WEFTEC and VISIT DENVER Earn Sustainable Event Certification

February 29, 2024

The Events Industry Council (EIC) awarded a water quality trade show and an events destination with its highest level of the Sustainable Event Standards for environmental and social responsibility within the global events industry.

Created by the EIC Sustainability and Social Impact Committee in partnership with industry professionals and leading sustainability practitioners, the EIC Sustainable Event Standards are a collection of eight specific standards that assess events and industry suppliers on a wide range of sustainability criteria, including organizational management, marketing, communications and engagement, climate action, water management, materials and circularity, supply chain management, diversity, equity and inclusion, accessibility and social impact.


Last month, EIC recognized WEFTEC, an annual conference and exhibition hosted by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), with Gold Level Certification – the first water-sector trade show to achieve that level of certification, according to EIC officials.

According to WEFTEC’s Sustainability & Social Impact page, WEF started the process of certifying WEFTEC as a sustainable event last year by earning the EIC Foundations Certificate, which is awarded to organizations that have established Sustainability and Social Impact Policies, a Code of Conduct /Ethics Policy and a Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

The most recent WEFTEC was held Sept. 30-Oct 4, 2023, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Committed to minimizing the show’s environmental impacts globally and locally, the WEFTEC team has been taking ambitious steps to better measure its climate footprint, taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and compensating for unavoidable emissions.

“Our efforts to earn this certification align with both our members’ focus on sustainable water solutions and WEF’s mission to inspire the water community in pursuit of human and environmental well-being,” said Stephanie Jones, WEF managing director of event strategy. “EIC’s Sustainable Event Standards outlined a roadmap for reducing WEFTEC’s environmental impact and providing even more positive contributions to the communities where we host this event.”

To achieve the EIC Event Organizer standard, WEF had to go through a rigorous compliance review conducted by an independent third-party certification process, which was performed by the Alliance for Audited Media, a not-for-profit auditing organization.

Additional initiatives that helped WEFTEC earn its high level of certification included its Waterpooloza mentor program; a book drive, a tuition reimbursement and employee benefit program, community service projects and a focus on event attendee diversity, according to EIC officials. 

“WEFTEC and the WEF team have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the environmentally and socially responsible practices that are needed to support long-term sustainability in our industry,” said EIC CEO Amy Calvert. “We hope to see many more events following their lead.”



EIC awarded Platinum Level certification for the EIC Sustainable Event Standards to VISIT DENVER, the world’s first destination to achieve the highest level of certification according to EIC officials. 

Architectural Digest ranked Denver No. 1 on its list of Most Climate-Resilient Cities in 2023.

“This is a milestone achievement for VISIT DENVER and all of us working to make Denver the sustainable destination of choice for convention planners,” said Richard W. Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER. “It is a great honor to be the first to earn such a vitally important certification while making a significant contribution toward our city’s long-term vision for sustainability.”

BPA iCompli Sustainability, a division of BPA Worldwide, a nonprofit international auditing organization, developed the certification protocols for EIC Sustainable Event Standards and performed the independent third-party certification of VISIT DENVER’s compliance with the destination standard. 

Progressive initiatives that aided the CVB in achieving Platinum status included its Green Workforce program, the full tracking of purchases with diverse suppliers, a bike and ride program and the Waste no More four-year city plan, according to EIC officials. 

Check out VISIT DENVER’s Environmental Policy and Annual Sustainability Report to learn more about its environmental commitments and its role as a resource for meeting and event planners looking to achieve their green meeting goals.

“The Events Industry Council congratulates VISIT Denver on their Platinum Level Certification,” Calvert said. “This demonstrates a strong commitment to the environmentally and socially responsible practices that are needed to support long-term sustainability in our industry.” 

The EIC Sustainable Event Standards replaced the former APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards in 2019, with an updated version released in 2022. There are now four levels for the new standards: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.



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