M.P.I. Updates Online Sustainable Event Measurement Tool

By Mitra Sorrells May 30, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

M.P.I.'s Sustainable Event Measurement Tool collects data to help planners and suppliers evaluate the impact of their events on the environment.

Photo: Meeting Professionals International

Feedback from some of the more than 1,000 people who have used Meeting Professionals International’s Sustainable Event Measurement Tool has led the organization to update the Web platform, making it easier to use and providing more value for suppliers. The new version, known as S.E.M.T. 2.0, was released May 21 and is available for free on the organization’s Web site. The online tool is intended to help planners and suppliers measure and manage the impact of their events on the environment.

The system walks users through a series of questions, collecting data based on three comprehensive sustainable-event standards: APEX/A.S.T.M. Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards, I.S.O. 20121, and G.R.I. Event Organizers Sector Supplement. The updated version, developed by the Triple Bottom Line Alliance for M.P.I., allows users to customize the system. “It can be really comprehensive, or it can be less detailed for those companies and events that aren’t as advanced in their sustainability efforts,” said Roger Simons, manager of corporate social responsibility for M.P.I. “It really provides the pathway toward a sustainable meeting.”

For planners, the tool also offers post-event data to facilitate audit and compliance efforts, and allows user groups to network in an online learning suite. Simons said the upgrades also provide added value to suppliers: “We realized planners need the suppliers to really be engaged in order for [sustainability efforts] to be successful.” Since much of the data to track environmental impact comes from suppliers, the system has an email function so planners can inform suppliers that they are using the tool and request that they input necessary data.

“People are looking from the outside in to our industry, asking questions about the value and impact of meetings,” Simons said. “So if we are able to consolidate information and say this is how we are addressing sustainability and making changes, then collectively we can show how we are reducing the impact on the environment for major meetings and events.”

S.E.M.T. 2.0 is free for M.P.I. members, and complimentary access is available for nonmembers and suppliers until October 31. Simons said they have not determined what the fee will be after that time.

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