BtG Event Solutions is the first DMC practicing sustainable meetings in Russia. Even though Russia is difficult destination in terms of sustainability, the environmental development director of BtG is sure we can reduce the negative impact of travel and MICE in ANY destination.
One of the most difficult moments in Russia is material or waste management, as no infrastructure is created yet. However, after research BtG realized that several recycling companies exist for different post-event material types: glass, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, metal, oil and even compost. The best part is that in Russia recycle is CHEAPER than landfill the companies or people are paid back for plastic, metal and paper they bring to the facility. A few international chain hotels already sort materials. However, there are still difficult moments and most of the materials go to landfill even from the companies who collect and sort in house carefully.
BtG Event Solutions (DMC in Russia), a non-profit ecological society Musora.Bolshe.Net (“no more waste”) and Green Destinations Group (green meetings consulting) organized workshop about sustainable meeting practices. The first workshop happened on November 10, 2009 in the hotel Novotel St.Petersburg Center and was specifically about Material Management the idea was to bring all participants together and to help them to create infrastructure making recycling possible for the hotels and restaurants. The organization Musora.Bolshe.Net invited different recycling facilities, hauling services and ecological organizations to participate in the workshop.
The meeting was hold in the Novotel St.Petersburg Center (Accor) one of the “greenest” hotels in Russia with the most detailed environmental policy. Novotel is sorting all the materials in 5 categories. Moreover, the hotel has an in house team that is responsible for sorting the materials manually and guarantee the “cleanest” organization of recycling. The sorted materials are packed and packages are labeled. The hotel bought press machines for paper and plastic. Nevertheless, they are facing the major problem hauling service that would bring the materials to the recycling facilities.
Few other hotels sort their materials as well: Radisson, Sokos Palace Bridge, Marriott Court Yard and Renaissance and face the same problem.
In many cases all carefully sorted materials go in one hauling car and contamination level is large. They are not accepted by the recycling facility and on the end go to landfill. Different hauling vehicles for each type of materials can be arranged, but, because of the financial interests, they only can haul certain amount of materials. That amount is usually unrealistic for a single hotel and even press machines do not help. A hotel simply can not keep 1,5 tones of paper or 1 tone of plastic at a time.
That problem was realized during the workshop and the solution was found! The hauling companies will send a specific car for each type of material, stop by several hotels located close to each other and take only specific materials at a time.
That is only the first workshop from the series that is planned for hospitality industry by BtG Event Solutions, GreenDestinationsGroup and organization Musora.Bolshe.Net (“no more waste”). BtG as the first DMC in Russia specializing on greener meetings, creates infrastructure within the destination and helps their partners hotels, restaurants, transportation and entertainment companies to implement practices that will reduce negative impact. Father workshop topics for hospitality industry are: Minimization of Waste, Sustainable Food, Procurement, Energy and Water, Air Quality and others.