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When the whole world was plunged into the pandemic, one industry, among many others, that was deeply disrupted was the industry of MICE—Meeting, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions.

But as MICE events continue to make a strong comeback, the industry is committed to become more sustainable and reduce its impact on the environment. This is especially true in Singapore, where a new sustainability certification was released earlier this year, known as the Singapore MICE Sustainability Certification (MSC).

Marina Bay Sands has announced that its Sands Expo & Convention Centre has become the first venue to be awarded the Singapore MSC.

Sands Expo was certified at the highest tier of Gold, recognised for its outstanding sustainability achievements and results, a press release stated.

Although it barely needs an introduction, Marina Bay Sands is the integrated resort that features Singapore’s largest hotel with approximately 1,850 luxurious rooms and suites, crowned by the Sands SkyPark and iconic infinity pool.

Aside from its luxury shopping mall complete with dining and entertainment venues, it also houses convention and exhibition facilities under Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

The certification signifies Marina Bay Sands’ continual commitment to its sustainability journey.

To become APAC’s leading MICE destination

Launched this January, the Singapore MSC certifies businesses for adopting sustainable event practices and raises sustainability standards across the MICE industry.

This certification aligns with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a plan released by the government with specific sustainability targets and metrics.

It was developed by the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS), with support from the Singapore Tourism Board, and in consultation with SACEOS members and industry players.

This certification plays a role in SACEOS’ MICE Sustainability Roadmap. Under this roadmap, SACEOS aims to be Asia Pacific’s Leading Sustainable MICE Destination by 2030.

Image Credit: Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers

Their first strategy, among others, is to raise sustainability standards across the industry to achieve certification, which is where the Singapore MSC comes in.

The new framework builds on the first MICE Sustainability Certification introduced in 2016—which Sands Expo had been recognised under—and aligns with the targets set out in the MICE Sustainability Roadmap.

It incorporates international benchmarks and covers applicants’ management approach to various sustainability pillars, including Carbon, Waste, Energy, Water Management, Social, Human Resource Competency, and Procurement.

Richard Ireland, the President at SACEOS, said, “As a major venue partner for the industry and our members, [Sands Expo & Convention Centre’s] achievement sets a strong precedent for the industry and underscores Singapore’s commitment to becoming a leading sustainable MICE destination in Asia Pacific.”

Sustainability in every facet

So, what exactly is Sands Expo & Convention Centre doing to be able to achieve the Singapore MSC?

To begin, the Sands Expo is built to be sustainable, with the venue holding triple platinum certification from leading bodies such as the Building and Construction Authority, Events Industry Council, and US Green Building Council.

Image Credit: Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers

According to the release, the expo is also Singapore’s first fully offset MICE venue, allowing clients to organise environmentally friendly events. Last year, the venue was home to over 2,440 events.

Beyond infrastructure, Sands Expo also reduces waste and extends the lifespan of single-use materials.

For instance, the venue has introduced circular bottles made with recycled polyethylene terephthalate. But on top of that, it has invested in over 100 mobile water dispensers and plumbed-in dispensers to increase refill points and promote the use of reusable glasses and bottles.

Moreover, menu cubes and dietary indicators at the venue are crafted from repurposed chopsticks during banquets, eliminating the need for paper products.

“These innovative products are created in collaboration with a local vendor, contributing to the recycling of over a million used chopsticks to date,” the release stated.

Chefs at the expo also frequently harvest fresh herbs and leafy greens from the on-site herb gardens and mobile hydroponic displays.

Post-event, unserved food is frozen in blast chillers and donated regularly to partners such as The Food Bank Singapore. Since 2016, over 17,500kg of food has been donated.

As Meridith Beaujean, Marina Bay Sands’ Executive Director of Sustainability, said, “Sustainability is integrated into every facet of our business operations, and this accolade gives us encouragement to continue our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Empowering others to go green

Beyond the aforementioned practices, Sands Expo also offers dedicated Sustainable Event Advisory Services, customising sustainable solutions for clients.

For example, last year, the team collected bottles from Vinexpo Asia, a global wine and spirits event, and diverted over 34,000 glass bottles to a glass recycling firm to be crushed, melted, and repurposed into new products.

Image Credit: Marina Bay Sands

In another example, over 2,000 radios and headsets were collected during the MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) Global Conference 2023. These were donated to the Migrant Workers’ Centre as gifts for the migrant worker community.

“As a trailblazer in the meetings industry, we have made sustainability a baseline for all events at Sands Expo & Convention Centre, encouraging clients to incorporate green elements into their events and accelerating training for our Team Members to become sustainability advocates,” added Ong Wee Min, Vice President of Sales and MICE, Marina Bay Sands.

“We will continue to push the boundaries as a leader of sustainable events as we support Singapore’s ambition to be the World’s Best MICE City.”

  • Learn more about Sands Expo & Convention Centre here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Marina Bay Sands here.

Featured Image Credit: Marina Bay Sands

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