GREEN DESTINATIONS 2022 & FUTURE OF TOURISM SUMMIT IN ATHENS

EVENT SUSTAINABILITY

Green Destinations tries to make its in-person events sustainable by asking from the host and the venue:

Conference venues

Environmental certification is a minimum requirement. Our claim for the conference venue is to have a good (or at least sufficient) compliance in a fully transparent sustainable business support program with a publicly available scorecard which will be well visible throughout the venue (Good Travel Seal or GSTC-aligned GTS+).

Digitalisation, Waste & Recycling

The use of paper or other materials is reduced as much as possible. Special attention is given to waste reduction and recycling.

Catering

Our requirement for the catering was to offer vegetarian and vegan options, appropriate amounts of meat and fish options, and of course, organic, locally sourced and regional dishes where possible. The plastic footprint and food waste should be as low as possible.

Travel footprint

We aimed for a destination with good access by public transportation or buses within the country and wider region. Green Destinations commits to offer options for carbon insetting by adopting carbon mitigation project in the destination itself.

WHAT WE DO IN GD2022 ATHENS

The Conference Venues

Our conference venue, Radisson Blu

Unfortunately we could not engage a conference venue which participates in a transparent sustainability certification. However, Radisson Blu is certified by Green Key.

How does Kypseli’s Municipal Market contribute to sustainability?

Kypseli’s Municipal Market is the first market of social entrepreneurship. Their main goal is to become a lever for the regeneration of the local economy, that will attract a new audience and will bring interest, products and services to the locals and entrepreneurs, while offering new experiences to the Athenians. We chose this venue for our Top100 ceremony and our subsequent gala dinner.

How does Technopolis contribute to sustainability?

The vision of Technopolis City of Athens is to enhance the development of different communities and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the citizens in any possible way.

Among others, Technopolis is regularly hosting educational programs, seminars and workshops dedicated to new technologies. It is also a space for initiatives for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation as well as events of social nature.

Digitalization, Waste & Recycling

To reduce the use of paper and similar products, the entire event planning is digital. In addition, the invitations are also only available in digital form and we take care to carry out digital ticketing. In order to create as little waste as possible during the event, we work with QR codes as well as an AR board, which was created in cooperation with a partner. This reduces paper waste to almost zero.

We do not give out gifts and giveaways for our guests, however, they shall not leave the conference empty handed! All delegates will have access to a digital goodie bag upon arrival.

Along with that, we will be using recyclable name badges that can be utilised at future events. Our team’s T- shirts are also from a previous event and will be used this year as well as in the future.

Catering

We are proud to partner with Boroume, a non-profit organisation on the mission to reduce food waste and to counteract malnutrition in Greece. As part of our zero waste agreement, Boroume will take care of any food waste created during the event and distribute it to those in need.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Travel footprint

Before coming to Greece

Take trains & ferries!

If you are located in Europe, we encourage you to take advantage of the great train and ferry network. Instead of flying to Athens, you can take a train to Ancona or Bari, Italy and take the ferry to Patras, Greece. From there, it is only a short train ride to Athens, where we welcome you to our conference.

Fly directly!

If taking the train is not an option for you, please think of choosing a direct flight. Another great option to try is looking for flights on Fly.Green, a CO2 neutral website to find cleaner flights.

Stay longer!

Alternatively, extending your stay by working remotely or enjoying a few days of vacation in Greece is a decent way to balance out your emissions. Our field trips to Tinos and Hydra might be just the perfect way to end the conference.

When in Greece

Use public transport!

Using public transportation is a great way to keep your CO2 emissions on a moderate level.

The Athens public transport system is affordable, reliable and covers most of the city and suburbs. There are different types of public transport like the metro, suburban railway, buses, trolleybuses and the tram. You can use the same ticket for all public transport options. A single ticket costs 1.20€ and is valid for 90 minutes, the day pass costs 4.10€ and the 5-Day pass costs 8.10€. There is also a 3-Day Tourist Ticket (20€) which includes 1 round trip to/from the airport. 

Walk or bike!

