The Impact of COP26 in Scotland: collaboration on sustainability at all levels of destination marketing.

As part of the ecomice explorers program at IMEX 22, the Scottish colleagues will present themselves as a team—a perfect demonstration of the collaboration needed to implement sustainable strategies: VisitScotland Business Events, Glasgow Convention Bureau and SEC Scottish Event Campus (in Glasgow) explain common goals and their implementation.

The meaning of conferences and congresses as an important element in the line-up of a destination, both internally and externally, is being recognized more and more clearly. Conferences of all types and sizes are a significant catalyst and source of ideas to promote local innovation, accelerate sustainability development and affect social improvements.

The necessary change in thinking and approach in the meetings industry and its stakeholders is a complex task. All partners must stand together behind the same goals, cooperate, and support each other to use resources optimally—this also requires letting go of old structures.

Scotland is a good example of a coordinated approach: Above all, the Scottish government’s National Performance Framework offers the adaption of the SDGS of the UN Agenda 2030 to national circumstances and needs, together with an evaluation framework.

VisitScotland Business Events comes into play next, as the umbrella organization responsible for attracting business events of all kinds to the country. With the motto “Journey to Change”, the Convention Bureau integrates those national goals that are directly or indirectly related to attracting meetings and investments.

Scotland is privileged to offer a wealth of knowledge legacy by being a nucleus for numerous inventions and discoveries— the Convention Bureaus and the local universities work together since long. “Changing tomorrow by meeting today”—one of the guiding principles, underlines the importance of meetings as a source for knowledge transfer and the development of new joint ideas—(over)vital for the challenges of the future.

“Journey to Change” shows the context between the marketing of the destination and key sectors such as renewables, engineering, electronics, technology, life sciences and marine exploration, social trends, and legacy projects, to name just a few areas covered.

Change is an opportunity!

“…. Change. It is not a word or concept everyone likes initially. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do. But by working together, by making collaboration a way of life, change is an opportunity. An opportunity for all of us to create positive change in society by using the platforms we build to share big ideas. We can be the change the world needs, with our spotlights focusing on the world’s most challenging issues, and we can be the voice for positive change and human rights by directing our microphones to amplify the voices of those less heard.”*

At IMEX in Frankfurt, the ecomice explorers will learn more about the context for change to happen in Scotland. The city of Glasgow’s Convention Bureau did their homework prior to the COP 26 meeting by working on sustainable city credentials.

Aileen Crawford of the Glasgow Convention Bureau will share her take on the role of Glasgow in the framework of stakeholders – she will explain the context with the city council, how to succeed in setting up pre COP 26 sustainable city credentials, and how it is the people, who make Glasgow Greener.

The motivation from hosting COP26 encouraged Glasgow tourism businesses to make a positive change. Glasgow Convention Bureau now takes the education process further, offering training for congress organizers through the new “Go Greener Initiative”.

The SEC—Scottish Event Campus as a Gold Green Tourism-accredited venue, and a Gold Partner of Healthy Venues translates the sustainability strategy to the actual operational level as the venue for congresses.

Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at SEC will discuss the importance of the COP 26 event, explain the venue’s sustainability credentials and what all they learned to reduce their impact on the environment. Kathleen will also provide some detailed case studies from COP26.


She says:

“Events can have a substantial impact on the natural and built environment and at SEC, we are in the advanced stages of developing an ambitious sustainability and energy strategy, which focuses on clear goals, innovative technologies, and best practice, together with a clear plan for implementation.”

The Scottish Event Campus is a founding partners of the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge which was launched at COP26 and have set the ambitious target of becoming Net Zero by 2030.

Scotland’s story shares a pool of options for both destinations and planners to be prepared for the future of the meetings industry.

Stay curious! We look forward to take the learning further for all of us!

* Quote taken from VisitScotland / Alba website

If you want to discuss about planning a sustainable event in Glasgow and Scotland – make an appointment with the colleagues introduced here.  

VisitScotland at IMEX Frankfurt, Stand F 420

Follow ecomice on LinkedIn and join our movement to make the meetings industry a leading voice for sustainable improvements. 


ecomice is a consultancy and PR / marketing unit for sustainable legacy and supply chains in destinations.

It is an initiative of tmf dialogue.

Travelling today means to reduce negative impact as much as possible and to take responsibility for the destination. Our collaborative business model integrates all stakeholders to jointly follow the sustainable goals of the UN Agenda. We support building legacy projects (environmental and societal) and creating new programs. Follow us on LinkedIn:

Thanks so much for your interest and support in showing the industry that we can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Johanna Fischer for ecomice explorers initiative at IMEX 22