Austria provide support with the organisation and turn a certified green event into an inspiring, practice-oriented process.

This starts with supporting car-free travel, includes avoiding unnecessary waste and ends with the waste of energy and resources. A major concern of sustainable events is an appealing and climate-friendly culinary offering with seasonal products from the region, preferably organic. "Guests want to be motivated and involved with creative ideas and not be bothered with thoughtless disposable or throwaway products," explains Dr Regina Preslmair from the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Climate Protection, adding: "On average, a participant generates 3.5 kg of residual waste and 5.5 kg of paper waste during a three-day congress. That is an amount that is often not even actively recognised. A Green Meeting, on the other hand, saves an average of 31 per cent residual waste and 55 per cent paper waste." In most cases, however, the participants of a green meeting cannot recognise at first glance what is being done in the background. This is precisely why the environmental aspects and ecological criteria should be made even more visible and actively communicated.

Let's take a look at where green meetings can be held in Upper Austria and why companies decide to do so.

Good practice for future-orientated companies

Upper Austria is a state of large industrial companies that often play a pioneering role as global market leaders. This role shapes their external image as future-oriented companies and also in the organisation of events. For companies such as Fronius or Holter, it is therefore an important signal to consciously organise many of their events as Green Meetings.

Support is provided by the green meetings experts at Business Touristik Wels, who also ensure that guests are accommodated well and sustainably in the many eco-labelled business hotels. But what about the general demand for certification for green events?

Richard Schachinger, Coordination Green Events and Communication at Climate Alliance Upper Austria, knows the answer: "Interest in green events increased significantly before the pandemic, across all sectors. Fortunately, awareness of quality and sustainability is also increasing among event organisers." Climate Alliance Austria also had its 2021 Annual International Conference, which took place in the Minoriten Wels, certified as a Green Event Upper Austria. "As a climate alliance, we want to act as a role model and attach great importance to climate friendliness. That's why we have always organised our events as green events, either in accordance with the Austrian Ecolabel or as a Green Event Upper Austria via the regional programme," says Schachinger.

Sustainable professionalism even under difficult conditions

In 2021, the Design Center Linz was able to demonstrate how large, sustainable events can be organised even under the most difficult conditions of the pandemic with the corresponding uncertainty with the congress of the Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV). Most of the 480 participants were there in person. Some also followed the congress via stream, an additional technical challenge that was handled well with the equipment on site. At the Green Location, the organisers no longer had to worry about issues such as energy-saving measures and proper waste separation in the hotel.


"Thanks to the great support of the Design Centre Linz and the certified caterer on site, implementation was very straightforward. The biggest challenge was implementing the measures in times of corona, as many things that had already been taken for granted in recent years (e.g. not using portion packs of coffee milk) suddenly became an issue again," explains Barbara Diallo-Strobl, Project & Event Management ÖHV. Environmentally friendly accommodation and catering was provided by the neighbouring Courtyard bv Marriott business hotel. "We have had our ÖHV congress certified as a Green Meeting every year since 2014. This is very important to us and it has already become a certain routine and a nice tradition," adds Diallo-Strobl.


Green meetings by people for people

It is above all the people who characterise sustainable events. The Wesenufer Hotel & Seminarkultur an der Donau organised by pro mente is a real role model in Upper Austria. Inclusion and accessibility are not just empty slogans here. People with mental disabilities are given the opportunity to work in a meaningful way. And people's joy at being a valuable part of society again and being recognised here inspires both the permanent staff and meeting participants. It is not only people with disabilities who benefit from the wide range of measures aimed at comprehensive accessibility, but all guests who visit the historic Schlössl with its sunny arcaded courtyard or the light-flooded hotel with its modern architecture directly on the banks of the Danube.


Back to Nature – Green cuisine from the region

Away from the cities of Upper Austria, you can literally hold green meetings in the regions - in the Pyhrn-Priel region or the Mühlviertel, for example. But the region can also be incorporated into the meeting in other ways: Because a special sign of appreciation for guests and a business card for the host is always the catering on offer at events. Here, Upper Austrian caterers offer a wide selection of regional, seasonal and climate-friendly specialities. With the support of the trained professionals from the Ecolabel caterers, green catering is no witchcraft but a sustainable culinary delight and is well received by the participants: "The quality of the arrival and departure, the organic regional catering or the avoidance of waste is always highly appreciated by our guests and receives positive feedback," adds Richard Schachinger from Klimabündnis Oberösterreich.