(Rome, 20 December 2019) “An event thought for sustainable tourism in a sustainable way” this is what the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention, that took place on the 5-7 June 2019 in Barcelona, was all about. Numerous measures have been put in place to make this event a sustainable one and could constitute good practices for the newly renewed Sustainable Tourism Community.
A calculation of carbon footprint and compensation of CO2 emissions has been undergone for the organisation of the event (venue, materials, catering, etc.) and the voyages of speakers (not those of the participants) and equates 78,00 tCO2e. This task has been carried out by the company La Vola (Clean O2 brand). The idea was to compensate those emissions in one of the following projects (certified by VCS Verified Carbon Standard): Darica Hydro Power Plant Project (Turkey), Jbel Sendouq-Khalladi Wind Power Plant Project (Morocco), Düzova Wind Power Plant Project (Turkey). The choice has been made by the Convention’s participants through social media and through an app dedicated to the event using a live participatory system.
The project that casted the greater number of votes was Jbel Sendouq-Khalladi Wind Power Plant Project in Morocco. The objective of this wind farm project, developed by UPC Renewables SARL, is to generate electricity using state-of-the-art wind power generation technology. The proposed project is to be developed in the Tangier-Tetouan Region, Fahs Anjra Province, Morocco. 40 wind turbines with a nominal unit capacity of 3 MW will be installed, providing a total capacity of 120 MW. The net expected electricity generation is estimated at 296,100 MWh/year. The electrical energy produced by the project activity will substitute electricity currently supplied by the national grid. Using a new and renewable local source of energy, the proposed project will contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions, the decrease of the country’s energy dependence and increases local employment opportunities during the construction phase and subsequently for the project’s operation phase.
Besides, the participants of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention were provided with sustainability guidelines. The venue, the Hotel Alimara in Barcelona, has received the ISO 14001 and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) sustainable certifications, allowing the guests to monitor and reduce their energy and water consumption during their stay. The venue and accommodation were easily accessible by public transportation (walking distance).
Moreover, the convention was waste free and the hotel delivered the leftover food to the NGO Nutrición sin Fronteras (NSF), contributing to the reduction of inequalities in nutrition. Among other measures, the lunch menu was monitored and measured to assess the quantity of food produced locally. The event was also plastic free. Thermos flasks, glass bottles and cups were provided in order to avoid the environmental impact of the use of plastics. It was also paper free and a mobile app dedicated to the event provided all the necessary information about the event, the sessions and the speakers and allowed for a participatory approach to be developed throughout the event. No printed program book were provided and the lanyards were recycled from previous events. Badges were printed in seed paper and were planted afterwards.
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