EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) is the most demanding standard currently in force as regards environmental management systems, and represents an important milestone in the environmentally friendly policies implemented by CCIB.
In line with its philosophy of commitment to environmental protection, the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) has just been awarded the EU EMAS certificate (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). It is the most demanding standard currently in force as regards environmental management systems, and represents an important milestone in CCIB’s policies for improving and complying with environmental standards established last year when the centre was awarded the ISO 14001 environmental management certification. "We are proud to be the first convention centre to be awarded the EMAS certificate, which means a further step forward with respect to the ISO 14001 certification, and with which we have voluntarily embarked on the one-way path towards excellence in the environmental standards of our centre. The EMAS certificate not only proves that we are willing to subject our environmental management to an outside audit, but also to allow anyone to consult information about the controls we use and their results on our website, thus guaranteeing our clients – who are increasing more aware of the importance of environmental protection – authenticity and transparency," stated Marc Rodriguez, CEO of CCIB.
Obtaining the EMAS certificate forms a part of the CSR initiatives implemented this year by CCIB, integrating its commitment to social development and environmental protection into its business objectives.
As in 2009, the management has decided to calculate the carbon footprint of the centre’s activities during 2010 and compensate this by purchasing CER (Certified Emission Reductions), as set out by the Kyoto Protocol, the only carbon credits that the UN and its Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) guarantee as being equivalent to the reduction of one ton of CO2.
This year, CCIB has chosen a project in the state of Sao Paolo (Brazil), whose aim is to generate electricity at the CERPA power station using waste pulp in substitution for fuel oil.
In addition, CCIB – a founding member of the recently established Iberian Chapter of the Green Meeting Industry Council – is encouraging its clients to participate in this initiative, offering them the possibility to compensate the emissions of their events, this being an efficient way of showing their support for environmental protection and providing a better service.
As regards the projects programmed for the following months, one of the most important is the drafting of the centre’s Sustainability Report on the basis of the results obtained in 2010, following the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines, with the aim of measuring and disseminating CCIB’s commitment to sustainability. The GRI is an official centre of collaboration of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which has the active participation of representatives of human rights and labour organizations, as well as research and environmental agencies, among others. Since being established in 1997, this participative approach has meant that its guidelines for reporting on sustainability performance are widely accepted by different interest groups.