EFFORTS by the business events industry to minimise harmful carbon emissions in one part of the Greater Bay Area have taken a big step forward with an agreement between Sands China and trade exhibition organisers in Macau.
The memorandum of understanding signed by Sand China, the operator of integrated resorts along the Cotai Strip, and the Macau Fair & Trade Association (MFTA) marks a joint commitment to promote and strengthen the sustainable development of conventions and exhibitions in the region.
The signing took place at The Londoner Macao on June 1, which was Global Exhibitions Day – an annual industry event held worldwide since 2016 to show how business events can accelerate the pace of economic recovery.
“This key strategic initiative for Sands China represents our mutual cooperation with MFTA and our support of the Macau government’s target of net zero emissions, and links into the carbon neutrality goals of the central government’s 14th Five-Year Plan,” said Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China.
“We are working hand-in-hand with each other to seek a carbon neutral exhibition venue through a series of green principles and measures. As the MICE venue provider, Sands China has a special role to play in minimising our impact on climate change, together with the industry,” said Wong.
The Green Development and Carbon Neutrality MoU between Sands China and MFTA calls on them to cooperate with joint efforts to meet sustainability aims by promoting green development, carbon neutrality and matching guidelines laid out in the Environmental Protection Planning of Macao for “Building a Green Macau with Low Carbon Footprint”.
Carbon neutrality would be achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of efficiency measures in-house and supporting external emission reduction projects such as clean energy enterprises like wind, solar or hydroelectric plants., a Sands China spokesman said.
Sands China, in partnership with MFTA, will promote the 2022 MIECF in August as Macau’s first carbon neutral exhibition at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo. Both parties pledge to jointly develop training programmes for the industry that focus on green education and the importance of reducing energy consumption, waste and using of single-use equipment; reusing; and offsetting the carbon footprint when operating events in Macau.
Sands China’s operations teams are also executing MICE activities with the Green Meetings principles of the Sands ECO360 global sustainability strategy – which is heavily based on the United Nations sustainable goals – with proactive measures to decrease the carbon footprint of events.
Tony Lam, MFTA president, said: “Since the launch of Cotai Expo in 2007, the Macau MICE industry has developed rapidly and extensively. Meanwhile, the increase of waste and carbon emissions generated by exhibition activities has imposed environmental burdens.
“MFTA has been promoting green development throughout the years. We also fund the development of a carbon emission calculator for the industry. MFTA looks forward to the joint commitment with Sands China to help build a green Macao with a low-carbon footprint.”
The Global Exhibitions Day 2022 event and MoU signing ceremony was aso attended by Vincent U, representative of the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR and acting president of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office; Victoria Kuan, director general of the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre; Cui Wenlong, general representative of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Representative Office in Macau; and Zhao Xin, director of the General Affairs Group of the Trade Office of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, among others.
Main picture: Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China