Further, we encourage you to explore the city by foot! Join us on the city tour by This is Athens on 26th September to get to know the local life and venture off the beaten path to discover the authentic side of Athens. Also check out our Acropolis & Plaka Walking Tour and our Delicious Athens Food Tour on 28th September.

Partnering with Athens by Bike, we have also organised a bike tour through the city on 28th September. During this 3 hour and 9 km tour, you will pass by and stop at all the main highlights of the historic centre of Athens and also explore hidden gems and local areas of the city. 

Staying & Eating in Athens

Stay

  • Keep your towel during your stay, you do not need a new one every day
  • Turn off the water when lathering your hands and while showering
  • If you need to use air conditioning, only turn it 6°C / 42°F colder than the outside temperature

Eat

  • Choose a vegetarian/vegan option and pick regional products
  • Only take as much as you can eat to reduce food waste
  • Use refillable containers instead of buying plastic bottles
Support a Project

In terms of catering, we are proud to partner with Boroume to reduce food waste at this year’s conference. Please learn more about this initiative and other projects in the following.

SUPPORT PROJECTS

Obviously it is up to each participant and traveller whether and how to take climate responsibility. As Green Destinations, we do not recommend offsetting CO2 emissions by planting trees (see the blog and article on this in the Good Travel Guide). In short, planting trees is a valuable action, but does not provide climate mitigation in a secure and timely way.  We prefer reduction and insetting above offsetting, and therefore we suggest supporting local projects in Greece. To balance out the emissions in a more efficient way, we would like to give you the opportunity to make a donation towards the projects below.

Adopt Your City

The utilisation of small areas for the creation of outdoor green spaces in densely populated neighbourhoods of the Municipality of Athens is a key priority of the municipal authority. Pocket parks can help reinvigorate urban areas and reorganise the urban and social fabric at a neighbourhood level. At the same time, the city’s existing parks and squares are being upgraded through the program. Since our conference is taking place in Athens this year, we would like to encourage you to directly give back to the community by supporting this project.

Read more about Adopt Your City here.

Contribute to Adopt Your City

Hydrousa

Hydrousa is an initiative for regenerative, nature-based water solutions in Mediterranean regions. Their community of water allies consisting of universities, municipalities, companies, NGOs and others are building circular systems that allow the creation of holistic approaches. So far, the project has been launched on three Greek islands. Among them is Tinos where they established a self-sufficient and sustainable ecotourism facility. Get an impression of this remarkable project in person by securing your spot on our field trip to Tinos!

Read more about Hydrousa here or watch their story here.

Donate to Hydrousa

https://youtu.be/yDXS7X7Z-Po

Boroume

This non-profit organisation is on a mission to reduce food waste and to counteract malnutrition in Greece. Through their Saving & Offering Food program food can be saved on a daily basis and offered to charities. Their actions help the most vulnerable in society as well as the environment by reducing organic food waste. Green Destinations and the Future of Tourism Coalition are proud to partner with Boroume to reduce food waste at this year’s conference. 

Learn more about Boroume here

Donate to Boroume

Thalassia Foundation

The Thalassia Foundation has made it its duty to preserve and protect the Mediterranean Sea as a valuable environmental asset. Especially in Greece, taking the ferry is a very common means of transport. We at Green Destinations recommend you to travel to the conference by ferry and further, we are offering field trips to Tinos and Hydra that require traveling by ferry as well. To counterbalance the traffic on water, we chose Thalassia Foundation as one of our donation partners.

Learn more about Thalassia Foundation here.

Donate to Thalassia Foundation

Ecogenia

Ecogenia is the first NGO in Greece that promotes sustainability through civic engagement, training and employment opportunities for young people. Through a service year model, Ecogenia connects Greek youth with organisations dedicated to creating sustainable solutions to environmental and societal challenges. 

Learn more about Ecogenia here.

Donate to Ecogenia

This page has been created in co-operation with Peter Reelfs from Northflash – The Sustainable Destination Services Consultancy.

GREEN DESTINATIONS 2022 SPONSORS AND CONTRIBUTORS

Here’s to those who inspired us and contribute to the success of our annual flagship event.