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Green conference lifts Glasgow’s economy by almost £1m

The Glasgow Convention Bureau has reported an almost £1 million economic boost to the city’s economy after hosting the 27th International Input-Output Association Conference (IIOA).

The IIOA conference, which was held at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, came to the UK for the first time and attracted a record number of delegates from nearly 50 countries.

The week-long conference focuses on the advancement of knowledge in the field of date compilation and economic statistics and its uses across a wide variety of sectors. This year, in particular, the conference concentrated on sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of a conference on its host destination.

“Conferences can be a major contributor to greenhouse gas applying emissions through things like delegate travel, meals and paper use, and the IIOA is developing and implementing strategies that compensate for some of the ecological footprint caused by our international meetings,” said Sanjiv Mahajan conference chair and vice president of The International Input-Output Association.

“This is our first ever UK conference and we were delighted to come to Glasgow, which has established a strong reputation for its commitment to sustainability and promoting responsible business tourism. We asked delegates if they would like to make a small voluntary donation to support the work of local environmental charities and I’m delighted that we were able to split £1,000 between Energy Action Scotland and the Woodland Trust in Scotland.”

The IIOA conference fits in with Glasgow’s goals of becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable business tourism cities after being listed 7th out of 35 countries in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

“Our sustainability team has worked hard to identify ways that we can support clients like the IIOA to minimise the environmental impact of their meetings,” said Gordon Hodge, head of conferencing and events at the University of Strathclyde.

“Even simple gestures like encouraging delegates to bring their own water bottles to fill up for free; smart menu choices which include more vegetarian or vegan options; or making the most of our city-centre location and connectivity with public transport, can make a difference. We’re committed to doing our bit to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and to prove that people really can make Glasgow greener, even if they’re only in the city for a few days.”