MERA EVENTS Sustainability Policy 2022
We aim to design events and itineraries which have utmost regard to minimising the impact on the local environment and improving it wherever possible.
To provide our clients with more sustainable choices when planning an event.
We are committed to implementing and communicating sustainable practices to our staff, suppliers and clients, which is why we are taking action towards preserving our natural environment, promoting a healthy, inclusive society and supporting a thriving economy.
2. UNWTO definition
At MERA EVENTS, we believe that sustainable tourism is tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities (UNWTO, n.d.). We therefore aim to reduce our negative effects and increase our positive impacts.
3. Continuous improvement
We aren’t perfect yet but we are continuously challenging ourselves and our industry to become more sustainable in creating innovative & memorable experiences with the least environmental, social and economic impact.
4. Measuring and reducing negative impacts
4a. Energy consumption
In March 2021 we switched to a renewable energy provider and gradually we will be switching to LED light bulbs over the next 12th months. All lights and appliances are turned off when not in use-not in standby . We use natural daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day . We are committed to be energy efficient by reducing 7% energy use over the next 12th months
4b. Water consumption
We are committed to reduce water consumption by 10% over the next 12th months, adopting procedures to reduce the total water consumed by the event and use ecological alternatives. In our remote working policy we encourage staff : *to turn off the taps and fix leaky taps, you can save 6 litres of water a minute by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth. * to use Eco-friendly washing and cleaning products. *to use Low flow shower heads, aerators in taps and bottles in cysterns.
4c. Waste production
Our aim is to reduce the amount of waste and practice the new mantra of RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPORT. We are committed to increase our recycle rates by 20% over the next 12th months. We are committed to having targets and regularly measuring our performance to stay in control of our waste production. We are committed to re-think giveaways, ensuring they are useful and locally produced, utilizing recycled materials, and having minimal packaging. We are committed to reduce or limit paper communications, if we do print we use both sides, use FSC certified paper and refill our ink cartridges. We are committed to use compostable disposables and do not use any single use plastic at our events. Single use plastic is a disaster for our environment and we are actively eliminating from our itineraries and events. We are committed to further reducing waste to landfill. Cardboard packaging, glass, used light bulbs and batteries are all returned or collected for recycling. We are committed to educate all participants to avoid careless and negligent behaviour like leaving trash, using plastics and causing heavy impact to the already fragile environment to mitigate the effects of climate change.
5. Ethical purchasing
We are committed to purchase from Irish local suppliers wherever possible to reduce the environmental cost of our events and embed the concepts of sustainability into our purchasing and operational decisions. We are committed to include more certified products and services locally into our itineraries and events promoting Ireland’s Local heritage and culture.
6. Carbon offsetting
We are committed to reduce the carbon emissions in transport, providing participants, audience, staff, and volunteers with public transport and ride sharing options, and encouraging cycling and walking to the event. We are committed to reduce the carbon emissions by encouraging travellers to take reusable water bottles. In our remote working policy, we recycle waste and have introduced efficiency measures including energy efficient light bulbs, digital conferencing and conservation of water. We are currently looking to find a partner to offset our remaining emissions. We aim at having found our partner by the end of 2022.
7. Responsible sustainability marketing
Although we know that at times it can be difficult or frustrating, we will always strive to improve, ensuring that we deliver high quality , sustainably conscious events. We know we can’t always get things right first time. We therefore commit to honestly communicating where we are on our journey and our improvements so you can feel secure in the knowledge that we are doing what we can to remain sustainable for the future.
8. Social responsibility
We believe in giving back to the community, in supporting charities, and in all around helping contribute to a better world. In Ireland we continue to support local charities like Peter McVerry Trust, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Dogs Trust, Irish Cancer Society and Down Syndrome Ireland. In 2022 MERA EVENTS are committed to support Planeterra, the leading non-profit using community tourism to change lives. By strengthening community tourism around the world, economic opportunities are created, places are protected and cultures are celebrated through travel.
9. Supporting Biodiversity
To protect and conserve our local biodiversity we will support the All Ireland pollinator plan in 2022. We are committed to minimize any disturbance of natural ecosystems –less lawn mowing, eliminate pesticide use, less hedge cutting and have pollinator friendly plants flowering in our garden within the next 6 months.